No, it’s just that in much of America, spring is when all the fair-weather cyclists emerge from their hidey-holes after cowering inside all winter. This means that before Bike to Work Week even begins, the bike paths and greenways are already clogged with overzealous, wobbly-legged cyclists splayed out over their aerobars like baby giraffes. In order for cycling to “take,” it’s most important that these Bike to Work Week commuters enjoy themselves, and injecting them into this frothy mix of wonky speed weenies is a recipe for frustration.
Oh, that Biek Snub...he's so gosh-darn irreverent!
It's true though, the bike path situation is decidedly "flambullient" at this time of year. In fact, on the way home from this ride I used the Hudson River Greenway:
Where the competition was fierce:
And where I was assailed by all manner of riders, some of whom were armed with "butt rockets:"
("And butt rockets' Fred glare, the Gu bursting in air...")
Of course, I realize I made an attractive target of opportunity, given I was riding a Brompton--shown here between my legs on the Long Island Rail Road just a few hours before:
(Yes, I'm wearing cutoffs. The Brompton was so disgusted it folded itself in shame.)
I've had the Brompton on loan for a few weeks now, and I readily admit to loving it. As I've mentioned before, I already have a non-Brompton clown bike, and it never quite succeeded in making me want to "join the circus" and use it regularly, mostly because it's a bit of a hassle to schlep on and off trains.
The Brompton on the other hand folds up into a tidy little bundle, tight and compact as the ball of stress in a London stockbroker's gut. This makes it far more convenient--plus you can put it in hand truck mode and wheel it around if you've got a longer way to go:
Also, it may surprise you to learn that I keep no bicycles inside my actual home, which is no small feat given I have a lot of bikes and I live in New York City. I prefer it this way, given that my living space is precious and I need plenty of room for yoga, tai chi, and meditation. Plus, if my bikes are within reach at all times I'm liable to start tinkering with them. This really cuts into my TV time.
The Brompton, however, is so unobtrusively small that I just keep it by the coat rack next to the stroller.
Nevertheless, as easy as the Brompton is to fold and portage, I admit that when I stopped at the Harlem Fairway on the aforementioned greenway jaunt I simply locked it to the bike rack out of sheer laziness:
Had I stumbled upon this scene I'd have taken photos and Tweeted gleefully about the irony.
Of course, what the truly seasoned Bromptonauts do (I prefer "Bromptonauts" to "Bromptoneers") is fold the bike and stick it in the shopping cart like a toddler, which is just what this person was doing as I was locking up my own:
I only needed a few things though (sushi rolls for the cat), and I was afraid that if I brought a shopping cart in with me I'd end up filling it up just because it was there, and then I'd find myself emerging with eight bags of groceries I'd have to figure out how to carry home on a fucking Brompton.
By the way, at the Harlem Fairway at any given time at least 75% of the customers are either wearing or carrying helme(n)ts:
For a minute I thought the above shopper was Elden "Fat Cyclist" Nelson:
But after he autographed my receipt I realized it was just Stanley Tucci so I crumpled it up and threw it in the trash.
Speaking of multi-modal transport, Citi Bike is expanding--and this time around, instead of screaming about how bike share stations are a sure sign of the End of Days, people actually seem happy about it:
When DOT reps last night unveiled the proposed locations of 39 new racks to be installed on the Upper West Side, residents reacted not with rage or fury, but with something else completely. Something that looked a lot like...enthusiasm.
Wow. Where's Dorothy Rabinowitz when you need her?
(Pulitzer prize-winning conservative journalist and bike-bashing enthusiast Dorothy Rabinowitz)
At the embalmer's for a top-up most likely.
In other exciting bike share news (especially for dentists), Klaus from Alps and Andes informs me that, as part of Citi Bike's new ownership and expansion, the fleet's getting upgraded to Serottas!
Though sadly they'll be more like this one:
Here's the story:
When the current Motivate management team took over last fall, they inherited two big problems. Most of their systems ran on flawed software that crippled reliability and frustrated riders, and the manufacturer of their bikes had gone bankrupt.
Now both issues have been addressed: Replacement software from 8D Technologies installed this spring has a proven track record in other cities, and the new bikes — designed by Ben Serotta — clear up how the company’s fleets will be expanded and replenished.
So there you go--though it seems to me if they're going with a green and yellow color scheme they could at least use some old Sierra Nevada team bikes:
All we need now is a Brompton vending machine that takes MetroCards and we'll really be in business.