Firsty, yesterday, the Department of Transportation announced that Bicycling has declared New York City the "Top U.S. Cycling City:"
It's one thing to give the overpriced crabon bike that's going to last two years an "Editor's Choice" award or whatever, but anointing New York City as the "Top U.S. Cycling City" is downright irresponsible. Sure, we've added miles of bike lanes and a bike share program, which is all very nice. However, we've also got a police force which continues to be downright hostile towards cyclists, and which has repeatedly failed to investigate cyclist and pedestrian deaths. (Except when they're involved in those deaths, in which case they actively cover them up.) In fact, this announcement comes right on the heels of a two-week crackdown on cyclists called "Operation Safe Cycle."
And the NYPD is only part of the problem, since even if they do arrest a dangerous driver it's extremely unlikely in this state that the driver will be prosecuted.
Also, let's keep in mind that all these protected bike lanes and other amenities, while laudable, by no means represent what it's like to ride throughout much of the city:
Of course, the DOT had to start building the next generation of bike lanes somewhere, so it makes sense they'd do so with downtown Manhattan, the East River bridges, and western Brooklyn and Queens. However, it's also worth noting that you can probably no longer afford to live in those areas--and if you can, you're making a conscious lifestyle choice because you think living in Brooklyn is cooler than living in Scarsdale.
Again, everyone involved with all these bike lanes deserves a great big high five, but let's not lose sight of the fact that bike lanes are still mostly a luxury amenity in this town.
Yet ironically, if you're a cyclist who lives in one of these so-called "bike lane deserts," you almost don't want the protected bike lanes to come, because in neighborhoods like these the police at least leave you alone.
And this is just the major stuff! How is it that the biggest city in America, one with a vast subway system as well as the two largest commuter rail systems in the country, doesn't even have a single train with a goddamn bike hook on it?
The Long Island Railroad and Metro North are potential gateways to amazing all-day cycling adventures, but not when you're only option is to wedge your bike into the handicapped seating area.
I love New York, and I love cycling in New York. However, even in the most luxurious buffered bike lane, I ride with the knowledge that if a texting SUV driver leaps the divider and takes me out that the best case scenario for me is a New York Post blurb containing the phrases "no criminality suspected" and "the rider was not wearing a helment," as well at least three instances of spelling "pedal" as "peddle." So until that changes and I feel as "legitimate" on my bike as I do in my car, all of this cutting-edge bike infrastructure is basically just a chic window display at Barneys.
Sure, I do think New York City should be praised (and highly) for its accomplishments to date. I also realize Bicycling needs to sell magazines, and that one way of doing it is engaging in a "collabo" with America's only "Alpha ++" city. However, I think the more responsible way of doing it would have been to put us in second place with an asterisk(*) representing our massive failure in placing human lives ahead of driver convenience.
There are few places in the world I'd rather live in New York City, and if you're talking about interesting places to live we're pretty tough to beat, but as far as riding a bike and feeling like a human being goes, Madison, WI beats the living shit out of us any day of the week.
Then, while I'm still reeling, I check my Twitter and see this:
I thought it was very odd the way his bike was spinning away from him, but I don't speak whatever language that is so I just assumed he hit an oil slick--until I read this:
I have no doubt whatsoever that Ryder Hesjedal is "motor doping." That ain't just gravity. Look at how the bike scoots away from him for chrissakes!
Come on, that bike is spinning faster than a dog trying to gnaw at its itchy ass.
Then, pathetically, team director Jonathan Vaughters tries to deflect the whole thing with a joke:
Dammit, @ryder_hesjedal, now I know what happened to my electric prostate stimulator! http://t.co/7PUzynP8q5Unless you're terminally naive you've learned by now that when pro cyclists dismiss accusations as absurd it means they're true. Furthermore, Vaughters was pretty quick with that prostate stimulator link, so I imagine he was experimenting with one when he experienced a (rather messy) "Eureka!" moment, and so that device is probably exactly what Garmin's mechanics somehow managed to integrate into Hesjedal's rear hub.
— Jonathan Vaughters (@Vaughters) September 4, 2014
Speaking of prostate stimulation, if all that wasn't enough, Mario Cipollini has released a new video to promote his latest time trial bike. Sadly, the video cannot be embedded, presumably because of its "Explosive Potential:"
But I can tell you that Cipollini plays a nuclear test pilot who's dressed like a sperm straight out of the early works of Woody Allen:
And who must time-trial before the bike explodes:
This is not a well-made film, even by Cipollini standards, and it falls far short of his landmark movie, "Cippolini Bond." Also, these women are crazy to remove their HazMat suits:
Because while he may not be radioactive, I'm pretty sure Geiger counters don't register the presence of pubic lice.
Hopefully Cipo at least put the prostate stimulator in the seatpost where it belongs.