(New Zealand: Now with 30% more zeal than the old Zealand!)
About a thousand or so miles off the coast of this world power is an obscure island nation-state called "Australia." Famous Australians include Paul Hogan:
Tour de France winner Cadel Evans:
And I can't really think of anybody else.
Well, as I've mentioned ad nauseum (Latin for "just add vomit"), next week I'm going to Australia, and in particular Melbourne, which is an Australian city where they're having a Melbourne Writers Festival and I'm part of the festivities:
For those of you who will be attending the festival I look forward to seeing you, and as for the rest of you what this means is that I won't be posting from now (well, after this post) until Tuesday, September 3rd, at which point I will resume regular updates--at least until my next trip, but I can't even wrap my head around that at this point since all I can think about right now is how freaking far away Australia is.
Flights this long are like a slow-motion kick in the "pants yabbies."
As for why I won't be posting from Australia, well it's possible I might anyway, but I'm assuming I won't because busy jetlag other excuses blahblahblah.
Oh, I just remembered more famous Australians! Midnight Oil!
(Can you sleep while your bed is burning? Because I can't.)
Wait, is that Midnight Oil? I always get my Australian rock bands confused. Which is the one with the guy who wanked himself to death?
Oh, whatever, I'll figure it out while I'm there.
Oh, more news! As I mentioned awhile back, my most recent book, "Bike Snob Ahoy!" would be the last full-length Bike Snob book, and I qualified that because the little period at the end of the trilogy of books I have writ is this "Bike Snob Journal," available as of...now!
This journal from blogger and cyclist BikeSnobNYC features tips, tricks, and rules for the road alongside classic cycling wisdom from famous bike lovers. With plenty of space for recording musings while cycling around the city or countryside, the Bike Snob Journal is the perfect addition to any cyclist’s tool kit.
Basically, think of it as a fun book of aphorisms to read on the toilet that also you can write in. I love mine, and I've been using it quite a bit:
Get it at your favorite bookstore, online retailer, cutesy paper store, or wherever fine toilet books that you can write in are sold.
Also, I've hidden the above copy in the New York Public Library on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue and it's yours if you want it:
Here's a clue:
I have no idea if that's enough for you to find the book, but if you're adept at the library sciences and the Dewey Decimal System and all that stuff maybe you can find it--assuming it's still there, that is.
And yeah, no more "Bike Snob" books after this, short and toilety or otherwise, at least for the foreseeable future.
Oh, before I go, further to yesterday's post, it looks like the cyclist that cabbie was trying to ram has a bit of a temper:
“You don’t know what I have up my arm,” he said, pointing to his sleeve and implying that he had a knife to threaten a man who had objected when Olivo kicked a dog, according to authorities.
Yeah, see, this is the "other kind" of messenger--you know, the ones that don't get sponsorships from designer bike clothing companies or featured in moody Vimeo documentaries.
Honestly, though, who hasn't threatened to decapitate someone's entire family at a McDonald's?
You don't come between a man and his McRib.
Anyway, it's too bad people will seize on this to blame the cyclist instead of the driver--who now says his job is "too stressful:"
Mohammed Faysal Himon tells the New York Post that "I need a more suitable job."
Yeah, no shit you do. How about making license plates?
Oh, also, he's changing is story:
He says Tuesday's accident happened after he accelerated to get around a bicyclist who he says pounded on his car and yelled at him.
Oh, really? I thought you accidentally stepped on the gas instead of the brake.
Ah, whatever. We all know how it works: the driver gets to try on as many stories as he wants until he finds one that fits. When I was sideswiped from behind some years back, the driver explained to me with a shrug that "I thought I could get around you." Oopsie! You couldn't. Instead you sent me sprawling on a busy avenue in evening rush-hour traffic. However, what she told the police and the insurance company was that I hit her--because, you know, I make a habit of riding my bicycle into cars in reverse.
As for the messenger pounding on the cab and hitting it, that shouldn't matter. I don't care if the messenger slapped the cabbie across the face with his dick. Whatever happened, the cabbie tried to assault the cyclist with his car, he missed, and he ripped off a woman's legs instead.
I suspect the next story the cabbie tries on for size is that the cyclist threatened him with a weapon and he was merely attempting to run him over in self-defense.
To be honest, I'm still depressed over this story. I'm not sure why. It's not like there aren't a million horrific stories in New York City and beyond to feel miserable about, bike-related and otherwise. I suppose I'm fixed on this one because I can relate to that feeling of being in a new city for the first time, jetlagged and awestruck by the landmarks you've only seen in movies or on TV. Your brain's still at home but your body is in this new place and it's thrillingly surreal. So I can imagine how the victim must have been feeling right before this happened.
It also sticks in my head because I think of how, despite the crazy cab drivers and death threats in McDonald's, New York City is an incredible place. You can have three transcendent experiences on a single subway trip here. The buskers train at Juilliard. I think you have to be pretty detached from life if your eyes don't mist over from the beauty on display at least once every few weeks. But for this person the city will never be that way. It will just be the place where she lost her leg.
Oh, and just because there's beauty here it doesn't mean New York City isn't also a shitshow. Consider this:
A couple of cocktails at the Wythe Hotel led to beers at Mable’s Smokehouse and a nightcap at Post Office, a dive-like whiskey bar. After four or five drinks, they undocked a pair of blue bikes and rode home over the Williamsburg Bridge.
As usual, Shawn sped ahead, and as they ascended over the East River, he turned around to see where his girlfriend was. That’s when he lost his balance, kicked his foot into a bridge railing and broke his toe.
Cat 6-ing your girlfriend on a Citi Bike on the Williamsburg bridge and then crashing into a railing and breaking your toe?
Now that's just pathetic.
And with that, I conclude my broadcast day. I look forward to meeting some of you in Melbourne, and as for the rest of you, what can I tell you? You're on your own. So ride safe, enjoy the rest of summer, and I look forward to "seeing" you again on Tuesday, September 3rd.
--Wildcat Rock Machine