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Stoopidtall
April 24, 2013 7:27 AM   Subscribe

POV video riding a 14.5' bicycle at CicLAvia in LA
posted by fearfulsymmetry (33 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I was like, "Jesus, he has to climb some scaffolding just to get on the bike. Good thing it was nearby, I guess, but what's he going to do when there's no...Oh. Oh, my."
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:31 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


this instantly made my palms sweat
posted by Mach5 at 7:35 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


He seemed to be really stable up there - that seemed to me like it should be more unstable - not much room for error if you start to lose balance. Can someone with more experience explain?
posted by TravellingDen at 7:37 AM on April 24, 2013


That is just like the "I'm-in-a-vehicle-I-can't-control" nightmares I have! :: shudder ::
posted by The Deej at 7:37 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Saw some animated .gifs of this on Tumblr, and it made my heart ache out of terror.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:43 AM on April 24, 2013


Every time he reached a junction I found myself praying that he won't have to stop for any reason, oh god what would happen if he had to stop oh god it's like the bus from Speed oh god GET OUT OF THE WAY.
posted by fight or flight at 7:43 AM on April 24, 2013 [9 favorites]


From the last link (which also has a great photo of this thing):
“Everyone looks at you like your nuts and they’re right!”

The mis-used your had me read this as "Everyone is looking at your nuts" and I thought, "No, the bike is much too tall for that!"
posted by exogenous at 7:45 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


this vid makes me insanely happy. mostly because of the bike culture surrounding this guy in his ambition - however st00pid - to make sure he can ride safe. the whole herd of cyclists behind him - well i can't really say more much than <333
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 7:46 AM on April 24, 2013


From the article linked in the OP:
Richie goes on to tell me that on his way home a master link in bike chain came loose, falling out, breaking the chain, losing his ability to pedal as well as the coaster brake. “This is exactly what I didn't want to happen!” Seeing a telephone pole, he reached for it, the bike going out from under him, he Tarzan hugs the pole, a twelve foot drop, slamming his feet on the ground, suffering minor bruising on the pad of his heel and spraining his left ankle – the bike landing safely on a fence.
D:
posted by fight or flight at 7:46 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


I kept waiting for him to accidentally run over one of the ant-sized cyclists.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:49 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


The shadows at 2:30 and 2:50 (or so) are great.
posted by notyou at 7:49 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


this vid makes me insanely happy. mostly because of the bike culture surrounding this guy in his ambition

Yeah, it's obvious at some points in the video that he's got some spotters on notsostoopidtall bikes that help him out by removing impediments to his progress and stopping traffic and stuff.
posted by LionIndex at 7:54 AM on April 24, 2013


I was terrified for him once he got to that overpass. He should call his bike Nailbiter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:58 AM on April 24, 2013


What, no helmet?
posted by sneebler at 7:59 AM on April 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was convinced once he reached the water's edge that that would be his out.
posted by dabug at 8:05 AM on April 24, 2013 [7 favorites]


There are several aother tall bike riders around him plus I think a tall unicycle at one point and I can't help but feel a little bad for them. It's not very often that the guy riding a 6' unicycle gets upstaged I bet.

Also the huffington post has a really weird branding thing where they stick Canada and a maple leaf under the Los Angelos banner which was really disconcering until I figured it out.
posted by Mitheral at 8:11 AM on April 24, 2013


He seemed to be really stable up there - that seemed to me like it should be more unstable - not much room for error if you start to lose balance. Can someone with more experience explain?

It's shot with a ridiculously wide-angle lens. 14' is really not as tall as it looks in that video.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:34 AM on April 24, 2013


Only on the Internet is a 14-and-a-half foot bike not as tall as it looks.

For some perspective, 14.5 feet is two tall men and a toddler tall. Just another toddler short of the 17 foot or so peak height of the standard American one story house.

So maybe someone with some experience can share with us the challenges involved with piloting a 14.5 foot tall bicycle.
posted by notyou at 8:45 AM on April 24, 2013


I only ride toddler-high bikes, so very impressive indeed.
posted by The Deej at 8:58 AM on April 24, 2013


Only on the Internet is a 14-and-a-half foot bike not as tall as it looks.

Yes, especially when you upload a wide-angle video to it.

For some perspective, 14.5 feet is two tall men and a toddler tall.

And not four men and an eight-year-old like it looks in the video.

Still frigging tall. Just not that [points to video] tall.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:05 AM on April 24, 2013


Pretty sure I've had this dream.
posted by invitapriore at 9:09 AM on April 24, 2013


My first instinct was annoyance that someone had built a vehicle that can't stop at intersections, and then rode it through intersections anyway with friends stopping traffic. However, it looks like CicLAvia is an city event where cars are discouraged along the route anyway, and presumably he wouldn't ride it in normal conditions, so that's cool.

Also, I wonder how easy it would be to add a lever-operated kick-stand that'd make it possible to stop and start while mounted.
posted by gilrain at 9:15 AM on April 24, 2013


I am amazed though, and I guess the spotters probably help a whole lot in this regard actually, but I'm amazed at how when the stakes are this high and you just can't fall how paths through intractable traffic situations just materialize in situations where if you were on a normal bike you'd just, you know, stop. It makes me think that summoning that will to just forge a path forward is an essential component of being a skilled bike messenger, although I'm sure reality catches up with you sooner or later if you make a habit of it.
posted by invitapriore at 9:16 AM on April 24, 2013


Though I suppose the way it's shot has something to do with the fact that it frequently looks like the paths between a bunch of two-inch-tall bikers are one inch wide.
posted by invitapriore at 9:17 AM on April 24, 2013


Cars aren't just discouraged, they are banned from the streets the bikes are on. Although, not every intersection is blocked, sometime you have to wait for the traffic cops to stop the cars from crossing.
posted by sideshow at 9:38 AM on April 24, 2013


That was terrifying.
posted by mathowie at 10:26 AM on April 24, 2013


Being up 14 feet high, on a bike that you can't stop, in traffic, headed into a tunnel that gets lower as you go. If this guy were in his underwear and had forgotten to study for his final exam, I think this would cover every nightmare trope.
posted by glhaynes at 10:52 AM on April 24, 2013 [5 favorites]


Fellini is rolling over in his grave.
posted by zardoz at 11:00 AM on April 24, 2013


My first thought on reading the post was how did he get under the 10? The 405? And the answer was "just barely".

My last thought on watching the video was, he oughta just jump off the end of the pier, go out in style. That would have been awesome.

This was the first cicLAvia I've missed. Blew out my rear derailleur last week. D=
posted by carsonb at 11:28 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


For those who don't know, CicLAvia is a large event in LA held a few times a year where a street route is closed to motorized traffic and the community is encouraged to walk, ride, skate, and/or use any other non-motorized transport along the course. This one, last Sunday, was a major departure from the usual Mel-Hel to Downtown to Eastside route. This time the course went from Downtown LA all the way to Venice beach, bisecting the city; something like 17 miles. Would have been quite the ride on a monsterbike like that.

I know some other communities (Tucson, eg.) have started having these events. I highly recommend attending one should you have the opportunity. Seeing the city without car between you and without even the worry of vehicular traffic around you is really something special.
posted by carsonb at 11:35 AM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


that seemed to me like it should be more unstable - not much room for error if you start to lose balance. Can someone with more experience explain?

You know on a metronome, if you want it to go slower, you move the weight higher? The taller your bike, the more time you have to react.

Of course, if your only reaction is, "Oh shit, I'm falling," that doesn't help you. But you see what I'm saying.
posted by RobotHero at 1:43 PM on April 24, 2013


I was at CicLAvia (which was really very great indeed, I mean there must have been 100,000 people there, all having a great time) and was pausing by the side of the road in Culver City when this guy went past heading towards the beach. It was a genuinely moving, actually awesome, sight: the crowd parting, the whole road willing him on, as he peddled into the sunset. And my word, he was leathally high up.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 5:21 PM on April 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The taller your bike, the more time you have to react see death coming.
posted by jimmythefish at 5:27 PM on April 24, 2013


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