(Photo by "roynyc.")
If you look closer, you can see a police officer talking to the driver:
This photo would be perfect for a caption contest, and here's my submission:
Feel free to offer your own in the comments below, and if you come up with a good one you win nothing.
Speaking of exemplary driving, yesterday morning this happened:
Any New York City Fred worth his or her crabon wheelset will recognize that as the steep portion of the Hudson River Greenway just under the George Washington Bridge, so you can add "Falling Buses" to the list of greenway indignities, just after "They're Never Cleared in Winter" and "Rollerbladers."
As for me, I'm glad I didn't use the Hudson River Greenway to get to Brooklyn yesterday morning, because if I had then a bus might have landed on my head, and there's no helment that's going to protect against that. Instead, I took the subway. (As for why I took the subway, see Greenway Indignity #1: "They're Never Cleared in Winter.") All was well on the way to Brooklyn, but my return trip was not so smooth, because I boarded a train just after the massive signal failure and just before the shooting.
There's never a dull moment riding the rails in this town.
So there we were, sitting on a train that was going nowhere. Every few minutes the conductor would make an announcement along the lines of "Attention customers we're delayed due to garglefarglebarble at Chambers Street," and I knew when he didn't even bother to add the ironic "We'll be moving shortly" that we weren't going anywhere anytime soon. So I got off the train and went upstairs, only to find an MTA employee closing the station with tape at god-knows-how-much-money an hour. "No trains!," he cried as he festooned the turnstiles with caution streamers like he was decorating for an eight year-old's birthday party. All around me was chaos. "Where shall we go, what should we do?," simpered the assorted hipsters, yupsters, tourists, and other schmucks--helpless and stupid, every last one of them.
I however, was unconcerned, for there was a Citi Bike station just outside, and I had my ass in the hole:
(Not my key, or my delicate manicured hands that have been soaking in Palmolive.)
First I withdrew a suitable bicycle (to the extent that any Citi Bike is suitable), and then I bowed my head over the cockpit and recited the Citi Biker's Creed:
Yield to pedestrians
Stay off the sidewalk
Obey traffic lights
Ride with traffic
Next, I pointed the bike onto the Manhattan Bridge:
As soon as it starts getting warm out there's always someone who's a little too excited and breaks out the shorts:
I, however, was wearing my Brooks Inspector Gadget jacket:
Which looks especially dashing when spattered with light rain:
As I pedaled away from the chaos underground I felt delightfully smug, and my Citi Bike was also in surprisingly good working order, to the extent that I could actually engage all three (3) of its gears!
Apparently the beleaguered bike share system is getting its act together--in fact, they're even expanding:
The light blue represents the neighborhoods you can't afford to live in anymore, and the dark blue represents the neighborhoods you can't enter without a card key from a major investment bank or law firm.
As for the gray, all of it is collectively referred to by The New York Times as "The next Williamsburg."
Now, the Manhattan Bridge bike path is usually to Cat 6 racing what Walmart is to hordes of overweight shoppers with visible ass cracks, but given the rain the scene was a bit more subdued, and most riders opted for an expression of dignified nonplussitude:
Though here's another overly ebullient rider in shorts:
Things did seem to heat up a bit as I descended into the small village of Manhattan:
Where I tested the roadholding limits of my Citi Bike's tires as I made the cheddar-sharp right hand turn:
I was holding the phone in my left hand at this point and braking with my right, and believe me when I tell you that the stopping power of a Citi Bike's rear brake in the rain is exactly nonexistent.
So I swapped hands, scrubbed off some speed, and negotiated the gratuitous bollards with their strange LED lights that must serve some nefarious purpose I'm afraid to contemplate:
(Never mind the bollards.)
Then I skirted this bike lane pedestrian:
Used this guy as a mechanical hare:
(X marks the fixie.)
Dodged delivery salmon in a bike lane full of grit and grime:
And then unceremoniously dumped the Citi Bike at the next station and took the subway the rest of the way home.
Bike share may or may not be the future of transit, but it sure is a handy Band Aid for our crumbling infrastructure.