During the course of this week you can expect increasingly fervent reminders concerning my presence at Bike Expo New York:
(Why is he trying to lick his front tire?)
I'll be at the Walz booth at the following times:
--Friday May 1st, 12pm-2pm;
--Saturday May 2nd, 12pm-2pm.
The first 12 visitors on each day get a free limited edition collectible cap that will be worth thousands of dollars if I sign it and millions if I don't.
Also, I'll be "leading" a ride down to the Expo on Saturday. Let's meet at Indian Road Café in Inwood at 10am. I'll have 12 caps to give away there too.
And since I plan to ride in the morning before that anyway, if anyone wants to join me for a super-secret early morning ride just email me with the subject "I WANT TO GO ON THE SUPER-SECRET EARLY MORNING RIDE!!!" and we'll set up a meeting place. (Email address is in the profile in the right margin.) Plan on a civil, loping, stretchy-clothes-and-clicky-shoes ride of about two hours which will be decidedly non-epic apart from the fact we'll almost certainly ride on some dirt at some point. We'll finish up at the Indian Road Café, and if you want to continue on to the Expo then great.
All of this is subject to change owing to weather, blogger whims, or acts of Lob.
Speaking of riding bicycles for purely recreational purposes, this past weekend I rode an all-terrain bicycle:
This was the first time in 2015 I've ridden such a bike without a solid layer of snow and ice between my tires and the earth:
See, I don't do shit when it comes to helping maintain the mountain bike trails, so I figure the least I can do is wait until they've thawed and drained before using them:
As for the dried mud on the downtube, that's from sometime last year. In fact, this past January before the snow hit I had one wheel of this bike out the door for a ride when my latest child announced his imminent arrival and we had to pile into THE CAR THE BANK OWNS UNTIL I FINISH PAYING THEM BACK and head right to the hospital. I barely had a chance to put on proper pants, let alone clean my bicycle before putting it into hibernation.
I mean, it's not like I would have cleaned the bike anyway, but at least it's an excuse.
Anyway, it was profoundly enjoyable to finally engage in non-snowy fair weather all-terrain cycling again (especially astride a custom artisanal bicycle), though the first mountain bike ride of the year is invariably like drunken coitus: you throw yourself into it way too eagerly, you're incredibly sloppy, and before you know it you wind up asleep in a bush.
Of course, recreation aside, bicycles can also be useful tools for transportation, especially when combined with public transit. For example, last week I used a Big Dummy to bring one of my kids to school (I don't even know which kid, they're like bikes, I just grab one and go), then I ditched it on the sidewalk (the bike I mean) and hopped a train:
Then, while I was in the Manhattan/Brooklyn Bike Share Hyper-Gentrification Zone, I grabbed a Citi Bike, where a professional Cat 6 very nearly put the ol' wheel chop on me:
By the end of the day I'd been on two (2) bikes, two (2) commuter trains, and two (2) subway trains, and I'd fulfilled various responsibilities and obligations along the way. See, that's what the smuggies call "multi-modal," and the ability to operate this way is one of the relatively few things that makes New York City livable. Indeed, as I flitted about that day I thought about that New York Times cargo bike article, which had just "dropped," and which I wrote about on Friday. In particular, I thought about the doofus who dismissed the subway as an "ordeal," and I wondered why there's this notion that you have to pledge allegiance to a single mode of transportation and then sever all your ties to everything else. People would have you believe there's no middle ground between carrying a MetroCard and being one of those people who wears a cycling cap at all times, but he fact is that with a little forethought and a judicious mix of vehicles and fare cards you can fine-tune your commute here pretty well.
Though now that I've pointed this out the Times will run a supremely annoying article about "multi-modal millennials" under the headline "The Commute, Curated."
I will give the Times one thing though, which is that they were dead right about how much rich people love cargo bikes. This past weekend I was knocking around West Village and I saw all manner of smug-tastic washtubs on wheels:
Between the protected bike lane in the background and the human-powered stroller you'd be forgiven for thinking that New York City was indeed the most bike-friendly city in America--and hey, maybe it is, assuming you can afford to live in a neighborhood where they've got that kind of bike infrastructure.
Try riding that bad boy on Queens Boulevard and report back to me.
(And no, that's not a criticism of cargo bikes, that's a criticism of New York.)
Meanwhile, I was perusing Twitter when I noticed this tweet from Cadel "Excuse Supreme" Evans:
And we're swapping off like keen juniors in a Gran Fondo after all these years... @ghincapie @BottegaGF 😂 pic.twitter.com/VY5wW3uuBUI realize I occupy the maturity level of a seventh grader, but "swapping off like keen juniors" sounds fairly lurid to me. Maybe that's normal Australian English, but here in Canada's butt zit almost everything sounds dirty if you put the word "off" after it. This is why "swapping off" sounds like something you'd do furtively in the bathroom--and why, by proxy, "Keen Juniors" sounds like an adult film. (Plus, we all know a "Gran Fondo" is a kind of hot tub.)
— Cadel Evans (@CadelOfficial) April 26, 2015
On top of it all, note the number of "favorites" it had when it appeared on my smartphone:
Sorry, I take back what I said before.
I have the maturity level of a sixth grader.
In any case, Hincapie looks pretty happy in the accompanying photo, but there's one retired pro who was none too pleased: