It's a good thing I didn't see this while I was there, or I might have lost it completely:
BAM President Karen Brooks Hopkins today unveiled a new mural and a bike park at 31 Lafayette Avenue, next to the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House. The mural was designed by Brooklyn artist KAWS; the bike rack, which spells out the words ”Bold winK” in front of the mural, is the work of David Byrne, formerly of the Talking Heads.
First it was "Micro Lip:"
And now "Boldwink." Honestly, I don't see how he's going to outdo himself in the "inconvenient whimsy" department next time, though I've got a suggestion for him:
The Byrne x KAWS "Pussy Fart" collabo rack will stand 25 feet tall and be placed directly in front of the entrance to the Brooklyn Academy of Music so you'll be forced to deal with it even if you didn't ride a bike there.
Then, finally, Byrne and Paul Budnitz will collaborate on a 100 foot tall monolith of a bike rack that will stand right in the middle of Times Square, bringing traffic to a complete halt:
At which point Angels of Smugness will descend from the sky and carry David Byrne off to Livable Streets Heaven as a chorus of angry car horns blares well into the night.
Speaking of bringing traffic to a halt, a Tweeterer informs me that bike lanes and pedestrian plazas and all the rest of it aren't bringing traffic to a halt at all. In fact, it looks like they're making it move faster:
But according to the New York City Transportation Department, a lengthy campaign to reallocate street space for cyclists and pedestrians has produced a curious result: If anything, officials said, cars are moving more quickly in the city’s most congested areas.
This is great news, because taxis really need that forward momentum so they can attain "ramming speed" while attacking messengers and tearing off tourists' legs.
In any case, clearly Dorothy Rabinowitz owes the All-Powerful Bike Lobby a great big scratchy handjob with one of her lizard claws for helping her get to her full-body varnishing appointments on time:
Seriously, it looks like someone dipped her in Minwax.
In other fun New York City bicycle cycling news, a reader tells me riders are being jumped on the Hudson River Greenway:
“The rope I saw at the last second, but it was too late. I was already clotheslined,” Cho said.
Moments later, Cho said he was punched with brass knuckles and beaten. The attackers not only ran off with Cho’s bike, but also his cellphone and cash.
Like any Fred worth his chamois I've ridden up and down the Hudson River Greenway roughly ninety bazillion times, though it wasn't until I moved to my current residence that I had any reason to ride it at night--and I'm not ashamed to admit that once I did finally ride it at night I was scared shitless the whole time and basically swore never to do it again.
By the way, please don't interpret that as victim-blaming. People should be able to ride wherever they want, and my own level of fear is not necessarily an accurate gauge of actual risk since I am what's commonly known as a "wussbag."
Also, I wasn't even afraid of getting robbed. I was mostly just afraid of the dark, and I kept thinking I was going to get jumped by a Rodent Of Unusual Size.
It's also worth noting that a clothesline booby-trap situation is one of the few instances in which a recumbent rider actually gets the last laugh, since they always come out the winner in that particular game of limbo:
("Clothesline this, assholes.")
Anyway, if you haven't ridden in the middle of traffic at night specifically to make it difficult for people to jump you then you haven't lived in New York very long.
Of course, if you're a Fred heading up the Hudson River Greenway, chances are you're bound for Route 9W (it's the Appian Way for Freds) and/or the so-called "River Road," and I see that while I was gone the police decided to hang out there and bust cyclists for all sorts of stuff:
From the original article:
About a quarter of the summonses issued Saturday were for speeding in the park, where the roads are narrow and winding and in places run along the face of the Palisades. The speed limit is 25 mph, but officers said they clocked cyclists going as fast as 48 mph at downhill sections of the road.
48mph?!? That's well in excess of "Fred-Woo-hoo-hoo-hoo speed!"
I mean, come on, didn't they see the signs?
Presumably another reason for the sting operation was to prevent the riders from reaching Piermont, where they'd disturb the local residents by chatting with each other and spending money at the local businesses.
Actually, now that I think about it, these are pretty dire times for New York City Freds, and here's what you're facing on your next stretchy-pants ride:
And that's to say nothing of the legions upon legions of triathletes who stream up and down this route all weekend long, teetering on their aerobars and coming to an abrupt stop as they shuffle through the hairpin on the GWB bike path ramp, causing bike traffic to back up all the way across the span.
Now you see why I stick to my side of the river, scampering around in the woods where my biggest worry is Son of Sam-inspired Satanists.
Lastly, here's a public service announcement asking you to please dint stand in the bike lane:
pedestrian who made me fall - m4w (Midtown West)
Thank you for making me bust my ass on 6 ave. Thank you so much ...please dint stand on the bike lane
As for what a "dint stand" is, I'm not sure, but I assume it's either the pedestrian equivalent of a trackstand, or else it's just "don't stand" but in a French accent.