Firstly, this coming Saturday, April 20th, I'll be at BicycleSPACE in Washington, DC:
The reason for my visit is NOT to march on Washington as part of some hippy-dippy 4/20 "Wednesday weed" legalization effort. Rather, it's to promote my new book, which please buy it:
Secondly, have you ever had one of those mornings where you wake up and you're like, "I'm done being stressed out and pissed off. I'm going to enjoy life. I'm going to take things as they come and savor my good fortune. I'm going to do what I want, how I want, and I'm just going to let life flow through me like the ocean through a whale's baleen, sifting out and sustaining myself on the positive vibes"?
Well, I had one of those mornings, but it only took about 45 minutes before I forgot about that and reverted to my usual state of rancor--and it had nothing to do with tax day, because I made $68.9 million last year, most of it safely parked offshore, so like whatever. No, it's just because the world is full of people like this guy:
You may recall him as the potential mayoral candidate who said this before getting in trouble for posting pictures of his erection on Twitter:
When I become mayor, you know what I’m going to spend my first year doing? I’m going to have a bunch of ribbon-cuttings tearing out your fucking bike lanes.
Well now he's saying this:
He says the city should offer tax breaks to employers that encourage their workers to commute by bicycle.
Wait, so your boss is going to encourage you to ride your bike to work, but your mayor is going to tear out your bike lanes?
What an asshole.
I'm sure now he'll claim he was originally misquoted. "I didn't say I was going to tear out the fucking bike lanes, I said I was going to whip out my fucking ween and post it on Twitter. If nothing else, I'm a man of my word."
Anyway, that's how it works: I wake up feeling happy, and three-quarters of an hour later I'm sitting on the toilet, reading the paper, and wishing something really painful happens to some politician's balls.
Speaking of riding to work, the Citi Bike bike sharing system of bikes is imminent, and you can now sign up to be a founding member--which I'm pleased to report I just did:
It's $95 for an annual membership, which is less than a typical pair of Fred tires that will be trashed before you even make it to the George Washington Bridge, so if you don't sign up you're a freeloading cheapskate. Plus you get some bonuses:
The first 5,000 Citi Bike Founding Members will receive:
A special Founding Member key.
Access to a special "members only" preview period for the system.
A 24-hour pass to share with a friend.
Discounts on stylish helmets redeemable at your local bike shop.
Invitations to Citi Bike Street Skills classes -- brief, informal, indoor presentations in Manhattan and Brooklyn that cover important street riding info, including concrete examples of city cycling scenarios and how best to handle them.
$10 off on registration for Transportation Alternatives' NYC Century Bike Tour in September.
$10 off on registration for two great regional rides from Bike New York Discover Hudson Valley and the Twin Lights Ride.
A VIP pass to Transportation Alternatives' Bike Home from Work Party in May.
The first 500 Citi Bike Founding members will receive all of the above plus:
An invitation to the Citi Bike "Ride In" — the inaugural ride to bring bikes to Citi Bike stations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn.
The first 150 Citi Bike Founding members will receive all of the above plus:
A special Founding Members t-shirt.
You'll also get this talking NYPD action figure:
Press his scranus and he says, "No criminality suspected."
Meanwhile, here in New York the new fixie is not the road bike, or the touring bike, or the cyclocross bike, or the mountain bike, or the fat bike. No, as we began to see back in 2008, the new fixie is indeed the café racer motorcycle:
While there remain redoubts of Harley-loving, Hells Angels-affiliated bikers in the city, the latest crop of shops cater to young riders with hipster tastes for vintage Japanese and retro European models. The bikes and their parts are affordable, abundant and easily available on Craigslist. That makes it simpler for do-it-yourself mechanics to turn them into café racers—the drop-handlebar style of 1960s Britain that is in vogue—while they hang out at gear shops and community garages that cater to their trendier tastes and styles.
"Café racer is synonymous with hipster," said Dan Rose, a partner at Dutch company Rev'it, which sells functional, fashionable clothing at Union Garage, a gear store that opened in fall 2012.
I really hope the bubble bursts soon and all of these people flee Brooklyn because I don't think I can stomach the inevitable next step, which will naturally be the hipster car culture. There's already plenty of evidence of it in the gentriverse, and it's only a matter of time before the streets are teeming with vintage Broncos and the gas fight scene from "Zoolander" becomes a reality. Sure, an optimist might think that they'll at least be more considerate towards cyclists since they cut their teeth riding fixies, but if anything that's the reason why they'll probably be the worst motorists New York City has ever seen.
Lastly, here's a little story about child-portaging:
The father was pedaling with careful determination, while his daughter, using his back as a desk, was writing in her notebook with admirable concentration — obviously putting the finishing touches on her homework.
You got the feeling her last-minute scribble had been performed in transit before. I hope the assignment was not for penmanship.
I'm not sure why this would result in worse penmanship than all the other places kids do their homework, like in the back seat of an SUV or on the crowded subway with someone's ass in their face, but I suppose it's not nearly as puzzling as that rear-facing child seat.