Rage Against the Algorithm - Sunday Comics with Taj Mihelich

Jan 5, 2020
by Taj Mihelich  

2020 has arrived and I am buried under some feet of snow in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Riding season is a few months away but I’m already dreaming about it. My winter project is to piece together a new bike build.

I guess it is the contrarian Gen X in me but I tend dislike corporate algorithms telling me what I’m going to like.

I am deeply offended when Netflix keeps pushing the show Frasier on me, and I am constantly annoyed by Instagram’s assumption that because I follow bike riders and skateboarders I’ll love scooter-ers. Not unlike front-flips or heel-clickers, I just can not get into scooters. I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life... We’re all fighting our own battles… You do what-you-gotta’-do and scoot-if-you-want-to.

The problem is the other Gen X trait that I now have to wear stupid magnifying glasses when I draw and my phone is starting to look blurry.


  • 74 1
 I remember when I first had to wear reading glasses... 20 years ago. Get used to it, kid. As the great philosopher, Pink Floyd said, " Another day older and another day closer to death". Criminy, now I have to wear prescription glasses to ride. At 61, this beats the hell out of not riding.
  • 42 5
 The lyric is "The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older, Shorter of breath and one day closer to death"
  • 70 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Give him a break - he's 61 and living those lyrics all too well!
  • 27 0
 Which one's Pink?
  • 19 2
 @neimbc: well, I just can't in good faith let Dave Gilmore be misquoted. Plus I figured the correction was was gonna happen eventually. Also I didn't want to just "Ok Boomer" the old fella, I'm trying to turn over a new leaf. Since I'm only 18 years his junior, I'm also concerned that "Ok Gen-Xer" is coming soon.
  • 8 0
 and lets not forget the wise lyrics "magnets, how do they work"
  • 11 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: And I can't let "Gilmour" be mispelled. (But pretty sure Waters wrote the lyrics.)
  • 33 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: I only realized last year that "Dark Side of the Moon" album had the song "Time" on one side, and ""Money" on the other.
You literally had to choose time or money every time you played the album, just like life.
("Time" is of course the better song by far, IMHO)
  • 9 1
 @woofer2609: I cant stop myself from engaging you on this. While "Time" is one of the best songs of any songs, I've always loved how "Money" rocks.
  • 6 0
 @woofer2609: not a huge Dave fan but "Time" is one of the most melodic guitar solos in rock music. It gives me tingles which the kids now call ASMR. Clinical times.
  • 4 0
 @woofer2609: Mind blown.
  • 5 0
 @flaflow: I must be a mommas boy, because mother has always been one of my favorites.
  • 7 0
 @MtbSince84: the song is credited to all of the artists in Floyd, but he sings it and it's pretty widely accepted that Gilmour was the driving force behind Dark Side.

Also I had to add Gilmour to my phone's dictionary, since it just again tried to correct it to "Gilmore" and then suggested "Girls" as the next word.
  • 4 0
 @flaflow: I think "Money" got overplayed for me as a kid. They're both great. "Time" just strikes a chord with me as a mid-lifer coming to terms with mid life.
  • 2 0
 Come in here dear boy have a cigar you're gonna go far... You're gonna fly high you're never gonna die.
  • 7 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: puts down key board, grabs Dark Side ALBUM. Be back tomorrow.
  • 3 0
 @flaflow: Not only that, it rocks in 7/4 timing. (ie: you count 7 beats before you have to start again). It's an unusual time signature for a classic rock song. Well OK, it's not that unusual if you listen to a lot of Tool.
  • 1 0
 @woofer2609: So what is on the Dark side of the Moon, because we can only see one side?
  • 1 1
 @aljoburr: There is no dark side of the moon really. As a matter of fact it's all dark.
  • 1 0
 This is my favorite thing that old guys complain about. "You're gonna need glasses someday, KID!"
While a lot of us have been wearing glasses since we were younger than 10 years old.

I've also noticed that the most well preserved fossils are the ones that whine and complain about their bodies the most.
  • 7 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps: Boomers and Millennials need to understand. There is a Generation in between them that hates them both equally. And our music was better.
  • 4 0
 @intensecp: Don't forget my ability to spell "you're" correctly also dates me.
  • 2 0
 @intensecp: Double Criminy! I just made two more idiotic mistakes that show my age. I can't even type accurately now.
  • 1 1
 @fruitsd79: meh... I don't hate anyone for generational reasons. Mean people suck. Trolls suck. Entitled people suck, it just happens that there a lot of entitled millennials, however, that's mostly because of crappy gen-xers who tried to raise their kids as their best friends. Really millennials are our fault. Fortunately, I waited till I was old and witnessed the downfall of a generation before I reproduced.
I've got some great millennial friends. Hell even my wife is on the wrong side of the millennial cusp.
Let's all try some understanding.
  • 38 8
 what happened to kids, why the f*ck are scooters even a thing. I was at an indoor park in montreal and I had never seen a park this filled with 100% scooter kids. it blows my mind, these things were lame as hell back in the day, and they still are.
  • 94 2
 I don't understand them completely but anything that kids are doing outside is better than them constantly being on phones or only playing games at home.
  • 25 0
 I can only assume that they're a shit ton cheaper than a BMX or MTB and still fun. My kids won't be getting one though. Better outside on a scooter than inside on the PlayStation
  • 7 0
 @vid1998: Completely agree! Noting that, I should go for a ride lol
  • 11 3
 A top level scooter can cost as much as a good entry level bmx an way more €£$ than a top level board. As an entry to skate park culture for kids that may be too young for skate park culture, (kids that where in my day on swings an roundabouts or playing it/tag) they have kept a flagging industry of skate/bmx going in low times. Most skate/bmx shops also carry scoot as do the distro's. Weather this is good for the culture is questionable, parks packed with clueless scooter rats, Mum an dad dropping off little Johnny at the park an go shopping only to get a phone call about little Johnny's broken arm...
We made it through the fruit boot days an when scooters die off skate an bmx will still be alive.
Any one over 10 on a scooter though.. just as f*cking lame as able bodied mobilitE bike riders
  • 13 2
 It’s simple: chasing a skateboard is a pita, falling off a skateboard hurts, and riding a skateboard well takes a lot of skill and practice, so riding a skooter solves all of these issues.

That said, skooters are lame.
  • 4 8
flag scotttherider (Jan 5, 2020 at 7:40) (Below Threshold)
 As much as I hate scooters this clip still gets me and I have mad respect for this kid!

  • 9 0
 @nurseben: Exactly. Because scooters cost as much as a skateboard, but take little to no skill to ride.
  • 8 1
 @scotttherider: nope, still on a scooter.
  • 1 0
 If you can walk you can ride a scooter, hence the popularity.
  • 1 0
 Not sure either. But my kid and all his friends love em. What’s a dad to do?
  • 1 0
 @CustardCountry: Skateboards though, not expensive at all, anything but a scooter haha, but 100% agree better outside on something
  • 2 0
 @CustardCountry: Better off with a balance bike, just like a scooter with bigger wheels!
  • 1 1
 Always had the opinion kids that scooter are too scared to ride BMX and not skilled enough for a skateboard. It also is hilariously cheap and easy to get into the "sport", every major department stores has them on the shelf.
  • 1 0
 Scooter are Good way to learn frame whips, before try trying on a BMX or any other bike for that matter, other than that Yes pretty lame?
  • 1 0
 It’s not the scooters it’s the kids that usually ride them.
I would highly suggest watching this video and other pro scooter riders. m.youtube.com/watch?v=umP30QaYIVc Skip ahead to 9:10 if you don’t want to watch the whole video.
  • 25 7
 Why all the hatred for scooters? They're just someone else's idea of having fun - in that case, it's ok for walkers and horse riders to hate on us. And if that's not ok, we need to quit the hating.
  • 8 8
 Really. Why the f*ck are you all so judgmental? Who cares if some kid is riding a scooter, if they are having fun then go for it. Oh you are “better” bc you had to suffer through years of learning and owies to have half the fun on a skateboard as a kid can have on a scooter in a day.
  • 5 1
 @Rasterman: I think you misunderstood the guy?
  • 1 2
 @hellanorcal: sorry my response was to all the people bashing on kids in scooters. I agree with the OP
  • 7 1
 @Rasterman: they are a genuine pain in the ass on pump tracks. I blame the parents ignoring the signs stating what pump tracks are for. And they are far too busy being self absorbed in thiere phones checking out face book and Instagram.
  • 2 0
 @Sshredder: the problem is the parents not the kids. If said kid was on a coaster brake bike it would just just as big of a pain.
  • 3 1
 @Austink: thank you for agreeing with exactly what I said.
  • 1 0
 @Sshredder: I am definitely agreeing with you!
  • 6 3
 Had you spent any time in a multi use skatepark you’d understand. They swirl around the drain like they’re turds about to get flushed, in groups, with zero awareness of the fellow park users. This is well known fact. By the time they figure out how skatepark etiquette works, they’ve moved on the skateboards or bikes... or go back to PlayStation.
  • 3 0
 @Eatsdirt: 100% spot on. God forbid you ask them to take turns and you'll have an angry mini-van driving mom threatening to call the police on you for harassing their child (literally happened to me and some friends yesterday). There is nothing worse than having a great time and 14 little kids throw their scooters in the bowl you and your friend were sessioning. There is no taking turns, there is no order, it's just chaos and can ruin the session.
  • 3 0
 @nsmithbmx: I watch the kids and let them have fun. Then inevitably the kid falls with the parents not watching at all. Its very entertaining . The child eyes get watery I ask if they are OK. The kid looks at me all confused thinking your not my mom/ dad. I tell the child to go find the parents . They meet and the kid starts bawling and I get some fast laps in.
I have also taught many kiddies what a pump track is and how to pump while the parents are deep in to Face book or insta. These are community pumptracks I want everyone to have fun . I have also seen some fast scooter rippers that know what's going on.
I guess it's up to me to educate the kids on how to pump track and educate the parents pump track rules to keep everyone safe.
  • 18 0
 Got my four year girl riding on two wheels yesterday, later we drive by a skate park or should I say scoot park. “ Daddy what are those, I want one” FML I was so close.
  • 32 0
 Stay vigilant, get her a skateboard in addition to the bike if you have to.
  • 9 0
 On an Android device:
Settings > Google > Ads > Reset advertising ID

I've found this to be helpful in curbing those "tailored" ads for FB and Chrome. Not sure about IG though?
Hope this helps.

  • 11 0
 My favorite scooter trick is 4 step drop to chin check whiplash !
  • 6 2
 Ok - let me explain why skaters hate scooter kids -
Scooter kids have no idea how the lines work at a skatepark. They do not want to or cant carve, all they want to do is go through the bottom flat and do fly-outs( jump off the coping onto the deck ) . This causes constant snaking and being in the way of skaters using different parts of the park / bowl for pumping or setting up for there next trick. Its the equivalent of playing baseball on a golf course - a stick and ball but a different objective in the wrong place
Most skaters over the age of 30 believe the scooter-toss should be one of the disciplines for skateboarding in the olympics
  • 9 2
 Could be worse, could be fruit booters...
  • 6 3
 I’ll have to disagree. Scooters are the lowest.
  • 6 0
 @dubod22: I've reached a place in life where they have never impinged upon my consciousness, so I have only indifference for them...
  • 3 0
 I'm a closet fruit booter.
  • 1 8
flag nurseben (Jan 5, 2020 at 7:40) (Below Threshold)
 In my yut I descended all the major grades in the Tahoe region on “fruit boots”, as well as skated from Reno to Genoa and back. In my free time I jumped large stair sets and big drops. Got lots of scars from those days. I also used to skate, did a lot of the same stuff, but had more fun in my boots.
  • 2 0
 @dubod22: The nice thing about roller bladers was that they generally skated the same lines as bikes, so they didn't get in the way like scooters. They are few things more annoying than trying to session a rhythm section when there are little kids sitting on top of one random box trying to use the lip of the next one as a quarter pipe.
  • 1 0
 Was about to post the same thing. Great minds think alike.
  • 3 0
 it catches us all - none of us are getting any younger. .. . . i do hate the suggestions too - i sometimes go around clicking on mtb stuff ( even if i don't like it ) just to wash away scooters and skaters and leather models away... . .. . *coughs
  • 8 4
 Been skateboarding since 84 until the last knee surgery in 2016. if your over 8 and still ride one of those things.......you need a do over.....bottom line - grab a bike or skateboard. No more shortcuts.
  • 6 0
 Cool isn't what you DO, it's what you ARE...just a thought. I know plenty of douche mountain bikers.
  • 3 0
 Get outside, ya yooper. This troll took his Krampus and puppy out on the snowmobile trails. or grab yourself some of those new fangled yooper snow/skis/shoes and go for a walk. Pink Floyd is dead.
  • 5 0
 You tube is the worst. It's like You tube thinks if it dangles dog feces enough times in front of my face I'll take a bite.
  • 2 0
 That first one is EXACTLY me right now. In Michigan's Upper Peninsula, scheming my summer bike quiver. @Tajlukas , are you really in the U.P.? No reason to wait to ride, it's prime fat bike season up here. No joke, it's really great riding. C'mon over to Marquette, we'll show you around.
  • 3 0
 Can we brainstorm a name for a person who rides a scooter, instead of scooter rider?

Fruit Scooter?
Scoot Booter?
Fruit Scoot Boogie?
  • 20 10
 I know I'm going to get neg for this but at all the skate parks they always just get called Scooter Fags
  • 2 5
 @Helm72: Great comment !
  • 9 1
 @Helm72: of course that's meant in the south park sense: they are as cool as middle-aged guys on Harleys.

The older guys I know moved on to touring bikes (so much more practical). Maybe the kids will move onto 4-wheeled boards without a stick or increase the wheel size of their 2-wheeler by 14-18 inches. We can only hope.
  • 6 1
 @Helm72: it’s hard speaking the truth
  • 5 1
 I just call them turds. If they’re not cutting across the bowl they’re swirling around the drain.
  • 5 0
 scooters are for the people who cannot skateboard.
  • 8 0
 I can't scooter nor skateboard so now I am riding bikes.
  • 4 0
 Fruit booters? I bet most of you ski in the off season. Basically the same thing lol.
  • 2 0
 Corporate algorithms wants everyone to be cookie cut robots all acting and liking the same exact things. Just say "No" to corporate algorithms. Lol.
  • 1 0
 There are loads of other cool/good stuff to play on that were not available when I was young, found a Speedboard the other day that looking like needed tried out, or will make my own once saw 2k price tag on kickstarter!
  • 3 0
 I guess it's time for me to dig out my pogo stick for the next trip to the skate park
  • 2 2
 "As easy as riding a bike" - there's literally a cultural phrase built around how easy riding a bike is. This culture truly needs a reality check and to get its head out of its own ass.

History lesson - People took Rollerskates and bolted the trucks to 2x4's and crates to make scooters. Then they took the vertical 2x4 off and birthed "skateboards" (i.e.: skates with a board). Skateboarders need to respect their roots.

You all come off as very insecure and the dooshbaggery of this culture shines bright. Would you like your kids getting bullied at the skateparks just for having fun? or are you just lashing out because you yourselves got bullied at the bike parks because you didnt have the latest power ranger kit or a $10k plastic mega bike? Corny ass culture.
  • 3 4
 Now they have these damn'd electric scooters parked all over down town in AZ. People just rent em and leave em laying wherever. And the lazy a$$ fat a$$ f@ggots that ride em on the side walks in busy areas... WTF?! Nearly running the pedestrians down.

MMM, anyways.
  • 1 0
 @Taj Mihelich cant get into frontflips? How about scotty cramers tire tap front flips? Also have to point out he did a seat stand front flip
  • 2 0
 Were you at Fat-Ish in Ishpeming?
  • 2 0
 I wish I had been there. Looked like a blast!
  • 1 0
 Did you know you can unlike something too. That might help with the scooter issue. Just double tap it again.
  • 2 0
 Love the cartoons, loved the Pink Floyd discussion.
  • 3 1
 As long as I dont get snaked I dont care what you ride.
  • 2 0
 So research is another word for manmath?
  • 1 0
 While I totally agree about heel clickers and scooters - Frasier is actually good!
  • 1 0
 @tajlucas Even the title of the article will fly over the heads of many of the readers haha
  • 1 1
 Geez, how do you feel about Rollerblades?

Eh, whatever floats your boat! If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad.
  • 1 0
 the algorithms are comical at best. so many mistakes.
  • 2 1
 Scooters are millennial version of GenX rollerbladers.
  • 2 2
 The hardest thing about taking up rollerblading is telling your parents you are gay.
  • 1 0
 Remember off-road scooters!?!?!?!?!?!?!
  • 1 0
 It's the second week of deer camp, and all the guys are here....
  • 1 0
 Ahahaha... so true!
  • 3 3
 Scooters are cool it's just no-one rides them properly
  • 1 0
 Zack De La Rocha.
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