Notice the clarity. You can almost taste the ass grubs!
However, as of late the camera is not focussing when either my subject or I are in motion. For example, here's a salmon I attempted to photograph yesterday evening:
Here's a pedestrian walking in that very same bike lane:
And here's someone riding her bike on the sidewalk in front of the Film Forum:
Rest assured I was in pedestrian mode when I took that last one, having already docked my Citi Bike--which, I might add, was in especially lousy shape, even for a Citi Bike. Not only did it refuse to stay in any one of its three (3) gears, but someone had also stolen the bell:
This was especially irritating, since as you can see from the blurry photos above it would have come in very handy, and it's a good thing I wear a cowbell in my pierced nipple or else I'd have had no audible warning system whatsoever--save for my own voice, but I'm saving that for my semi-GNAR at the Philly Bike Expo this Sunday.
And who the hell steals a bell off a Citi Bike anyway? Presumably it's the same people who steal the pens off the chains at the bank branches, which is even more stupid since if you walk into a bank they'll just give you a fucking pen. In fact, it's all you can do to visit a bank and not leave with a bunch of plastic promotional shit with their logo on it.
Anyway, despite not having a bell I lived to tell the tale, and also to recommend "Social Grooming" at the Film Forum, which is three and a half riveting hours of monkeys cleaning each other's anuses.
Speaking of stealing stuff, people also love to steal entire bikes, presumably so they have somewhere to mount all those purloined bells. Usually when your bike gets stolen nobody gives a shit, but it's different when you're a member of The Media, in which case the theft of your bike is officially newsworthy. Then you get to tell everybody a bunch of stuff they already knew anyway, like the fact that eBay is a fucking cesspool:
Which is not to say this situation isn't ridiculous, or that eBay shouldn't be getting some negative attention for this. Basically, Wall Street Journal reporter, author, and Fred Reed Albergotti's custom-painted bike (complete with his name on it) got stolen, he found the frame on eBay, and eBay ain't doing shit about it:
Though the joke's really on the guy who bought it, since some rube in Texas is now riding around on a bike painted in the livery of a defunct New York City club team sponsored by a home furnishings boutique:
Though this is not to diminish the team's historical significance, because they truly ushered in the era of the over-equipped New York City Cat 4 Supersquad:
People scoff at the portly weekend warrior riding around in the rainbow stripes of the World Champion, but at least that jersey represents actual victory, whereas the used Jonathan Adler Racing bike you bought stolen off eBay represents little more than a bunch of pack finishes in Central Park and one sad, now-bikeless Fred.
It's almost as pathetic as wearing a hat with some bike blogger's logo on it:
Just kidding, I am the Eddy Merckx of bike bloggers.
Unfortunately, I'm this Eddy Merckx, not the one who was good at bike riding:
So I guess what I'm getting at is that you should buy a hat.
And Mr. Albergotti wasn't the only media luminary to fall victim to bike theft recently, for Jonathan Maus of BikePortland was also groped by the sticky fingers of fate--though he managed to get his bike back:
This morning I did something really dumb. I left my bike unlocked and unattended on SW 4th Avenue for several hours without realizing it was even there. And, not surprisingly, it was stolen. OK, now that I shared that very embarrassing fact, here’s what’s happened since…
He should not be embarrassed. It's not like he locked the bike poorly; he just plain forgot what he was doing. Years ago I might have laughed at him for this, but I'm a parent now, so not anymore. The truth is that parenting fries your brain worse than drugs. For example, at least once a day I head purposefully down to my basement, stand around for a few minutes wondering what the fuck I'm doing down there, and finally head back upstairs again confused and ashamed. So basically, either there are aliens living in my basement who regularly probe me and then erase my brain, or else I can't remember shit. Really, Maus's little brainfart is mild by parenting standards.
Anyway, Maus eventually found his bike under a highway overpass in some sort of hobo encampment, which sounds about right for Portland:
And Maus's previous impression of hobo encampments as utopian idylls is now forever shattered:
On my way back south on the Esplanade (now ghost riding a bike), I rolled by those encampments at SE Salmon again. I thought it was very telling how many heads popped up and out of tents to stare at me now that I was carrying another bike — because the previous time I rolled through, no one noticed me at all. I started a conversation with two people who were disassembling a Raleigh singlespeed. (Keep in mind there are parts and bike frames everywhere.) I asked if this was some kind of bike shop. One woman was very interested in me. As if she thought I might be there to sell her the bike I was carrying. “You want to drop something off?” she asked.
I have always given these encampments the benefit of the doubt in terms of whether or not they were trafficking in stolen bikes. But after my conversation and experience today, that’s no longer the case. I am convinced there are active bicycle theft operations happening in broad daylight in Portland. It’s really absurd that more isn’t being done about it.
Though it's still safe to say that, as far as integrity is concerned, you should still hold them in higher regard than eBay.
Lastly, a reader has sent me this photo of an artisanal shovel-based filth prophylactic, spotted in Greenpernt, Brooklyn:
Nice, but if you were to mount that concave side up you could also carry a passenger in a pinch.