Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The last Wednesday post of 2014.

I've just learned a fun fact from a reader about New Zealand, which is that their taboo against not wearing a plastic hat while riding a bicycle is even stronger than their taboo against public nudity:


A male in Timaru was stopped by police on Sunday afternoon while cruising the streets without clothes or helmet.

Like Australia, it is compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets in New Zealand.

The man was slapped with a fine for leaving his head uncovered, while police were more lenient about him leaving his body unclothed. 

So where did they slap him?

Speaking of nudity, Leroy's Dog has difficulty believing that Mario Cipollini is a virgin when it comes to "touring down under:"
I would have to agree, and indeed this is in direct contradiction to Cipo's only extant "tweet" to date:

That's five years and counting, just in case you're keeping track.

Gotta be some kinda record.

Anyway, moving back to helments, I'm not sure why wearing them has to be an all-or-nothing proposition.  What's wrong with making the decision on a case-by-case basis?  For example, if I'm just riding around the neighborhood naked and running errands, I forego the helment.  However, if I'm out on the open road on my Fredcycle, wearing stretchy clothes and flying about o'er hill and dale, I strap on the ol' "safety kippah."

Why?

Well, looks mostly, but also because neighborhood cycling is mostly just slow-speed encounters with double-parked Entenmann's trucks and senior citizens slowly rolling through stop signs, whereas high-speed road cycling involves shit like this:



Goddamn deer wasn't even wearing a helment.

The rider totally Hincapied his cockpit too:


Amazing.

And here's a somewhat less thrilling animal encounter:


I'm not sure that qualifies as an "attack."  If anything, the dog was probably just trying to get a whiff of his chamois.  Speaking as a dog attack survivor myself, frankly I'm not impressed.

By the way, it's been over a year now since that dog bit me and I'm pleased to report I'm still rabies-free.  In fact, I plan to start selling rubber bracelets:



I may not have rabies, but I'll tell you one thing: I'm positively rabid about fighting it.

And in other helment and dog news, Newfoundland and Labrador (both dog breeds as I understand it) have unleashed (DO YOU GET IT!?!) a helment law upon an unsuspecting cycling populace:


Service NL Minister Tony Cornect said research shows there are significant reductions in bicycle-related head injuries in provinces where there is mandatory bicycle helmet legislation versus provinces and territories without such legislation.

Right, probably because there's a significant reduction in people riding bicycles.

Nicely done.

I suppose when if you can't ban bicycles then passing a helment law is the next best thing.

Lastly, I've reminded you before and I'm reminding you again not to ride indoors this winter because it's stupid:



What, no helment!?!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No time for titles!

In yesterday's post, I mentioned possibly conducting a "test" of a Walmart fat bike:


To which a commenter replied thusly:

Mr.Doom said...

The Fatties at bikesdirect are rideable and fairly cheap. The FBSO from wallyworld will shoot your eye out kid.

DECEMBER 15, 2014 AT 9:27 PM

Here are said Bikesdirect fatties:


Shooting your eye out notwithstanding, I'd argue that it's the Bikesdirect offerings that are the most dangerous, for the simple reason that they're just nice enough to send you into an upgrade spiral.  In fact, about five years ago, I ordered a shockingly inexpensive singlespeed 29er from Bikesdirect with the intention of reviewing it on this blog.  Instead, it was an almost-but-not-quite-good-enough bike out of the box that, in an attempt to tweak it to my satisfaction, I ended up gradually changing every nearly every single part on it.  Here it is early in the process, when I'd only changed the pedals, the tires, and the cockpit:


If you're wondering why it's upside-down and leaning against a tree, it's because that's where it wound up after I fell off of it.

Eventually, the only original parts left on this humble mail-order bike were the frame and the v-brake arms--I even built a pair of wheels for the damn thing--and the only thing that stopped me from installing a set of dick breaks was that my Engin finally arrived.

The Bikesdirect is now in storage, where it is waiting for my kid to get big enough to ride it.

So yeah, I don't mess with those anymore.  The Walmart bike, however, seems like it would be safe, because if it's anything like the fixie I reviewed there's no way I'd be tempted to "upgrade" a piece of shit like that.

That would be downright Sisyphean.

And speaking of yesterday's post and fat bikes and kids' bikes and all the rest of it, Specialized may offer a $1,000 fat bike for kids, but apparently this is was the "world's first" fat bike for kids:

A dubious distinction indeed.

I'm sure Specialized will figure out a reason to sue them.

In other (oldish) news, Fredly historical reenactments are the new "epic:"


Following in the footsteps of Europe’s greatest conquerors isn’t easy. That’s why Ride and Seek, an international tour company in Sydney, Australia, suggests doing it on a bike. Next summer the group is introducing its second “epic” historical cycling tour, the Napoleon Expedition, a 45-day journey from Paris to Moscow.

It’s a trip so historically focused that it comes with a recommended reading list, beginning with Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.”

Evidently you'll be lovingly coddled every pedal stroke of the way:

Unlike Napoleon’s unfortunate troops, cyclists will receive constant care, dining options and entertainment throughout, including daily van support to assist riders on the road and a cultural itinerary dotted with Champagne tastings, architectural tours and mountainside picnics.

All for a measly US$16,000:

The inaugural trip, which is to cover more than 2,400 miles, begins on July 18 and costs 12,995 euros ($16,280); rates for individual stages begin at 2,295 euros ($2,875). All breakfasts are included as well as most dinners and a few special lunches; and there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the tour to allow riders to venture out on their own.

Wow.  I had no idea Freds had such an insatiable lust for history, but now I'm determined to cash in, which is why I'm pleased to announce my new business venture:


(Frequent repetition of "history" for search engine optimization.)

Basically, I'm going to order a fleet of bicycles from Bikesdirect (or maybe Walmart) and charge riders $5,000 a head (or helment if you prefer) to retrace General George Washington's retreat to White Plains in whatever that year was:


(Probably 1770-something.)

Once in White Plains, there will be ample opportunity for luxury shopping at The Westchester, one of the finest malls in the greater metropolitan area.

Tour does not include lodging, or meals, or transportation, but I will help you fix your flat should you incur one--though I will charge for parts and labor.  Here is a typical invoice:


Also, thanks to my new Kickstarter partnership, riders will receive this fashionable pair of on-bike/off-bike activity shorts for their post-ride shopping spree:



I was amused by the video, though how is this look any better than wearing regular cycling shorts?


The simple fact is the only way not to look stupid when you're off the bike is to wear no cycling clothing at all.  Of course, this is not always possible, in which case wearing all cycling clothes is better than wearing some cycling clothes.  In other words, wearing baggy shorts and a jersey looks even dumber than wearing a full Lycra stretchy suit.  At least if you're wearing the whole schmear people have a context, whereas if you're wearing some on bike/off bike hybrid outfit people think there's something wrong with you--though either way you're liable to be the subject of a screed in a conservative tabloid:



I have to admit this is an uncannily accurate portrait of a Fred, though I took issue with this paragraph:

This means boring dinner parties into silence with endless chat about bikes, spending long hours of family time out 'training', embarrassing your children walking around the house in bib shorts (think a mankini with padding around the nether regions) and paying eye-watering sums for obscure items of kit.

What, he doesn't do the legwarmers-with-no-shorts walk!?!

Amateur.

Monday, December 15, 2014

I refuse to pay my dues until I can buy cheap ones at Walmart.

Yesterday morning I sat atop a ridge in silent contemplation:


As I contemplated, a Zen kōan came to mind:

The Enlightened Man

Shogen asked: `Why does the enlightened man not stand on his feet and explain himself?' And he also said: `It is not necessary for speech to come from the tongue.'

I then passed wind loudly, proving this to be true.

If I'm that wise on a regular bike, just imagine how insightful I'd be if I had a fat bike!  Fortunately, Walmart--a.k.a. "America's Junk Drawer"--has expanded its fat bike offerings to include this seven-speed model for $230.99:


(Walmart: Fat Bikes for Fat People)

I am strongly contemplating purchasing one of these fat bikes so that I can review it on this bicycle blog, just as I did in my seminal 2010 write-up on the Mongoose Cachet:


(The Mongoose Cachet on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn.)

Two things I don't miss: living in Brooklyn, and that piece of shit bike.



The potential for this bike to suck is extremely high, yet still not as high as the price for Specialized's iteration of this niche within a niche within a niche:


Hey, with the money you save buying the Walmart version you could buy a solid gold single-speed conversion kit from the Nashbar Gold catalog:



By the way, if you're shocked by the idea of a $1,000 bike that your child will outgrow both physically and mentally after six months, you really shouldn't be.  See, the truth is that the bicycle industry has reached "peak upgrade," and there's really nothing left to sell you now.  Just a few years ago the idea of a $2,100 cyclocross wheelset would have been laughable--and while it is still arguably laughable, it's also become perfectly commonplace.  Furthermore, it's virtually impossible for them to sub-divide these marketing categories further in order to sell you yet another bicycle.  Extracting the gravel bike from the cyclocross bike was already a stretch, and there are only so many times they can change a head tube angle by half a degree and declare it to be a new type of bicycle before even the dumbest Freds realize they're being had.

Therefore, the bike companies realize that in order to get you to spend even more money, they've got to move on to your kids:


So basically, prices for kids' bikes now are what they were for adult bikes maybe ten years ago:

But it’ll cost you. Trailcraft’s Pineridge is $1,700 (there’s even a titanium version at $2,700). Specialized’s Hotrock XC Pro is a little cheaper at $1,550, but the full-suspension Camber Grom trail bike is $2,200 and the gravity-oriented Status Grom is $2,600. Trek’s top kids mountain bike, the Superfly 24 Disc, is just $660, but the company hinted that it’s revising the line and plans to unveil new models in the coming years.

"Hmmm, only $1,700 for a kids' bike?  That's less than I paid for my cyclocross wheels!," reasons the modern-day Fred.

Also--and this is quintessentially American--if you don't buy your kid the very best of something right away he or she will just quit:

Kids are astute about what their peers are riding, says Travis Ott, marketing manager for Trek. That can lead to pressure to go up-market. But, he adds, there’s a good reason to prize quality: “If kids have a bad experience on a cheap bike, that ruins it for them. We’ve seen it happen and kids get turned off to the sport.”

Wait a minute: if I don't buy my kid an expensive bike he'll quit the sport?!?  Good!  I don't want my kid anywhere near this sport!  My worst nightmare is that one day my child decides to become a bike racer.  I'm much rather him be a rock musician.  Sure, the employment prospects for each are similarly dismal, but at least aspiring musicians have lives.

Even the the bass player for a bar mitzvah band can score, but nobody wants to be with a bike racer.

Most importantly, you can't give a kid too much bike too early.  Suspension?  Gears?  Tubeless tires?  Are you kidding me?!?  Talk about coddled!  Kids should spend their entire childhoods on rigid bikes with one gear, otherwise they learn nothing about bike-handling.  How are they going to figure out how bikes work if they never launch one off a set of stairs and land on the top tube crotch first?  If your kid doesn't build a strong foundation of skills he or she could grow up to be a triathlete--you know, the kind of people who need remedial bottle holders because they can't rehydrate without falling down:



That is one Fred-tastic cockpit:


This bottle system utilizes a familiar motion to make the rider comfortable, and that motion is "wanking:"


(Fred doing the old five-knuckle shuffle.)

Check out this sweet ride:


The only problem is it's not very aero:


I imagine a Kickstarter for a pointy bottle will be next.

Lastly, speaking of triathletes, last Friday I posted this video:



A number of commenters wondered how the triathlete managed to crash, and while the word "triathlete" itself should be a sufficient explanation, one reader pointed out that the triathlete in question has posted a six-minute video describing what happened.

If you can't be bothered to watch (and I don't recommend that you do), basically what happened is that he attempted to look behind him while riding.

Sounds about right.

Friday, December 12, 2014

BSNYC Friday Fun Quiz!

Earlier in the week I was talking about smug, meaningless infographics.  Along similar lines, some guy has now determined that if everybody who commuted into Manhattan drove a car, the island would need 48 new bridges or something:


Taylor calculated exactly how many bridges and tunnels would be needed for all these vehicles to enter Manhattan within a 4-hour period in the morning and a 4-hour period in the evening. In addition to Manhattan’s current 20 bridges and tunnels, he estimates it would require 48 new 8-lane crossings, which are drawn arbitrarily in the image above. For parking, Taylor estimates just the commuters would need the equivalent of a layer of underground parking under the entire island.

Good for you, Taylor.  So what the fuck is your point?  If everyone flew into Manhattan we'd need a giant runway.  If everyone ice skated into Manhattan we'd need more Zambonis.  If everybody paddled a goddamn gondola we'd need more canals:


By the way, Captain Brainiac drew 48 new bridges, and even with all that new construction not one of them leads to Staten Island.

I don't know if that makes him a bonehead or a genius.

In other news, cycling these days is all about hyper-specificity: the gravel bike, the fat bike, the aero road bike, and so forth.  In keeping with the zeitgeist, Rapha have now come out with a $350 cyclocross-specific shoe, and even the bike magazine reviewers think it's stupid:

Here's what they did:

Rapha took a mountain bike shoe, the Code, changed the upper, added $150 to the price, and now calls it a cyclocross shoe.

But the increased cost isn't arbitrary, and for that $150 you get a shoe that is laterally less durable and vertically less versatile than the cheaper mountain bike shoe on which it is based:

The price tag on the Cross Shoe is startling, to say the least, particularly given this shoe’s narrow range of use — they’re not durable enough for mountain biking, too warm to ride in the summer, and not warm enough to ride mid-winter.

Which basically comes down to this:

But the brand came up a little short on this one. The shoe, which is based on an already obsolete model from Giro, is not worthy of its $350 price tag.

In other words, Rapha obviously have a hit on their hands, because the new generation of cyclocross weenies are going to go nuts for these things.  After all, these are the same people who are buying Dugast tubulars at $125 a tire so they can ride on grass for 45 minutes.  And let's not forget those "killer value" $5,000 cyclocross bikes:

At $5,000, the RXC Pro Disc is a killer value for a carbon race bike...

It wasn't all that long ago that a "killer value" in a cyclocross bike meant buying a Surly Crosscheck or something, but apparently those days are over.

The revolution may not be televised, but the cyclocross has most certainly been Fredified.

And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz.  As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer.  If you're right you're not wrong, and if you're wrong you're not right--and also you'll see an appeal to those godless hipsters.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and if you're buying gifts this weekend make sure to wear your shopping helment.


--Wildcat Rock Machine




1) Defending Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali confirms Astana is on drugs and so is everyone else.

--True
--False





2) How much for a gold-plated entry-level Giant?

--$250,000
--£250,000
--€250,000
--₫250,000







(The other kind.  This kind wears cold cuts.)

3) Fill in the blank:  "Heroes Wear ________"

--Helmets
--Boots
--Helments
--Posthumous Decorations






(Typical bike messenger.)

4) Amazon has been subjecting bicycle messengers to:

--Geography tests
--Drug tests
--Time trials
--Bathing






5) It's enough with the fucking fat bikes already.

--True
--False






("Hello...is it me you're looking for?")

6) Whose buttock is Peter Sagan kneading?

--Alberto Contador's
--Ivan Basso's
--Oleg Tinkoff's
--He does not know, as the point of this team-building exercise is to figure it out solely by touch






(Just thinking about them makes him angry.)

7) Jerry Seinfeld thinks one-speed bikes are stupid.

--True
--False



***Special Triathlete-Themed Bonus Video***

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Golden Rule: Every Fred For Himself

Yesterday afternoon it started snowing.  Since I don't believe in riding indoors, whenever it starts snowing I immediately drop what I'm doing and go for a ride.  This is because you never know how much accumulation there will be, so I always make sure to squeeze in a "last ride" just in case we're snowed in for days.

I mean sure, I could also just check the weather forecast, but who has time for that?

Anyway, I dropped my knitting, grabbed my winter bike, and off I went:


See those diagonal lines?  It was really snowing, and I was really riding in it!


Amazing.

By the way, there's a persistent myth that aluminum frames are somehow "disposable," but if anything this frame only gets better with age--mostly because it is not afflicted with a press-fit bottom bracket or dick breaks or any of that other nonsense.  The frame was already pretty old when I bought it used like eight years ago, and since then it's been a race bike, a travel bike, and currently the dedicated winter bike that sees me through the darkest months of the year.  Indeed, given its years of service, I'm thinking of rewarding it by having it gold plated like this £250,000 Giant:


Here's how the company that created it describes it:

“Striking to look at, the bike is even more beautiful when in fluid motion, as the spinning spokes catch the sunlight and ripples along the golden frame."

Oh, I don't doubt it.

And here's the bike that lies underneath all that gold plating:


Brought to you by the world’s leading aluminum frame engineers, Defy redefines the performance possibilities of an entry-level road bike.

Scoff if you will, but even billionaires need entry-level bicycles--theirs are just covered in gold, that's all.  This bike should look perfect hanging from the gold-plated trunk rack of your gold-plated Hyundai Santa Fe.  Just imagine it in "fluid motion, as the spinning spokes catch the sunlight," and as the rider's £20,000 diamond-encrusted half-shorts scintillate like a disco ball.

In fact, there's such a demand for "budget" bicycle equipment for billionaires that Nashbar is introducing a special edition of its catalog specifically for them.  It's called "Nashbar Gold:"


(Free shipping!  Simply enter discount code "OLIGARCH" at time of purchase.)

It's exactly the same as their regular catalog, only every single item in it has been gold plated, right down to the house-branded singlespeed conversion kits.

In other news, this week we've been taking an in-depth look at why Australia is the worst country on the planet for cyclists (I smell a Pulitzer!), and in keeping with the theme various people have forwarded me this thought-provoking essay about why cyclists are transforming Australian roads into a "hell on Earth:"


This is a top-notch piece of trollery, right down to the graphic illustrating how motorists are suddenly and inexplicably incapable of changing lanes safely if there's a bicyclist nearby:


And how they're completely unable to gauge speed and distance of oncoming objects for some reason:

5. YOU GO SLOWER THAN CARS SO DON’T PRETEND YOU’RE A CAR

I’m turning out of a side street, patiently waiting until the traffic is clear.

Finally I get my chance. But wait. There’s a lone cyclist pedalling at 15km/h about 20m up the road.

Should I pull out? Maybe I’ll hit them. But, they’re going very slowly, I guess ... Well, now it’s too late.

My traffic window has been ruined and now I face another wait.

You’re slow, so don’t pretend you’re a car.

And you’re not Cadel Evans either.

I couldn't get too worked up over the article since it's textbook clickbait, however it is worth noting that the person who wrote it has some very serious spatial reasoning issues.  Cars and bikes really have nothing to do with it.  This person really needs to see a neurologist.

Meanwhile, in Melbourne, the fabric of society is disintegrating thanks to carriage-on-bike violence:


Basically, a cyclist and a horse-drawn carriage driver got in a fight, and it's all on video:

The incident was filmed using a helmet-mounted camera by a cyclist named Brett as he headed north along St Kilda Rd on Saturday afternoon.

"Brett," really?  Are they sure it wasn't "Bret" with only one "t"?


Either way, here's what happened:

In the three-minute video, the horse-drawn carriage appears to run a number of red lights and cut off the cyclist near Flinders St Station.

At one stage the cyclist asks the driver of the carriage for his name and he appears to reply by saying, "Yeah, it's called piss off dick head".

And here's the dramatic video:


This was the most pathetic altercation I've seen in a long time.  Firstly, the carriage wasn't even in the bike lane, the problem was the bus:


Secondly, you don't ride alongside a slow-moving primitive vehicle, arguing with the operator to a charmingly rustic "clip-clop, clip-clop" soundtrack.  It's embarrassing.  What you do is unhitch the horses, give them a good slap on the rump, bellow "Hyah!" or some other similar form of equine encouragement, and then give the driver the finger as they gallop away.

Amateurs.

Oddly, here in New York City the carriage drivers and the cyclists are probably the only two groups of road users who aren't at each other's throats.  See, carriage drivers pose little or no threat to any other road user--which is why they're the only group the mayor is trying to actively ban.  Should he succeed, perhaps the carriage drivers should relocate to Melbourne, where apparently they can operate with their trademark brand of sluggish, non-threatening impunity.

Lastly, the UCI has given Astana have a WorldTour license:


But don't worry, they're on "probation:"

UCI president Brian Cookson stated, “The case of the Astana Pro Team ... remains a very serious situation for our sport given the number of doping cases. We shall be following the situation very closely and are awaiting to review the results of the audit. Meanwhile, the team will have to comply with the two requirements imposed by the Licence Commission. The combined effect of this is that the Astana Pro Team can be considered very much to be on probation. "

This is a refreshing acknowledgement from the UCI that professional cycling does, has and always will include drugs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Heroes Wear Helments, Fairies Wear Boots, and Wednesday Wears Too Much Cologne

Yesterday I mentioned vintage 1980s Australian helment propaganda, specifically the disconcertingly jingoistic "Heroes Wear Helme(n)ts" campaign:


Yeah, you know who also wore helments?  These guys:


OH YEAH, THAT'S RIGHT!  I WENT THERE, BABY!!!

Now just try to get that "Nazis Wear Helmets" song out of your head, because I'm on 24 hours and counting at this point and it's all I've been singing:

"♫♫♪ ♪ Nazis wear helmets...♫♫♪ ♫♪ ♪ "

It's just finger-snappingly catchy, there's no denying it.

Anyway, if nothing else Australia's draconian helment laws have yielded some entertaining PSAs, because a commenter yesterday also shared this one:



It's no "Heroes Wear Helmets," but it's pretty good.  I also enjoyed the host, Ian "Molly" Meldrum:


I had to look him up, and I was sorry to read the following:

On 15 December 2011, Meldrum had a life-threatening fall from a ladder in the backyard of his Melbourne home. He was placed under intensive care in a critical condition at the Alfred Hospital and had surgery for his head and spinal injuries. By April of the following year he had recovered enough to give interviews and resume work duties.

Yeesh.

No word on whether or not he was wearing a helment.

In any case, I'm increasingly of the opinion that Australia may be the least bike-friendly country on the planet.  Sure, we're incredibly bad here in Canada's fanny pack, but I'd argue that Australia's helment law puts them over the top, and they're definitely at least as good as us in the victim-blaming department.  Consider this article, to which I was alerted by a Twitterer:


Yes, apparently they're cracking down on cyclists in Melbourne because they are either running red lights or not running them, it's difficult to tell.  Plus, you know, helments:

Senior Constable Alix Watson said the sight of cyclists running red lights on Sydney Road was "disturbingly common", although most riders obeyed the law. Not wearing a helmet was a bigger issue on side streets and off-road paths, she said.

Wait a minute.  Is it "disturbingly common" or do most riders obey the law?  I think that's what you call an "Australian paradox."  Also, why is not wearing a helment a "bigger issue on side streets and off-road paths?"  If anything, that's where it makes most sense to skip the helment.

Really though, it's all about "sharing the road:"

"Nothing bothers a car driver more, who's caught in traffic, than having a cyclist stop at the traffic lights, check that it's OK and then disobey the traffic light," Ms Watson said. "The whole idea is that we're meant to be sharing the road, respect each other and that goes both ways."

So riders are proceeding through the red light when it's safe to do so?  Big deal!  Who gives a shit how the driver feels?  It's not our fault you're stuck in traffic.  Blame the other schmuck in the SUV.  Why is it that so much of what cyclists are supposed to do dictated by the fact that so many drivers are irritable and jealous?  This is the same "reasoning" behind all these bicycle registration proposals.  "I have to register my Hyundai so those bicycle riders should have to do the same."  It's only a matter of time before cyclists are required to purchase gasoline before every ride, just because "it's not fair" that drivers have to pay for fuel.

Meanwhile, here in America's Most Bike-Friendly City (where the MTA seems to think we like to go riding into buses), relentless retailer Amazon.com is unleashing the power of bicycle messengers in its latest step towards world domination:


Evidently Amazon are looking past drone delivery and instead recruiting actual corporate drones on bicycles, and if you want to be one you'll have to compete in a "time trial:"

Amazon has been holding time trials with messengers from at least three courier services to pick the speediest and most careful for its delivery fleet, the person said. During the trials, messengers are given an address and told to bike there within the allotted time. Once they arrive, they are required to take a photograph of the building’s address and return to the ground floor of the Amazon building, which is referred to by bike messengers as “the base,” the person said.

This sounds less like a time trial and more like a corporate alleycat--though with sponsors like Red Bull and Coca-Cola I suppose alleycats are already corporate.  They also pay $15 an hour, which doesn't sound too bad, and "the base" is full of games that are fun to play when you're high on the pot:

At the base, Amazon has built a lounge replete with foosball, pool and air hockey tables; an arcade; and other amenities for messengers hanging out between deliveries, the person said. Messengers are paid around $15 an hour and work eight-hour shifts.

I guess Kosmo.com and UrbanFetch were about fifteen years ahead of their time.

Then, once they repeal those pesky child labor laws (I assume Amazon is working on that), I can send my seventeen (17) children out into the winter cold so they can finally start earning me some money--though I will have to buy each of them a $1,000 child's fat bike first so they can ride though those blizzards:


Yeah, that seems like a sound investment for a bike a kid will grow out of in six months.

I'll take seventeen.