It's only the ninth day of 2015 after all, and that's hardly enough time to build up a knowledge base sufficient to warrant quizzing.
Second of all, I've received the latest version of the Fly6 integrated tail light video camera, so let's talk about that instead:
The one on the left is the old one, and the one on the right is the new one. As you can see, the new one is smaller. Also, they've changed the location of the card slot and cable connection:
On the old one, all this stuff was located on the bottom where crap could fly into it, especially since that rubber plug never seemed to want to stay in place. Also, on more than one occasion I'd go to turn off the camera, only to find that the card had ejected itself. This may have had to do with gravity, or else maybe it was because the rubber plug was too close to the card. So presumably that's why they've relocated all the orifices to the side, and it certainly seems like a better arrangement.
Anyway, I've had the new Fly6 for a couple months or so now, but to be perfectly honest I lost it immediately upon receipt. (And when I say immediately, I mean immediately--like, I hadn't even opened the box yet.) Then, a few days ago, I miraculously found it again.
Also, as you may know, here in New York City we're in sort of a complicated situation with the police. The latest chapter in this saga is that they're now very angry at our mayor, Bill de Blasio. Therefore, as a form of protest, they haven't been busting people for minor offenses--which, ironically, is backfiring on them because the city is arguably better off for it. Not only is the overburdened court system experiencing some much-needed relief, but serious crimes remain down, which basically disproves this whole "broken windows" thing.
In fact, among the offenses the police allegedly have been ignoring is riding bicycles on the sidewalk, which until now would get you into more trouble than driving your car on the sidewalk and killing somebody. (I wish I was kidding.) This raises the fascinating question:
Does the NYPD hate de Blasio even more than they hate cyclists?
Given this, yesterday afternoon I figured maybe it was finally safe to ride my bike through Central Park, which I've been assiduously avoiding since a Fred on a time trial bike killed a pedestrian there back in September, prompting yet another in a series of police crackdowns. What's more, I had this new Fly6 to try out, and a spin through park seemed like just the thing. Unfortunately, it was only 17 degrees American, according to my dork-tacular wristwatch:
Nevertheless, I figured I might as well squeeze in a ride before the snow showed up the next day--which, according to my watch, was "FRU:"
After which the cold would apparently continue through SAI, and relent only slightly by SUT.
Plus, it's always warmer downtown anyway.
Of course, this is where all the people who live in Minnesota and ride fat bikes go on about how 17 degrees American ain't nothing and they don't even bother putting on knee warmers for that:
To which I say, "Hey, in New York City, 17 degrees passes as 'cold,' just like in Minnesota Garrison Keillor passes for 'culture.'"
It's all relative, you frostbitten rubes.
So I rolled out the old bicycle cycle and strapped on the old ass camera:
Owing to the voluminous saddle bag I didn't have enough seatpost real estate, so instead put it on the seat tube where it nestled in the seatstay crotch:
Not the optimal placement for affording a panoramic view, but better than nothing.
Here I am activating the Fly6 in perhaps the most disturbing image you'll see all month:
And here I am testing the NYPD's resolve:
"You see, the traffic light was not, strictly speaking, in my favor," the bike blogger admitted sheepishly.
Nevertheless, 14 police officers did not leap out of that van and arrest me.
Shortly after that I crossed the bridge onto the island of Manhattan:
Technically you're supposed to dismount your bike and walk over this bridge, which I'll do just as soon as they make drivers get out of their cars and push them across. I can only assume the reason for this rule is that this is a lift bridge, and if you're palping skinny tires you're liable to get caught in the Maw of Death where the roadway opens:
Clearly though the Department of Transportation have not accounted for my awesome bike-handling skills.
Here's the intersection of Seaman and Cumming:
Here's a car with a dead battery, which is how you know it's cold:
Here I am passing the car with the dead battery:
And here's another car with what I'm assuming is also a dead battery:
Either that, or GM cars have reached the next level of killing their operators, and they've moved past the faulty ignition thing and are now simply eating their drivers:
(The dashboard displays a "check engine" light, tricking the driver into doing so, at which point the hood closes and the driver is consumed.)
Next, I dismounted and "portaged" my bicycle up the steps to the Hudson River Greenway:
The rule of thumb in New York City is that you should always avoid the greenway if there's been so much as a hint of snow or ice in the last week, because you've got a better chance of finding a salted margarita in a mosque than a salted bike lane in New York City. For example, you may recall that last year I very nearly froze to death on a vast tundra of brie:
(The ill-fated Fred sled of Sir Ernest Schmuckington)
Furthermore, the other rule of thumb is that you should avoid the Hudson River Greenway when it's cold, unless you like headwinds and river-chilled blasts of air to the face.
Nevertheless, I disregarded both those rules, and instead pressed on in the spirit of journalism:
And sure enough there wasn't a grain of salt to be found:
Though there were some dogs wearing jackets:
As you approach the George Washington Bridge there's a steep section of path, and as I descended I worried I might hit a patch of ice:
Fortunately, despite the complete absence of salt I did not, and then I successfully passed through the tunnel:
And emerged to contemplate the awe-inspiring view that would make this scranus-freezing ride worth it:
Just kidding, I've seen this view a million times, big fucking deal.
Of course, as soon as I got south of the George Washington Bridge, guess what I found?
Salt! Piles and piles of salt. In fact, the further south I went the more salt there was:
Proving, I suppose, that the further uptown you get the less relevant you are, until you get north of the GW and vanish into total obscurity.
This is also the part of the bike path where the wind coming off the river makes you feel like you're getting smacked across the face with a frozen salmon:
Note that the path is completely white now:
There's an absolute shitload of salt at this point, so much that I would not advise attempting to ride over it without an $8,500 dedicated gravel bike, complete with dropper post:
("The Specialized Divest lives up to its name when it comes to divesting you of your savings, and the dropper post is ideal for riders who haven't yet mastered the principle of basic saddle height adjustment."--Bicycling)
Incredibly, even with my non-gravel-specific bicycle and primitive rigid seatpost, I managed to negotiate the salt, and soon emerged onto the surface roads, where I circumvented quite an impressive example of tractor-trailer double-parking by the Trader Joe's:
And where, contrary to the latest news reports, traffic enforcement agents were in fact writing parking tickets:
Yet another dead car battery:
Finally, I made it to Central Park:
See that? I told you it's always warmer downtown!
Here are the great big pedestrian crossing signs they've erected since that tragic collision back in September, and they appear purpose-built to be crashed into by unwitting Freds and tridorks:
Races in Central Park should be interesting this spring--assuming bike racing in the park hasn't been banned by then.
Quite a few years ago now, when I was but a twenty-something, I worked briefly as the assistant to a filmmaker of some renown. I hated it, mostly because I was not cut out for the world of film, which involves being yelled at 24 hours a day by everybody. The filmmaker's office was near the bottom of Central Park, and sometimes at lunch I used to sneak off and eat lunch by the park loop, where I'd gaze longingly at the Freds who were lucky enough to take leisurely lunchtime spins through this urban landscaping masterpiece. Now, I was one of those Freds on my own leisurely afternoon ride, and as always I thought about this as I passed the very spot where I used to pine:
Sadly, I couldn't appreciate any of it, because I was freezing my gonads off.
In fact, I contemplated another loop of the park, but by the time I reached the bottom of the downhill I was pretty much frozen solid:
So at the top of the park I left it and headed back home via the streets. Here I am getting smoked by a guy on an e-bike:
It turns out you can go home again, though it may take you an hour or so to thaw.