So what happened?
Well, there was the Climate Change March yesterday, so that whole global warming thing is now solved, which is nice:
Good job, guys. I totally would have joined you, but I hate crowds. So instead what I did was atone for all my motor vehicle emissions by putting MY CAR THAT THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK FOR IT on blocks and running it in reverse to take back all those miles I've driven, just like they did in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" right before this happened:
I experienced similar results, causing approximately $75,000 worth of property damage as well as a 16-hour blackout when the car took out a utility pole before finally coming to a stop. Fortunately I live in New York City, so when the NYPD arrived I simply explained that I had mistaken the accelerator for the brake, and we all had a good laugh over it.
What else? Well, as usual, cyclists caused mayhem all over the city...by riding slowly and learning!
Professor Jackson said he was not a speed cyclist — he pedaled steadily but not at a pace that would challenge Vincenzo Nibali, the 2014 Tour de France winner. “I mean, I can ride a bike, but this is an easy ride,” he said. “It’s not a race. If you were a serious bicyclist, you would not regard this as any kind of a serious ride at all because it’s way too slow.”
It's pretty sad that a 75 year-old history professor now has to reassure reporters he's not a "speed cyclist" lest Andrea Peyser's head explode in terror.
Meanwhile, motorists all over town obeyed traffic laws as usual and didn't hit mommies pushing strollers in crosswalks or anything like that:
A 40-yr old woman was pushing a child in a stroller west-bound across West End Avenue on 74th St. An east-bound car was traveling on 74th from Riverside Dr and took a left turn on to West End, heading north. The woman and stroller were in the crosswalk (with the walk sign) when the car was trying to turn left. The car hit the woman.
Fortunately, thanks to "Vision Zero" we have new law that makes it an automatic misdemeanor for a motorist to harm a pedestrian or cyclist who has the right of way, so the driver was charged.
Just kidding, of course he wasn't:
Captain Michael Falcon of the 20th precinct said the woman suffered minor injuries and there were no charges filed against the driver.
Sounds about right.
Meanwhile, the Central Park collision I wrote on Friday has devolved into a media feeding frenzy, and these reporters are so desperate for a piece of the story that they're even contacting me. First came the New York Times, but I was busy at dinner and my mommy always taught me not to talk with my mouth full. Then came the New York Post, and there is nothing scarier than learning that a paper owned by News Corp has your phone number. Needless to say, I hung up on the Post reporter as soon as she identified herself, after which I smashed the phone and buried it across the river in New Jersey for good measure. (They went ahead and wrote an article based on my post anyway, but at least I didn't help them.) They were followed by CBS National News, to whom I replied thusly:
I think I've made my feelings quite clear on my blog so I will decline. I wish the police and mainstream media were similarly concerned with deadly drivers. Here is a story for you, when you're ready to do a piece on it let's talk:
Remember Dulcie Canton? She's the cyclist who was run down by a hit-and-run driver who the police refuse to question, even though they have witnesses and a video of the incident. The whole thing's so disgustingly fucked up the Post even covered it without blaming the victim or mentioning the cost of her bicycle!
(When the Post is treating cyclists like innocent victims then you know it's bad.)
Anyway, Dulcie Canton emailed me this past weekend to let me know that the police still haven't investigated. (This happened on August 7th, mind you.) Meanwhile, she's still recovering. She needs to see specialists. She has bills to pay. She's back to work at the bike shop, but only part time. So she's set up a "relief fund" and she's asking for help:
So instead of buying something stupid today, why not help her out?
And yes, as far as my reply to CBS, you're goddamn right I can write a blog post excoriating reckless riding on Friday and then decry the sickening double-standard on display by the media and the police on Monday. You got a problem with that? Put a cannoli in it.
By the way, CBS also wanted to know "what I think needs to be done so that these sorts of accidents don’t continue." (And I really hope they mean specifically in Central Park because if they mean everywhere then that's just fucking stupid.) Well, of course I know the answer to what needs to be done in Central Park, so I'll tell you what I didn't tell them:
Ban cars on the Central Park drives.
Ban cars. Not bikes. Cars. That's the answer. Does this excuse reckless riding in the park? Not a whit. However, it's a trickle-down thing. At the busiest times of day, the park is open to drivers who are barreling through the park on a big wide thoroughfare. (Same thing goes for Prospect Park in Brooklyn, by the way.) So when the park's closed to traffic, invariably the next creature on the vehicular food chain takes their place on that big wide inviting thoroughfare, and that's cyclists. And when it's open to cars, cyclists are merely forced into a smaller space, which has been recently "improved" with the addition of a bunch of confusing and meaningless painted lines.
Furthermore, if you've ever been in either Central Park or Prospect Park and witnessed the transition when it becomes open to cars, you know how absurd it it. It's like opening and closing a tap. There are no cars in the park, and then suddenly, RUSH HOUR TRAFFIC IS BLASTING THROUGH THE PARK! One moment you're enjoying a nice ride or walk in the park, and the next it's BEEP GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE WAY!
So of course when the park's being pressure-washed by cars mornings and afternoons the default mode for anything with wheels is going to be speed. Drivers are setting the pace! However, if cars were banished all the time, the default speed would naturally slow as all the actual park users assumed complete control. Then, once the cars are out, you make changes to the design of the roadway to further optimize it for non-motorized use.
I mean really. You want a mellower park? Maybe start by removing the fastest, noisiest, dirtiest machines in the goddamn park! The drivers aren't even using it! For them, the park is just a shortcut. If a fancy restaurant won't let you walk in off the street, take a piss, and leave, why does the city let drivers cut through a magical green oasis so they can get home a little faster?
Lastly, I've been mentioned in this, and I don't know how to feel about it:
Click Dark - Never Coastin - DPBC from Matt O'Donnell on Vimeo.
I also don't know what year it is. It's like I just traveled through a wormhole to 2006.
Remember when fixie riders were the greatest threat to cycling civilization?
Those were the days...