Obviously everybody’s seen this by now:
Nevertheless, I should note three things. Firstly, the president of Turkmenistan is a dentist…
…and yet he doesn’t ride a Serotta!
Though we do know from whom he has been taking his footwear cues:
Secondly, his casual attire notwithstanding, he’s clearly a serious mountain biker because note that lever on his handlebars:
That’s either a suspension fork lockout, a dropper post actuator, or a device that, when pulled, instantly executes all of his political enemies.
Or maybe all three.
Finally–and most egregiously–he is NOT WAERING A HELMENT!!!
Clearly he is drunk with power.
By the way, bike lane opponents like to say the government is trying to force people to ride bikes, but he’s really trying to force people to ride bikes:
The leader of one of the world’s most authoritarian states has gone to extreme lengths to promote cycling among his subjects.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow of Turkmenistan has reportedly ordered all citizens to buy bikes in preparation for a mass event on 1 September.
Now that’s a human rights abuse, as anyone who’s ever taken part in a giant charity ride can attest:
But human rights groups say Turkmenistan remains one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Jennifer Lopez was heavily criticised in July for singing “happy birthday” to the President. Her publicists insisted she would not have performed had she been aware of potential human rights abuses.
To this day, the rollout of the Five Boro Bike Tour remains one of the most brutal experiences I’ve ever had to endure–and I was at David Byrne’s New Yorker Festival event, so that’s saying something.
Lastly, speaking of authoritarian states, apparently out in Suffolk County someone’s been trying to pass a reckless cycling law:
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, in a rare rebuff of the County Legislature, has vetoed a bill aimed at curbing reckless bicycling.
The measure, approved by the legislature last month, would have enabled police to confiscate bikes and issue fines to cyclists who weave through traffic or ride with no hands, among other infractions. But it sparked strong criticism from cycling advocates, who said the bill was overly punitive, redundant with other traffic laws, and did little to make streets safer.
…and a three-foot passing law, go figure:
Legis. Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) said she is working on a revised reckless-cyclist bill that would be more targeted and specific.
“I’m glad the discussion is continuing, because we do need a solution to the reckless biking problem in my community,” she said. “But I don’t think the bill that passed is the answer.”
Hahn also has introduced two other road safety bills. One would require motorists to leave 3 feet between their cars and cyclists. The other would extend the same requirements around pedestrians and other “vulnerable road users.”
“But how the hell are we supposed to leave three feet when they keep swerving?!?,” I’m assuming every motorist at every meeting said.
Those damn bikers should watch some more Turkmenistani propaganda, they might learn a thing or two about holding their line…