The truck shows up to the party at the 1:40 mark:
And then after knocking some shit around it drives off in the protected bike lane:
About which one participant (or bystander, I'm not sure) had this to say:
"That was unbelievable, I've never seen a giant truck blatantly just run through a bike lane like that."
Wow, really? He must be new in town. Perhaps he read that hilarious article in Bicycling about how we're "America's Most Bike Friendly City" and didn't realize the editorial staff is as delusional about cities as they are about bikes.
As for me, I've seen it all--including Jesus himself coming back in truck form and getting stuck in almost the same spot:
As some Jews look on in bemusement:
("No, he's not.")
See, in New York City bike lanes are only nominally for bikes. In practice they're generally used for police idling and as wiggle room for truckers.
You know what was unbelievable last Saturday though? The weather! And you'd better believe that as a semi-professional bike blogger and cycling enthusiast I finally took my new bike out for its first proper ride:
This is exactly the sort of thing I had in mind for it when I picked it out during the dark days of winter:
And I am pleased to report it's working out beautifully so far:
I'm used to spending the first few miles on a new bike stopping to tweak this dingle or adjust that dongle or figure out what's making that weird noise (especially on a bike that arrived at my home in a box after spending a few days with UPS) but in this case the only dongle that needed any adjusting was my own. I attribute this to three things:
1) It's a very nice bike;
2) The people at Ben's Cycle assembled and packed it extremely well;
3) After a year and a half of riding a Cambium I've gotten a good sense of how to position it and can get it pretty much right the first time:
(Cambium positioning tip: for best results, place yours on top of the seatpost with rails facing down.)
Oh, by the way, here's the head badge for the commenter who asked to see it:
And here's another badge of some kind:
I'm not sure what that is, but I'm guessing it's either a birthmark, or else a silhouette of Conan O'Brien.
Just kidding, I know what it is.
It's the great state of Ohio.
But yes, so far I'm extremely pleased with the bike--like "Hmmm, I could probably get rid of a couple of my other bikes at this point" pleased:
And for those of you who want to know more about it but are too lazy to click on links, here you go:
• Frame is made in the USA by Waterford Precision Cycles*
• Built with True Temper OX Platinum Tubing
• Designed for use as a geared road or cyclocross bike
• Set-up for a long reach (47-57mm) brakes
• Down Tube Shifter Bosses
• Chainstay Bridge
• Down tube AND Seat tube mounted water bottle braze-on.
• High quality Ritchey road dropouts
• Seatpost Clamp Included!
• Designed to fit up to a 700x32c tire
• 1-/8" head tube, 27.2mm seatpost, 130mm rear spacing, 68mm bottom bracket shell.
*The frame is made by Waterford, but the fork is not. The fork is a standard road fork we import. Waterford upgrade available in the kit builder for added cost.
I should also point out that the bicycle and I were both equally happy on paved roads, but the problem with riding on roads is that you tend to encounter, well, roadies.
I encountered this group of fashionable Freds at an intersection and dropped back immediately so as to avoid commingling. (I don't mean this as an insult, by the way. If anything I was sparing them my noxious presence.) However, when I stopped at the café a little while later, there they were:
Note the woman in green wearing the "Eeeew, a bunch of bikers have invaded my town!" expression that should be immediately familiar to any cyclist who has stopped in a picturesque town in order to give their local businesses money:
As for the cyclists themselves, they were holding an impromptu runway show:
So I knew right away this must be the Rapha Cycle Club ride.
Fortunately I'd caught them just as they were finishing, so I didn't have to wait on line for six hours while they each ordered their special big city coffee drinks. (Sure, I'd ridden up there from the same big city, but I have a townie mentality because I live on the mainland.) Instead, I walked right in and foolishly bought the gooiest snack in the joint:
It started melting immediately, and as the Rapha crew remounted their $10,000 bicycles and turned their Strava accounts back on I sat on a bench with a face full of chocolate and swinging my pale, stubbly legs like a child waiting for the short bus:
In all it was a lovely ride, but it was also the longest ride I'd taken in a few moths. Therefore, I was forced to stop once more, this time at a Dunkin' Donuts in Yonkers for an "emergency Coke" to carry me the last few miles home.
As you can imagine, the setting was a bit less rarefied:
Instead of a bevy of fashionable Rapha-ites, my only companions were a guy with a recumbent and another guy in giant Beats headphones who was collecting bottles out of the trash while singing "Backstabbers" by the O'Jays at the top of his lungs. (Every time he shouted "What they do!" I jumped a little.) I also noticed something in the distance. At first I thought it was a bicycle, but then I noticed it was one of those personal mobility scooters, and the rider was "taking the lane" (as the smuggies say):
I was quite impressed, especially because this road intersects pretty much every major highway in the area and people drive very fast on it:
As the scooter drew nearer, the bottle collector stopped his crooning:
And with a flourish he and the scooter pilot exchanged greetings:
I've really got to rethink my cynical stance on the waving debate.