("That's one small step for man...")
I have a confession to make:
("I'm all ears," Oprah yawns.)
Remember when I said I was afraid of doing an accidental triathlon? Well, I've already done one. Actually, more than one. See, back when I lived in Brooklyn, sometimes I'd ride to the beach, then when I'd get there I'd run a little bit, and then I'd jump in the ocean to cool down, and then I'd ride home again.
I feel so dirty--and a little sandy in the scranal region, too.
Anyway, if anybody wants to form some sort of truth and reconciliation committee I'll be the first one through the door, though I'll probably fall down on the way there, because that's what triathletes do.
Speaking of triathlons, a number of readers inform me that Bret finally made Triathlete magazine:
I'm not sure Bret is the best person to be giving advice on interval training, since he travels through time, and his typical workout consists of five sets of eighteen years, and his lactate threshold is eternity. Here is GoPro footage of a Bret interval, shot from his handlebars:
The camera is left behind because he is faster than light.
(It probably won't surprise you to learn that I went to a state university, where I majored in English, and the only physics class I ever took there came on a small piece of blotter paper.)
But while Bret may flit through time like a cosmic space butterfly to a Hawkwind soundtrack, some people prefer to life eternally in the past. Once such person is Pete Hamill's brother, who hates those darned bike lanes:
I can remember a time when anti-bike lane screeds were torpid with vitriol, but now they're just limp and perfunctory, like a drunk attempting coitus. This particular one seems especially phoned in--and on one of those old-timey phones, no less:
When I was a kid, I built my first bike from assorted discarded parts mined from the wood bins of our tenement in Brooklyn. It looked like Bozo the Clown’s bike. But I taught myself to ride in Prospect Park, taking several hard falls long before bike helmets were even made, never mind made mandatory.
I don't believe for a second that Pete Hamill's brother built a bike from crap he found in the basement. However, I do believe he inhaled too much paint thinner down there and galloped around the neighborhood astride a broom, and that he thought he had built a bike. I suppose in that sense he can be forgiven for the fib. In any case, the paint thinner and the helmentless falls would go a long way towards explaining the rest of the article.
Soon I was hired as a butcher’s delivery boy, and I pushed an industrial bike with a basket sometimes filled with more than 100 pounds of meat to homes from Flatbush Ave. to Green-Wood Cemetery.
I discovered a lifelong work ethic on that bike. I fought for my place in my city in the clanking, horn-blaring urban traffic. We didn’t need no stinking bicycle lanes. We blazed our own trails.
Firstly, Mario Cipollini owns the phrase "One Hundred Pounds Of Meat," and Pete Hamill's brother can expect to hear from his lawyers any day now. Secondly, did any of these "epic" meat runs happen to occur during blizzards--those same blizzards through which he had to walk 14 miles to school every day while carrying the entire Encyclopedia Britannica? I'm guessing so. Of course, it is worth noting that part of the reason he didn't need any stinking bike lanes is that people were more considerate in those days, there were fewer cars, and it's simply not as deadly to get hit by a Model T or a horse and buggy.
Anyway, I was driving my car recently along Prospect Park West, once a majestic three-lane, mile-long esplanade from one war memorial to the other. Now it’s like squeezing yourself through a crinkled tube of toothpaste.
No it isn't. I think he's confused and is actually describing how it feels when he tries to urinate. I would suggest Flomax.
The yuppie-ki-yay bike lane, where kids dressed like hockey goalies pedal in a danger-free fantasy lane, has literally painted car traffic into two lanes.
Dressed like hockey goalies? What the hell is he talking about?!? In Brooklyn, they're dressed like Audrey Hepburn--unless he just happened to see some kids who were actually riding to a hockey game, which is entirely possible.
If you hit the lottery and see 10 feet of free space in the parking lane, you can no longer use the curb to guide your parallel parking. No, the curb is reserved as a barrier reef for the Hipster Highway for Richie Rich on his $1,500 Lance Armstrong Doperacer.
OK, so far he's referenced Bozo the Clown and Richie Rich, and his most up-to-date reference is Lance Armstrong. Plus, if he can't park his car without a curb, he's cleary one of those drivers who parallel parks like a drunk attempting coitus (yes, I recycle my similies, it's better for the environment). We've all watched in amusement as people like this approach a space at a wild angle, pinch the tire on the curb, try it again, grind their rim, and keep repeating the process until they eventually give up and drive away. It's pretty obvious at this point that Pete Hamill's brother should have moved to Florida ten years ago, where he can impress the retirees with his fresh pop cultural references and tall tales of meat delivery.
News flash: Life ain’t a smooth sail, kiddos! There’s a big crash just waiting at the end of every bike lane.
I don't know who is more annoying: the New Brooklynites who are making the place ridiculously expensive with their precious tastes, or the Old Brooklynites who who won't shut up about how people don't play stickball anymore. Either way, this certainly falls under the latter category, and it's worth noting that Pete Hamill's brother wrote the movie "Turk 182."
Way to ruin Timothy Hutton's career.
He also wrote "Critical Condition:"
I think that speaks for itself, and the ultimate irony is that after reading Pete Hamill's article, hundreds of precious New Brooklynites are going to start shopping for vintage meat bikes.
Speaking of Brooklyn, awhile back I mentioned a bike corral that has become a heated symbol of gentrification, and it continues to make news, assuming you call the "Brooklyn Paper" news:
Little Zelda started a counter-petition of its own to support the racks, posting it both in the store and online, and has more than 230 signatures online so far. But while Nugent-Miller collected her signatures among local residents and businesses, the pro-corral online petition includes supporters from places like Romania, Turkey, Netherlands and the Czech Republic — none of which are in biking distance of Crown Heights.
The hell they're not. Pete Hamill's brother could ride from Romania to Crown Heights on his meat bike while carrying 100 pounds of USDA prime rib roast. That's because he's got gumption.
Lastly, here's a disturbing PSA:
Damn shame about that sandwich.
And that apple really should have been wearing a helment.