Here's how cycling in New York City is going to play out over the next decade or so.
First, the bike share program is going to be scrapped under the next mayor's administration. Ostensibly, the reason will be that the system functions poorly:
(Citi Bike user performing the "smell test" on her potential choice.)
Secondly, that same administration will largely neglect the bike lane network, perhaps even going so far as to remove certain key lanes like the one on Prospect Park West.
Meanwhile, real estate in the New York City cycling stronghold of Brooklyn will continue to grow prohibitively expensive, and the sorts of young people who ride bicycles for transportation will soon cease moving there. Gentrification will finally stall out somewhere in East New York. Those who have already bought in will remain and breed, provided their earning power manages to keep pace with the rapidly increasing cost of living, but they will inevitably become Subaru-ized. After all, once people have children, it's unreasonable to expect even the most idealistic families to opt for a bakfiets over a Forester when the law offers them no protection whatsoever unless they're in a car. As for those who can't afford to remain in gentrified Brooklyn or other similarly fashionable areas of New York City, they'll eventually move to the more affordable suburbs, which have become devalued during the last decade or so of extreme gentrification and reverse white flight, and they too will become Subaru-ized. On weekends they'll drive into Brooklyn with the kids and go to Brooklyn Fleece or Smorgasdouche and show the kids where mommy and daddy used to live before their building got sold and the developer built that big glass tower on top of it.
As for the rest of non-gentrified New York City, the streets will remain full of speeding Escalades, Altimas, and minivans. Politicians won't attempt to curb drivers' reckless behavior for fear of alienating the "middle class." Every few days someone will be run down on the sidewalk or pinned against their front porch, there will be a blip in the local news, no criminality will be suspected, and that will be that. People will continue to accept runaway SUVs as an unfortunate fact of life, along with cockroaches and iPhone theft.
Throw in a few more real estate bubbles bursting and natural disasters and maybe in another 10 or 20 years the city will start flirting with bikes again, but odds are that for the time being we're looking at "peak bike."
Don't worry though, amateur bike racing will be totally unaffected by any of this, and New Yorkers will continue to purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth of equipment to ride around and around the park at 6:00am.
As for me, I'm striking out for Antarctica. Won't you contribute to my Kickstarter?
(Via a reader, in a roundabout way.)
I'm always moved by the uniquely human quality that drives us to undertake utterly pointless and completely miserable adventures, such as journeying all the way down to the planet Earth's frozen scranus and cycling right into its frigid and forbidding butthole:
I realize a lot of places like to think they're Earth's butthole (I'm looking at you, Cleveland), but you can't argue with anatomy. If you pick up the Earth and flip it over, you're looking at the South Pole.
By the way, yesterday I took took an utterly pointless and completely miserable adventure when I rode a bicycle all the way from New York City's north pole to its trendy and forbidding butthole in Brooklyn. Fortunately though, the city provided me with plenty of bike lanes to aid me in my journey:
After riding into the third girder I eventually "took the lane" like a good vehicular cyclist. Fortunately I was riding my spermcycle, which always commands respect from motorists:
Its fairing also offers plenty of privacy:
"Another freaky aspect of the fairing is that it obscures everything else that's going on underneath there."
Speaking of crotches, here are my pants:
(All my pants are now on the floor so obviously I'm not wearing any.)
Remember how a few years ago everyone started making cycling jeans all of a sudden? Well, because I have a bike blog, somehow I wound up with a pair of Levi's cycling jeans and a pair of Rapha cycling jeans. Since obtaining them, I was kind of curious which crotchal area would fail first as a result of all my velomobile sub-fairing self-fondlings, and I can officially announce that the first casualty was the Levi's:
(This could be your wang.)
The hole actually appeared months ago but I only retired the pants when the hole became large enough that I might inadvertently teabag my own top tube. As for the Raphas, they're holding up much better, but there are signs of potential failure just aft of the scranular region:
Anyway, the Rapha pants cost thrice as much as the Levi's, but it appears that they may also last thrice as long, so the obvious conclusion to be drawn from all of this is that you should just forget about the whole bikey pants thing and just wear whatever's in your closet because your saddle (or your grundle sweat) is just going to eat right through them anyway.
Throw up in your mouth all you want, but this is exactly the crap you need to know. Plenty of "urban cycling" bloggers are happy to plug this stuff, but none of them actually put their perineums where their mouths are and follow through with a long-term test.
Lastly, a man who may or may not be rock and roll superproducer Rick Rubin doesn't like salmon:
That's the scariest thing I've seen in a long time.