...and I'm back.
So where was I?
So last Saturday was a beautiful (for March) day, and so we loaded up our Smugness Fleet and set out on the Hudson River Greenway, which is a greenway that runs along the Hudson River, which is a river:
It was, as you can imagine, a typical first-nice-day-of-the-year shitshow out there. Wobbly riders on tri bikes, club dorks with race wheels on their backs headed to the Grant's Tomb Criterium, spackled-on skunk stripes the width of fat bike tires on everybody because all the snow was finally melting but nobody in New York has ever heard of "fenders"... As usual though, the real stand-outs were those in the Gran Fondo New York jerseys, and through it all one of these riders--who still had the number on his bike from last year's event, which was in May, for fuck's sake, so he's been proudly sporting the thing for nearly a year now--is riding straight down the middle, shouting "On your left!" to anything and everything within earshot. You know, like there's this guy, there's the entire rest of the world, and he's on the left of it. He's the leftmost point of the world. He's so on your left that he's transcended ordinary Fredliness and gone right to Trotskyism.
Seriously, I don't know how anybody survives the Gran Fondo New York, it's gotta be death by a thousand "On your lefts:"
By the way, that's a dialogue bubble, not an On-Your-Left-Fred-Eating Space Creature, though in retrospect I like the idea of an On-Your-Left-Fred-Eating Space Creature better.
The worst person out there by far though was the guy riding a brakeless fixie--which I didn't even think people did anymore--who was coming straight at me on the wrong side of the bike path while using his phone. This wasn't the surreptitious "Hold the phone down low and take an occasional glance" thing, either. This was full-on, hands-off-the-bars, sitting-bolt-upright, phone-in-the-face texting--basically like this, except instead of thumbing his nipple with one hand he had both hands on the phone:
(I'm paying my graphics people $1,000 per image, is that too much?)
Actually, it's possible he wasn't texting, and perhaps he was taking a "selfie," but either way he can go fuck himselfie.
So there he is, coming right at me, and I call out "Hey!," or "Achtung!," or "Hey, Dickcheese, get your head outta your urethra!" or something, I don't remember exactly, and finally he looks up, realized he's on the wrong fucking side of the bike path, and swerves out of my way. And what does he say as he passes me?
Thanks. Not "Sorry," but "Thanks," like I just passed him the fucking ketchup. In a way it was just like that doofus who made me pump up his tire for him on New Year's Day, in that he was operating under this assumption that there's such a thing as a "cycling community" that exists entirely to facilitate his cycling enjoyment. It's like we all exist in order to be this guy's goddamn eyes for him while he's choosing the right Instagram filter for his stupid greenway fixie adventure. "Thanks?" Seriously? You think I warned you for your sake? I don't give a shit if you ride right into the Hudson River. No, I just didn't want you to hit me. In fact, if I hadn't had a human child on the back of my bike I wouldn't have warned him at all. Instead, I'd have dismounted and ghost-ridden the Big Dummy right into him like a big green smugness torpedo. Do you really think 200lbs of fixie and rider are going to make a dent in that tank? Because I sure don't.
Anyway, other than that it was a great day of family-style bicycle cycling, and then later I got sick and threw up saag paneer. ("Saag paneer" is an Indian dish, and not a trendy brand of Danish pannier.)
In other news, a number of readers have informed me that we won't be seeing too many more rail trails, since a Supreme Court Justice thinks they might result in bicycles running through people's houses:
"I certainly think bicycle paths are a good idea," he said, but "for all I know, there is some right-of-way that goes through people's houses, you know, and all of a sudden they are going to be living in their house, and suddenly a bicycle will run through it."
I ride on a converted rail trail regularly and I have yet to see a bicyclist go crashing through somebody's home. Even if texting fixie guy were to veer off the path, fly off the embankment, and slam into somebody's Cape Cod, I can't imagine he'd do much more than dent the rain gutter. Granted, the current fat bike craze could make bicycles more destructive to homes, but then again the big balloony tires would probably spare the house from damage altogether. The point is, we don't know until we conduct extensive crash testing, so if you own a fat bike go outside and ride it at full speed into your neighbor's house immediately.
One thing's for sure though, and it's that if anybody could ride a bike through someone's house, it's this Breyer guy:
The 74-year-old justice fell while riding his bike along Washington's National Mall on Friday afternoon, NPR's Nina Totenberg tells our Newscast unit.
This makes the third time Breyer has sustained a major injury while riding his bicycle. In May 2011, the justice broke his collarbone riding near his home in Cambridge, Mass. In 1993, Boston.com reports, he suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs when a car hit him in Boston's Harvard Square.
He's like the Cadel Evans of the Supreme Court.