Monday, June 18, 2012

Virtual Stupidity: Crossing the Boundary into the Surreal

While channel surfing this weekend, I stumbled upon the movie "Saving Private Ryan."  This is a movie that I can pick up on at pretty much any point at any time and just start watching.  I think it drives the GEEC crazy when I do this - but there it is nonetheless.  At any rate, the part that I came in on was where the platoon led by Tom Hank's character (Captain Miller) finally engages Ryan's squadron which has been charged with defending a bridge deep in enemy territory.  After telling Ryan that he is being discharged from the army and sent back home, Ryan says that he refuses to leave his post.  Hanks is flummoxed by this and confides in his Sargent saying,

"We have crossed over some strange boundary here.  The world has taken a turn for the surreal."

This is pretty much exactly how I feel regarding some of the recent cycling news:

First came this message across twitter from Mathew McConaughey:

Following the link in the tweet leads you to a site titled "Stop the investigation of the USADA into Lance Armstrong" which is an online petition aimed at collecting 25,000 virtual signatures by July 13th to hopefully encourage the Obama administration to intervene.  So let me get this straight.  LA's defense has now devolved to the point of deploying a full "Bro-shield" from a guy whose new movie is about male strippers?

Mathew McConaughey appearing soon in a theatre near you in the feature film "Magic Mike"....released under the title of "Crocodile Dundee part IV" in France.

Wow.  Good luck with that.

And on to something equally as ludicrous has to be the story of the family of a cyclist who was killed on his bicycle who is now suing Strava.

"Two years ago, William "Kim" Flint was killed on his bicycle as he allegedly tried to beat a Strava speed record.  This morning, his survivors say they plan to file a negligence lawsuit against San Francisco-based Strava, claiming Strava are responsible for ensuring the crowd-sourced routes are safe......Since Flint's death in June 2010, some people believe Strava encourages people to ride recklessly so they can improve their rankings on Strava." 

For starters, I openly admit to being rather anti-Strava.  This is just personal opinion, obviously, but I guess I feel like if you want to race somebody, then go line up next to the person and duke it out on the road, not in the virtual ether.  But that's just me.  Admittedly, I have no experience with Srava, and maybe if I played with it a bit, I'd suddenly be asking myself what I ever did without it.  However, I get my ass kicked by real live cyclists all the time, so why would I want the beating to continue in perpetuity and for every other Strava member to publicly witness?  Is my real-life humiliation not enough?  But I wonder - say for example in the Columbia area - is there a list for the fastest ascents up Easley Hill?  I suspect that if local hard-ass Dan Miller was on Strava, then he'd own the top 20 spots on that list just like this kid I knew in middle school (Mark Hendershot) who laid claim to the top 10 scores on the DonkeyKong arcade game at the local RiteAid.  And truth be told - we all thought Hendershot was one DonkeyKong playing mean-ass mother fucker...but one has to wonder how much more he might have accomplished as a 12 year old if he wasn't always staring in awe at the list of his pixelated initials on that machine.  At any rate, the family suing Strava might as well sue the company that manufactured his bicycle as well, since they no doubt encouraged William to actually ride it outside, thus putting him in danger.....and then they might as well sue the county for building the road which he was killed on as it was clearly enticing people to ride bikes on it.

And speaking of dangerous bicycle encounters, comes the story of the Massachusetts man who was attacked while riding his bicycle by a man swinging a string of sausages! 
Actually, this kind of strategy could come in real handy this coming cross season.

And speaking of swinging phallic meat, comes this photo of the Manx Missile himself, Mark Cavendish, who apparently has decided to finally embrace his inner hipster.

Credit to his main squeeze.

A turn for the surreal, indeed.

1 comment:

  1. "Strava has already marked South Hill Drive, the road Flint died on, as hazardous and removed all speed statistics for it."

    Of course this is after Flint set a record that officially existed on Strava, and later died trying to reclaim his record and status on Strava.

    “49.3 mph, on a bike. How I find religion on Sunday morning,” Flint wrote on Twitter on June 6.

    Of course Strava didn't set the fire, they just provided the matches and fuel in the form of a forum to brag/rank dangerous behavior. A shade of grey of unintentional responsibility in a person's death in my thinking.

    By their own actions post death they acknowledge this.

    I would be interested in hearing the outcome of this case.