SF Bike Messenger President Fergus Tanaka, Star of New BlackBerry Ad, Would be Better Off With Brakes and No Helmet

As opposed to his current setup, which is No Brakes and Yes Helmet.

What I’m saying is that he’d be safer, and we’d be safer as well.

[UPDATE: Most likely that helmet will never do him any good. But brakes would definitely be useful at some point in his career. I know he has methods for slowing down and stopping but he doesn’t have “brakes” as required in California. Most cyclists are with me on this one, but not a substantial portion of the hard core, it seems. That’s O.K. If you want to change the law, then change the law, be my guest…]

Who knows, maybe he borrowed the bike for this ad, recently filmed on the Streets of San Francisco:

Click to expand

Or, maybe, just maybe, someday he could afford, you know, in addition to the helmet, like brakes ‘n stuff. Perhaps a braking system on the front wheel for stopping power and another one on the rear wheel for compliance with the CA Vehicle Code?

Not saying you’d have to use them or anything, just for an emergency, let’s say.

Now, did those Research in Motion people force poor Fergus into wearing a helmet (which he’s not required by law to use in CA) and then let him get by without brakes (which he IS required by law to use in CA)? Seems bassackwards to me.

(And does he really call it “The Future Phone?” Like, “I’ll call you on my Future Phone as soon as I get back in range,” or something like that?

Anyway, enjoy your residuals and your ‘Berry, Fergie.


Just saying, not to sound like a square or nothing…

(I guess you got to click on it to make it go, depends on the browser…)

[UPDATE: Oh wait, here’s my bike, it has even fewer parts than your brakeless fixie. See? I mean, it’s so unnecessary and impractical having spokes and hubs and chains and whatnot, so I figured I’d just get rid of them all. Like, less is more, man. And there are fewer things for people to steal now. And, naturally, I’m just a bit more pure than you, man. You just don’t know what it’s like until you’ve Gone Hubless, man.

Bradford Waugh

(You can’t get much cleaner than this…)]

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6 Responses to “SF Bike Messenger President Fergus Tanaka, Star of New BlackBerry Ad, Would be Better Off With Brakes and No Helmet”

  1. Peter says:

    While you’re on it, and no plugs in the bars, so the handlebars can cut through your flesh like an ice cream scoop.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Yes, let’s add that to the list…

  3. Dear Editor:

    You have a lot to learn about advertising, bike messengers, bicycles, and social responsibility. I will try to enlighten you.

    First, the Rim ad: maybe RIM thought this out, say just maybe they sparked an idea that the new bb is so simple, so streamlined, fast, but simple, like- a TRACK BIKE, which doesn’t require cables, brakes, or other unnecessary hardware, yet very fast and sexy to look at. If they thought of this angle, the ad is purely genius. A man and his tools simple, fast, with no unnecessary hardware to slow you down! Zoom!

    Second,the bike- Couriers love these machines because they are light & low maintenance. Without brakes, cables, derailleurs, all you worry about are bearings, and chain. In urban areas, you needn’t worry about someone stealing stuff from a stripped down machine. Also these are fixed gear bikes which means if you pedal backwards, it goes backwards, also doesn’t coast, it powered completely by your legs, which gives you more control over your speed than a conventional bike. Those who ride regularly them swear by them.

    Third- The comment about the helmet, please do not suggest that if you have brakes on your bike that you do not need a helmet, that is just plain irresponsible.

    Hope this helps.


  4. sfcitizen says:

    1. Fergie’s bike lacks the necessary “hardware to slow you down.” That might not be illegal in your area, but it’s illegal in CA. Does Fergie know this? Does RIM? It’s not obvious they do.
    2. And the sky is blue, right? Why tell me this? I know all about track bikes on the street. If you see a mistake I made, point it out.
    3. How about brakes _and_ a helmet? How’s them apples? Brakes are more important tho.

  5. Fergies hardware is in tact; the problem is that not everyone can relate to this. His legs control his speed, kind the same principle of why there are no brakes on a tricycle.

    Subtleties make great advertising, the more I think about it, I have to give RIM credit, they know- Kudos to them. I am happy that I got it. Honestly, I did not like the ad until now.

    You depend on the bike to do the stopping for you; your mistake is that you judge those who choose to use his legs to control speed, mainly because you don’t fully understand the concept. My bet is that the courier on the track bike will stop faster, because he has more control, as the sky is blue.

    Again- you are completely irresponsible regarding your helmet comments.

  6. sfcitizen says:

    Oh Fergie, he’s so dreamy! I’m having a bromance with him. He’s super-human!

    How would him having brakes for emergency purposes interfere with “the concept” of “oneness between man and horse” or whatever? http://www.google.com/search?q=%22oneness+between+man+and+horse%22&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=off#sclient=psy&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&q=%22oneness+between+man+and+horse%22+miata&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=&pbx=1&fp=6cd6d4c3e6deab23

    How much “control” will he have when his overworked chain breaks? Oh, that’s right, Fergie is Superman so he’ll be fine. But what about those who attempt to copy Fergie? Are they superhuman too? Are they allowed to flout the Vehicle Code as well?

    Can he brake his front wheel as well? You know, when going downhill at speed his rear wheel is pretty much along for the ride. He can lock it up or swing it out but it won’t slow him down all that much. It’s simple fizix.

    Does Fergie wear a helmet all the time in everyday life when he’s not hawking his “Future Phone?”

    Who’s irresponsible now?

    [Troops are having an impromptu barbecue with a wild boar killed by Hoot.]
    Captain Steele: Sergeant, what’s going on here?
    Hoot: Oh, just some aerial target practice, sir. Didn’t want to leave it behind.
    Steele: I’m talking about your weapon. [points to Hoot’s slung M4] Delta or no Delta, that’s a hot weapon. You know better than that. Your safety should be on at all times on base.
    Hoot: [holding up his index finger and pointing to his head] Well, this is my safety, sir.