If New York City were a giant grade school, local news channel NY1 would be its morning announcements. (And Williamsburg would be that little area where all the kids with band t-shirts and eyeliner hang out between classes and smoke.) It's also sort of like that screen in the movie "1984" in that it's something that's always on in the background, except instead of showing the menacing countenance of "Big Brother" it features a smug Canadian anchorman. At any rate, this morning NY1 did a little Bike Month piece and interviewed none other than DOT Commissioner Janet Sadik-"Wrath Of" Khan along with Transportation Alternatives Executive Director and serial flasher Paul "Steezy" Steely "Dan" White, both of whom had the good sense to wear their interview helmets in case of microphone-related mishaps. Apparently next Friday is Bike To Work Day here in the city, which, while well-intentioned, alienates a significant portion of the cycling community as it leaves most Williamsburgers with no destination.
OK, not a photograph, but speaking of the news media, The New York Times has also been in on the Bike Month action. Recently, they posted this video about bike lane activists. Now, if you're expecting me to make some cheap joke about this guy's name, you can just forget it. I don't sandbag in races and I don't go for the cheap laugh. I'm just going to take the high road here and applaud Tim and his cohorts for their efforts. So remember, if you see Doody in the bike lane, make sure to swerve or else things could get messy.
Of course, until Doody and his team manages to clear those bike lanes, cyclists will continue to be forced to improvise. Here's invertebrate-namesake and local celebressenger Squid flouting traffic laws in order to deliver a tubular object of some kind in a timely fashion. Interestingly, as email continues to replace many forms of enveloped correspondence the typical messenger's load is now much more likely to be unwieldy and misshapen. (You can't email a set of blueprints or an outfit for a fashion shoot.) Perhaps this will lead to messenger bikes becoming more utilitarian. Then of course non-messengers will adopt the utilitarian look too as they did the track bike. Might we see a day when the new form of hip urban transport is the trike? God I hope not.
With bicycles enjoying such popularity in New York these days, more and more bike shops are springing up to service them. Recently, as I entered Manhattan on its eponymous bridge, I happened upon this sign. Intrigued, I deviated from my course in order to check it out. Here's what I found:
I was dismayed to find the shop closed despite the fact that the hour was in the double-digits. I was also confused by the name. Maybe they meant it like "'Da," as in "You 'da man," or "Yo, pass me 'da Torah so I could get my brucha on." Or maybe they mean something else entirely. In any case, I'm always supportive of a new shop, so I'll just wish them all dah luck in dah world and leave it at that.
On the other end of the retail spectrum, bag maker Crumpler is getting into the Bike Month spirit with this ebullient window display. I don't know if "BIKE!" here is meant as a noun, or a verb, or both. Frankly, if it's the latter, I don't appreciate store windows demanding I do something, even if it's something I actually like to do. Generally, if someone insists I do something, my immediate inclination is to do the opposite. Perhaps that's why Philip Seymour Hoffman's stunt double over there decided to PAINT! instead. I'm not sure what he's painting though. There is a park across the street, but it's filled with pigeons and winos. Should be a colorful painting--if vomit is a color.
Ah, what could say "Bike Month" more articulately than a tandem sighting on the Brooklyn Bridge? Tandems definitely fall into the category of "freak bikes." However, unlike other freak bikes like recumbents and tri bikes tandems make you happy when you see them instead of angry. They're kind of like seeing antique cars in that you can't help pointing and waving--until you get stuck behind one, of course, at which point they do become pretty annoying.
I took this picture outside of an Equinox Fitness Club. If I've got a bicycle and some time to kill on a beautiful day and I'm looking for a workout, my inclination is to ride. The last thing I'd want to do is go to a gym. Then again, I do have an irrational fear of gym equipment-bourne illnesses, and some people's fitness goals are different from my own. (Especially since mine don't exist.)
But I was particularly amused by the juxtaposition of the bicycles here. The one on the right looks like it belongs to a cyclist who's repurposed an old road bike for city use. Nothing wrong with that. As far as the overpriced circus bike on the left, though, it looks like it belongs to an entirely different breed of gym rat: