Tour de Lab September 1st

Two new terms to add to your bike jargon

Posted by on May 17th, 2010 at 10:08 am

The Proletariat, a bike for
aspiring “aggromuters”.
(Photo: Joe Bike)

Knowing the jargon is a key part of being a true bike nerd/transportation wonk. VMT, fixies, bonk, roadies, ‘bents, multi-modal — someone should publish a dictionary of them all.

On that note, in the interest of helping you stay current, I thought I’d share two new terms I’ve come across in the past few days: “aggromuter” and “policy crush.”

Aggromuter, a combination of aggressive and commuter, was coined by Joe Doebele of local shop Joe Bike to describe a line of bikes he sells. Specifically, Joe says the Proletariat model from Portland-based bike brand, Stop Cycles is the bike for aggromuters (it caught my eye at the recent Pedal Nation Bike Show).

CarfreeConfThursday-20.jpg

Since everyone has a policy crush
on NYC’s Sadik-Khan, I’ll admit to
having one for Gil Penalosa.
(Photo © J. Maus)

The next one is “policy crush” which was first brought to my attention by New York City-based filmmaker (and man behind the lens of many Streetfilms) Clarence Eckerson. The term was used in a recent Streetfilm by New York Times ethics columnist Randy Cohen. It means to have an affinity for someone because you love their policy ideas. In common usage, the term has so far been mostly associated with NYC DOT’s Janette Sadik-Khan — the much-loved, bike-riding visionary who has spearheaded a transformation of public space in that formerly (but not as much now) car-choked metropolis.

Are you an aggromuter? (Not sure we want to be encouraging aggressive commuting, but that’s just my opinion).

Who do you have policy crush on? (In addition to Sadik-Khan, I’d have to say Gil Penalosa, who’s inspiring speech at the 2008 Carfree Cities Conference still echoes in my head and he’s the man who helped inspire cities across the country (including Portland) to start their own “ciclovias”.)

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17 Comments
  • Avatar
    aljee May 17, 2010 at 10:40 am

    ‘aggromuting’ shouldn’t be confused with ‘silly commuter racing’ (SCR). there are a clear set of rules and a code of ethics for SCR.
    http://www.itsnotarace.org/
    my favorite rule: ‘Show no pain, unless your face is just like that’

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    Clarence May 17, 2010 at 10:58 am

    And now we have a “Janette Sadik-Khan Policy Crush” button on the site until the end of May where you can see 15 Streetfilms she appears in and that feature the work of NYC DOT.

    http://www.streetfilms.org/feature-1/

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    mia meow May 17, 2010 at 11:21 am

    http://www.streetfilms.org/portland-or-bicycle-boulevards/

    NYC is far away I’ll keep my policy crushes closer to home thank you.

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    Ethan May 17, 2010 at 11:26 am

    What if a policy wonk looks so hot on the I-5 bridge that you’ll consider supporting a CRC with bike lanes in the middle . . . what is that called?

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    Peter Smith May 17, 2010 at 11:58 am

    i’d have to go with Enrique Penalosa, but it’s a mixed bag. I absolutely despise BRT — seething with hatred for that junk. but the way Enrique talks about human dignity is astounding. (and makes his support for BRT all the more maddening.) it’s not even so much the policy, but that someone who’s been in a position of power talks about important topics like human dignity.

    one example of many:

    All this (Bogotá’s) pedestrian infrastructure shows respect for human dignity. We’re telling people, “You are important.”

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    Clarence May 17, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Peter.

    Sad that you despise BRT so, because if you saw it in motion in many places where it is helping people get to their homes or jobs 20 to 30 minutes faster, you probably wouldn’t, or shouldn’t.

    Here in NYC, BRT is going to do wonders in certain areas where we cannot build light rail and don’t have the money to build any more subways. BRT is not for every city or every place (maybe Portland isn’t a great place for it, in fact I would say with my knowledge or PDX it already has great transit.)

    But anyway you slice it, the Penalosa’s are great fodder for policy crushes.

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    Clarence May 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I’ll add: someone just Tweeted to Streetfilms that they have a policy crush on Jan Gehl. Another good one!

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    Peter Smith May 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Sad that you despise BRT so, because if you saw it in motion in many places where it is helping people get to their homes or jobs 20 to 30 minutes faster, you probably wouldn’t, or shouldn’t.

    people in cars get to their homes or jobs 20 to 30 minutes faster, and i hate cars, too.

    The BRT vs. bikes debate won’t be settled here, but other transportation nerds will eventually re-evaluate BRT with a more critical eye and change their POV to something that much more closely resembles mine.

    The challenge in the meantime is to try to save as much right of way for bikes as possible during this BRT onslaught period.

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    Anonymous May 17, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Every things has its jargon. But I do give credit to all the bike shops who take the time to explain, “looking to get a bike” requires some narrowing down.

    I would offer these two entires:
    1) Improvised Cargo Device (ICD): to refer to the often unique and effective homemade trailers that gaining in popularity.

    2)Bike Event Specific Crime (BEC): to refer to infractions and arrests issues for things that seem only to be enforced during cycling events.

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    Andrew Plambeck May 17, 2010 at 2:25 pm

    Well, I suppose I’m an aggromuter with a huge policy crush on Bob Stacey.

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    Clarence May 17, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Peter.

    You need to do some serious research. Here in NYC we are accommodating both BRT and bike lanes. They are doing so in other cities.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2010/05/13/cb-6-votes-conditionally-for-east-side-sbs-endorses-better-bike-lanes/

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    bookhouseboy May 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    What do you call people who like to argue their points on bike blogs?

    bikeblogitators?

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    Peter Smith May 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    You need to do some serious research. Here in NYC we are accommodating both BRT and bike lanes. They are doing so in other cities.

    i’m better versed in BRT than almost anyone on the planet. i’ll put my expertise up against any one at any time.

    that bike advocates have finally managed to beat back BRT advocates to the point where we can finally, occasionally get some bike lanes along BRT routes is no small accomplishment — those bike advocates are to be commended.

    but these victories are few and far between, and it’s an ongoing struggle, not something to be taken for granted. in DC, Oakland, San Francisco, New York City, and myriad other cities in the US and abroad, BRT installations offer few if any bike lanes for the obvious reason that there is no room for them — buses are simply too huge, and the demand from car drivers simply too strong — if you don’t provide people with dignified transit, they’re going to cling to their cars for dear life, and why wouldn’t they?

    besides the fact that buses are probably the single greatest deterrent to biking after cars — not something you should take lightly if you wish to consider yourself a bike advocate — there are myriad other problems with buses and BRT.

    with so little real estate left over for bikes, our chances of getting protected bike lanes are greatly diminished — which is why we don’t get them most of the time.

    the evidence is clear — you can sing the praises of BRT all day long, but that’s not going to save the millions of kids suffering from asthma because of diesel exhaust-soaked skies, and it’s not going to provide people dignified transit, and it’s not going to make a city more livable. it will, however, have the predictable results of putting big, huge, fast-moving, unpredictable, speeding, loud, polluting, scary buses on the streets — fewer bikers, more smog, less livable cities, more congestion, more danger, a continuing rise in car ownership, etc. But don’t take my word for it — just do some ‘serious research’.

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    chasingbackon May 17, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    I got a 10 on the FCN Calculator

    converted touring bike
    baggies
    paniers
    etc

    love it

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    joe adamski May 17, 2010 at 8:44 pm

    Ethan #4
    Inconvenient hormones. Go take a long ride and then a cold shower.

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    Stop Cycles May 19, 2010 at 9:57 am

    We prefer the term “aggressive commuter” over aggromuter ourselves, but then again we like Imperial IPA over PBR also

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  • Joe Doebele
    Joe Doebele May 19, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    “Aggromuter” appeared mainly because I was too lazy to type out the proper Stop Cycles term, “aggressive commuter”, which, by the way, I think Stop Cycles should trademark. As for Imperial IPA vs PBR, that’s a false dichotomy. How about Alameda Black Bear XX?

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