Monday, October 20, 2014

Cycling Tip for Visitors to New York City: Don't.

I don't like to flaunt my wealth, but around the time I made my first million (Vietnamese Dong, obviously, which is just shy of US$50), I started collecting art.  Consequently, the halls of my manse are adorned with many priceless paintings.  There's George Hincapie's disembodied head:


Mario Cipollini with his sunglasses stuck to his oily forehead:


And now, thanks to Klaus of Cycling Inquisition, this portrait of Sir Stanley Wiggins reading about himself in the newspaper while a butler pours tea into his crotch:


I won it at the Sobethy's auction house for the princely sum of nine (9) bucks--and they even threw in this portrait of Team Sky massacring a bunch of enemy Freds:


Note the exquisite details, such as one of the Sky riders bludgeoning somebody to death with a saddle and seatpost:


It now takes pride of place over my mantle, right next to my original Ted Striker:


Every so often I like to sit on a folding beach chair in my living room, sip wine product, contemplate my art collection, and reflect on how grateful I am for having finally "made it."

Yes, I'm a classic Horatio Sans success story, having hoisted myself sideways by my ratcheting Sidi shoestraps.  Only in America, the country that's almost as good as Portugal:


Sure, I'd be making less money in Portugal, but by the looks of things that would be more than offset by all the electricity and HIV/AIDS savings.

The other way I like to revel in my own success is by going for a ride on my fine artisanal handmade mountain bicycle that only has one gear:


As the years go by I have less and less patience for sharing the roads with morons (other morons, that is, for I too am a moron), so more and more I seek refuge in the forest--or, at the very least, the woods behind the mall.  Sure, there's the occasional doofus riding around with a handlebar-mounted sound system, and yes there are occasionally groups of "bros" in Red Bull jerseys making videos of themselves riding over the same small rock over and over again, but at least there aren't any cars on the trails.  And while I still have to contend with my own ineptitude, it's extremely unlikely that I'll get "doored" by an investment banker who throws his business card and then leaves the scene:


After hitting the cyclist, the man who doored him, Wagner, emerged from the back of the Lincoln Towncar (that belonged to BPTG Car Service) and quickly pulled him to his feet. Wagner then threw a business card to his driver and took off running towards 54th and Fifth Avenue, even as witnesses yelled at him to come back. “It's just a cut, he's fine,” the staffer told us Wagner said, before adding, “The driver knows me, I ride with him all the time.”

Harry Wagner, a worthless human being who deserves to be ear-fucked to death by a raccoon (sorry, I don't seem to be able to shake this fantasy today), is also a typical New Yorker from whom even Vietnamese Dong millionaires like myself are not safe.  Yes, there are eight million stories in the naked city, and not a single one of them justifies our selection as the number one "bike-friendly city" in America--speaking of which, I was just checking out the relevant "Bicycling" article again, and for the first time I noticed the "must-do" ride that accompanies the story:


Must-Do Ride
Head out from the Brooklyn Bridge to Rockaway Beach in Queens on the Flatbush Avenue Bike Path, and continue north to Oceanside. 

From time to time people email me asking where they should ride during their visit to New York City, and my answer is usually "don't bother."  Don't get me wrong, there are some solid B-minus rides outside the city.  Also, riding a bike is a great way to get around town--if you actually live here and have a job and other shit you need to do.  

However, if you're just visiting for a short time, why not do some of the stuff that makes New York City great instead of the one thing at which we're mediocre at best?  Go to a museum.  See a play.  Take the 7 train to Flushing and eat Chinese food.  Visiting New York City for three days and asking "Where should I ride?" is like going to Vegas and asking, "Which is the best Shakespearean theater company?," or like going to the diner and debating between the veal and the Shrimp Proven├žale.  

It's a diner, for fuck's sake.  Get a goddamn burger.

However, if you simply must ride your bike-and I cannot stress this enough--DO NOT do the "Bicycling" magazine "Must-Do" ride:


Firstly, there's no bike lane on Flatbush Avenue, so I don't know where they're getting that from, and if you've never been to New York City riding a bike for the length of Flatbush Avenue will turn your hair white and cause it to fall out--assuming you survive.  So unless you enjoy being buzzed by illegal livery vans plastered with ads for DNA paternity testing while unlicensed drivers U-turn their Nissan Altimas right into you, I'd skip it.  

Secondly...Oceanside?  Hey, if you like landfills and shopping centers go for it, but otherwise you're making a big mistake.  If I were a tourist and rode my bicycle 30 miles just to wind up in Oceanside I'd be pretty fucking pissed.

Thirdly, I've never done an official count, but I'd estimate that there are roughly 400 billion traffic lights between the Brooklyn Bridge and Oceanside.

[I should also point out that this ride takes you right through pretty much exactly where I grew up, so it's a great choice if you'd like a historical bicycle tour of my life, but I can assure you that you do not want a historical bicycle tour of my life, which is why I can confidently tell you not to do this ride.  However, if after all this you do want a historical tour of my life, I'm happy to lead you on one for the low, low price of 10,000,000 Vietnamese Dong.]

Now there is a modified version of this ride that I would fully endorse (assuming it's a beautiful day), which is taking the Bedford Avenue bike lane through Brooklyn, heading over the Marine Parkway Bridge to Rockaway just like on the above map, and then turning around and going back again.

Or, if you'd like another suggestion, feel free to email me and I'll tell you to save your airline bike fee and spend it on booze instead.

You're welcome.

91 comments:

Anonymous said...

sq podio?

Anonymous said...

wormy!

Anonymous said...

FS!!!

Serial Retrogrouch said...

podios

JB said...

The mountaining bike!

DRBfish said...

Hoot hoot

Serial Retrogrouch said...

bastardos anony

Anonymous said...

top ten

cervicalgia said...

Terrific "Airplane" reference! Ted Striker LOL

Anonymous said...

I've torn my anus into my scranus.

Anonymous said...

I've torn my poop chute into a poop cavern.

ken e. said...

"... so i got that got that going for me."

Anonymous said...

"Make poop, not war" is what my grandma used to say.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...a couple of years ago i got Wagnered too. lady came out of the taxi after violently dooring me (in the rain, in the bike lane), and while i was on my bike holding my injured arm, she looked at me and said she had to take her child to school, and sorry, i can't wait... then she fled... didn't even have the decency of Wagner to leave her card.

...I bet she was an investment banker or a lawyer.

Spokey said...

top 20

i'm thinking pretty good as my brain is still on holiday.

Anonymous said...

I'll need to wipe my ass with Bounty towels from now on. Toilet paper is just not enough.

Jake Dean said...

Oh Jesus, a picture of your MTB. Prepare for "Bro, your levers are at the wrong o'clock!" comments.

Bryan said...

so.many.dongs.not.enough.boobs.

Happy Monday bitches

paulb said...

So Bicycling magazine's credibility is right up there with the Weekly World News.

I rode a visitor one nice eve back to Prospect Heights from Union Square neighborhood via usual route--2nd ave, Manhattan Bridge, Ft. Greene, and he did like it, but he'll never do it again because he hates and fears auto traffic. My opinion of theater is so low I'd still prefer the bike ride. You may underestimate the appeal to a visitor of riding over our big bridges.

BikeSnobNYC said...

paulb,

Good point about bridges, taking a Citi Bike over one of the East River bridges would be worth it...

...though so would walking.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

JB said...

"Visiting New York City for three days and asking 'Where should I ride?' is like going to Vegas and asking, 'Which is the best Shakespearean theater company?'"

The Shakespearean theater is sooo much better in Henderson. Everybody knows that.

Anonymous said...

http://www.lvshakespeare.org/

Because Internet

PotbellyJoe said...

Mountaining bike riding cycling behind a mall? Hope you have suspensions to get over all of the dead deer, raccoon, and hookers.

The robot has a picture that is a white column in between an orange wall and shadows, it looks like the flag of the #1 city for killing bicyclists by legislation (according to Bicycle Magazing) and the center crest tells me $190 (4.03 million dongs) makes this dream staycation come true.

wishiwasmerckx said...

If you find yourself in Vegas and jonesing for some quality Shakespeare,you must travel to Cedar City for the Utah Shakespeare Festival.

Everybody knows that...

dop said...

1,000,000 dong? I had no idea you were so long in dong..

(apologies to harry hutton)

Flyover BC said...

I re-read that best bicycling cities over the week end too.

Why don't they just choose the cities that have the most bikes lanes per square mile?

Pretending cities like NYC and Chicago are leaders, when in fact they are way behind, looks to me like a thinly disguised ploy to sell more mags in the biggest cities, by pandering to the leadership myth.

And that stat a about bike friendly businesses is clearly biased to big cities with high densities of small businesses- lets call them artisanal boutiques-where there's no parking anyway.

On the other hand, all you bike riding pilgrims, please stay where are. Flyover country isn't the promised land.

Anonymous said...

mid pack fodder

McFly said...

The name Flatbush always makes me think of Karen.

Bama Phred said...

Scranus.

crosspalms said...

What, no black velvet Elvis paintings? Or are they in your bike garage?

I enjoyed the map. I lived in Levittown when I was a kid, and I dimly remember going to Jones Beach. So it was nice to see where they are in relation to each other (it seemed like a long car ride at the time).

Anonymous said...

The purity of your snarky is a thing to behold. Nice job!

cycle

grog said...

It's a good walk from Ft.Greene over BB, through China, and back over MB. Bike not necessary. But the urge to pedal to Coney is still there for another day.

balls™ said...

Wow. There are so many easy dong jokes that I don't know where to start.

That's what she said.

CommentatorBOT9000 said...

"...to Rockaway Beach in Queens.."

Did Rockaway Beach move? Did Queens conquer/annex Brooklyn?

il Pirata est Mort said...

In my unglorious career I've had rocks, bottles, and insults huled at my while biking here. Got hit by a cheken bone on Flatbush Avenue.

BikeSnobNYC said...

CommentatorBOT9000,

Rockaway is in Queens, has been for centuries.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

dop said...

Harry Hutton 'beat' us all to it.

would you like to get your hands on my dong?

The King of Park Slope said...

How about that Zloty Dong spread?

semi serious cyclist said...

Just because Bicycling magazine can't find a local city ride if it had staffers living in the city is no reason to try and "drop the gates" on waves of fredly tourists intrigued by the biking possibilities of your fine burb.

I sense provincialism as the city turns into a wussified waft of its former, gritty self. i'd love to see a rightous California 'lane control' rider take to the streets with the bike lanes, see how long they could avoid the NYPD ticket gauntlet.

Anonymous said...

Long Live illegal "livery vans"!

"mericas ass-hat said...

Of course, if you're visiting from out of country you can save all kinds of cash not transporting your bike that you'd have a heckuva time spending it all at the duty free. Good call Snob-duder.

Vernal Magina said...

Yada yada yada, George Zip...

Anonymous said...

Long Beach, yes. Oceanside, hell no.

Peter G said...

Oceanside as a bicycling destination? All they have is a massive Nathans.

I got doored as I was walking on the sidewalk. The doorer told me 'You shouldna been there'

PBateman said...

605@balls - you should start at the tip.

if you lay 1,000,000 vietnam dong from end to end you'd have about 18 inches of dong. because their dongs are small. that's why.

dcee604 said...

Ding Dong, how much is 10,000,000 Vietnamese dong in Canadian dollars?

Anonymous said...

10000000 Vietnamese Dong equals
530.841339 Canadian Dollar

-per grundle

unless you have a punchline.....

crosspalms said...

flyover BC
Chicago not bike friendly? Why just this morning a delivery truck edged into the bike lane to snuggle with me. Probably inspired by the big sign that says "Shared lane, yield to bikes."

xtian said...

Where do they come up with this stuff. I just read that the city where I live is one of the 10 most bicycle friendly places in the state, and many locals ride their bike to work. Well, my wife occasionally rides her bike to work. Some kids ride their bike to school, but other than that I only encounter tourists who wobble around on their bikes on the wrong side of the road, or on the sidewalks.

mikeweb said...

One of my favorite people has the following bumper sticker on his old Toyota land cruiser:

'Welcome to Red Hook. Now Git!'

BTW, I am now the owner of a 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 176k+ miles. It's a 5.9l V8 so it eats gas, but on the upside, I'm assured that it's one of the top 5 desired vehicles in case of a Zombie apocalypse.

Bob Ross said...

There.

Invisible Man said...

I think Bicycling Magazine might have got Ocean Parkway and Flatbush Avenue mixed up. I enjoy riding down the Ocean Parkway bike lane, even if one does have to watch carefully for turning vehicles. Then one turns left at some point for Sheepshead Bay, uses the bike path to reach the Parkway and rides down to the Rockaways.

Having said that, there are better rides in the city, in my view.

PBateman said...

@mikeweb - a jeep is one of the top 5 vehicles if you want to get stuck or breakdown.

i'll be happy to give you a tow though with my '94 FZJ80. my bicycle fits right into the back by the way - dont have to lean it over or take the wheels off (its a 56cm).

1904 Cadardi said...

WCRM,

I can identify with your critique of the Bicycling rankings. I disagree with just about everything they say about my home town. They were close, but still missed the mark.

And how did NYC rank so high with more fatalities per commuter than anyone in the top 20, and 4 times more than anyone in the top 10? They must have pulled names out of a hat.

jdlvtrn said...

Oh yes! Flatbush Avenue, end to end, make you or break you. Done it for years!

Flyover BC said...

The thing missing from the Portugal chart is the tax rate, which is about 37% of the GDP, whereas in the U.S. it's about 26% and change.
Or Portugal's tax rate is about 142% of the US rate.

Anonymous said...

http://www.xe.com/currency/vnd-vietnamese-dong

The Vietnamese Dong is the currency of Viet Nam. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Viet Nam Dong exchange rate is the VND to USD rate. The currency code for Dong is VND, and the currency symbol is ₫.

Flyover BC said...

Crosspalms.

Do the bikes mount people, in the "Shared lanes, Yield to bikes" zones.


Anyway, I'm moving back to ABQ.

I noticed that my new hood seems to be the epicenter for "ghost bikes". They've been there for years, but it doesn't seem so safe now that I'll be living there.

dop said...

What's brown and sounds like a bell?

DUNG!

Herschel Raney said...

I don't know shit about New York City. But I do know that the last damn thing I would want to do there is ride a bike. If you have ever read this blog even once, that thought should make you shudder.

And I have lived in upstate NY but I am not sure I will ever visit NYNY. Too many other destinations on the globe. Give me the scotch tour. Give me the Outback. Give me South America twenty more times.

And surely I would have chased down the investment banker and at least kicked him in the nuts. Then tossed my card in his up-welled vomit pool.

Raccoonear said...

Wait! Wait! WAIT!!!

Religion is fake? Then who starts all the wars?

Dooth said...

Wow, the way your single speed mtb is perched on that rock...well, that's art baby!

Anonymous said...

My son and I are lookin forward to a group ride and to you giving the bike industry some serious lip in Phila. Thank you for the Stoopid Taller link. That was quite good! Sarah and Elijah

Anonymous said...

Sadly, ever since the Anti Skull Fucking Act of 2007, transgressors getting ear fucked to death by a raccoon is the best we can muster.

Nathan said...

Funny post. The referenced artwork makes me hate cycling though, so thanks for that.

Jefe said...

I can't believe they didn't recommend the Cross Bronx Expressway for a group ride.

Boston's Inferiority Complex said...

must do ride in Cambridge isn't actually in cambridge - and the must do ride in Boston is the fucking minuteman trail which starts in Cambridge?

wtf bicycling mag.

1904 Cadardi said...

Hey BIC,

Bicyclcyling mag said one of the best events in Boulder is the Veloswap, which is actually in Denver. And the best ride in Denver isn't in Denver proper, it's in Golden.

Research and accuracy are clearly the cornerstone of the rankings.

Jesus Christ said...

Time to start thinking about what to buy the people that you know material things for Christmas.

Rembrandt said...

As far as velvet paintings go, Elvis is pretty hard to beat, but those ever so emotional evoking ones with the cute kids with the big eyes and the tear-drop sliding down their cheek...

babble on said...

Yeah, sure. You might very well be a moron, but I'm an asshole!

Daniel said...

I took the Flatbush Ave route to the beach starting at Tillary once as a young man. In retrospect I consider it a rite of passage.


Although I think I may have parked the bike for six months after that ride.

K-Bo said...

...the occasional doofus riding around with a handlebar-mounted sound system...

Is this actually a faux pas or are you all just really old?

Oldentard said...

Yup. Do all you youngsters listen to the same music now or do you just enjoy every kind of music? Besides, it's the woods - where else are us fossils supposed to go for some peace & quiet?

K-Bo said...

Oldentard-
Thanks! I'll keep it down in the woods. Roads and transient/nocturnal animal filled paths are fair game though right?

BikeSnobNYC said...

K-Bo,

If "faux pas" is French for "really stupid and annoying" then yes, that's what it is.

--Wildcat Rock Machine

David Pearce said...

Dear Wildcat,

How you doing? I hope well.

As Larry David is wont to say, "That said....

I know you don't might flaunting your wealth, but I wanted to point out that today's post for Tuesday, Oct. 21, now at 12:32 p.m., is the same as the one you posted for Monday, Oct. 20,, and really, it is just not fair to post the same blog post for two days in a row,

especially when you are as wealthy as you are.

Freddy Murcks said...

I'd pretty much say that heading out for a road ride in a city that you don't live in is pretty fucking stupid no matter how you slice it. Road rides are generally stupid and the only thing that possibly makes them not stupid is the possession of local knowledge of the interesting roads and where to go to avoid the car-bound idiots, traffic lights, etc.

LOLCAT said...

I can haz Tuesday post?

McFly said...

I had a guy behind me IN THE MTB RACE THAT I WON on a SS with his phone strapped to his stem playing muzak. I did not know what or who it was at the time and it sounded like a very small skilz saw anxious to lop my ear or other extremity off.

Lou Reed said...

First thing you learn is you have to wait...

Anonymous said...

VIET DONG

Bama Phred said...

Production is down at the child labor Apple factory, Bronx edition, so they called in the parents to make up the difference

Anonymous said...

Tuesday's Podium !!

vsk

Anonymous said...

vsk said...

I am in Buffalo for a week for work. Depew actually.

Miss you guys.

I stand at the ready to help out door victims.
Would be very satisfying to serve the cold dish for someone.

Snobs'z bike route recommends is much better.

I go midtown to the marina on Flatbush Ave. Manhattan Br to circle back to Flatbush Ave near Juniors and DeKalb etc, then around the circle near the north of Prospect Park continue along Flatbush to the south side of the park, take the right on Ocean Ave (site of one of NYC's worst subway disasters - the Malbone Street wreck - read about it in Forgotten NYC dot com), take Ocean Ave down to Sheepshead Bay and take the Plumb Beach bike path ... walk the 1/4 mile of washed out path, then back on the path to Flatbush Ave to the marina. The gas pipeline is now buried awaiting disaster to the southbound Flatbush tiger stripe is ok.

I just had something labelled "pizza". If you don't hear from me tomorrow, let it be known.

vsk

True That said...

"Take the 7 train to Flushing and eat Chinese food."

Never ever have more truer words been spoken.

Angry Beaver in Miramichi said...

Any truth to the rumor that Cipo is going to run for mayor of Toronto?

Freddy Murcks said...

While I am annoyed at the lack of a Tuesday post, I am beginning to fear that Snob went for a ride behind the mall this morning and that he was attacked by a bicycle seat wielding mad man wearing nothing but a Team Sky jersey. Nothing else could explain his tardiness. Could someone in the NYC metro area please notify the proper authorities.

Anonymous said...

Does man mean Bradley Wiggins instead of Stanley Wiggins blud?

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