Then, my manservant Batbayar prepares my bicycle, and if it's not in exactly the right spot I fly into a rage befitting a gentleman of my stature:
(Every evening my bicycle is scrubbed clean, and every morning it is sprinkled with dirt so as to appear ridden.)
Finally, I descend the 100 steps from my mountain perch and embark upon my usual morning jaunt:
Most New York City velocipedists repair to the vulgar side of the river, pulled along like puppets by Strava segments, which means my own route on the dignified side affords me some welcome solitude and tranquility. However, this past weekend, as I was ascending the first climb, a Fredly cry of "CARRRUP!!!" erupted from behind me, causing me to leap out of my Brooks Cambium. (Yes, a car was coming, but it hardly warranted this level of hysteria.) Next I became aware of the smell of boutique embrocation, and I was soon passed by a handful of professionally depilated riders in starched and pressed Rapha garb upon grotesque plastic bicycles. (The new Rapha Wimple is quite fetching, by the way.)
"What new indignity is this?," I cried, for not only did they fail to offer me the level of obeisance due an august bike blogger, but they also seemed to think they were entitled to ply their overpriced crabon upon my roads, and indeed they neglected to acknowledge me in any way whatsoever.
Fortunately our paths diverged, but shortly thereafter I encountered more of them and in greater number--a shock akin to stepping on one cockroach and then finding a whole nest of them in your Froot Loops. I did my best to distance myself, and soon they fanned out and salmoned en masse up a one-way street:
Visible for miles thanks to their oh-so-fashionable-this-season DayGlo, because orange and camo is sooo 2014:
I'm gonna have to move now.
For the moment anyway, it appeared as though the narrowest tracks were my own:
Anyway, I'm guessing this was a ride out of the Rapha Cycle Club New York, and I suppose I wasn't safe after all since apparently "it is not uncommon for them to feature an off-road section:"
Terrain: Please note that while our rides stick primarily to the road, it is not uncommon for them to feature an off-road section.
Like DayGlo, token unpaved sections are now de rigeur on Fred rides, if only so everyone can go "whatpressureyourunning?"
I was also amused to note that foot retention is a requirement on Rapha rides:
Requirements: For your enjoyment road bikes, helmets and foot retention are required. Please remember to bring flat changing tools and an extra tube. Riding snacks and water are also strongly suggested.
I'm not sure why it matters, but I assume it's to make sure this guy doesn't show up.
Then, after my my ride, I exchanged my Fred sled for my WorkCycles with its 2014 color scheme:
Speaking of indignity, thanks to a controversial UCI rule change, a thirsty racer was fined at the first cyclocross race of the season:
Apparently, you can keep a bottle on your bike, but for some reason you can't keep one on your pit bike:
The UCI officials at Ellison Park did not allow feeds in the pit, per the rule, but they also did not allow riders to have bottles on their pit bikes. Riders were allowed to start the race with a bottle on their bike but bottles were not allowed on new bikes received after an exchange. Ellen Noble, who rides for J.A.M. Fund and was among the pre-race favorites, was fined for having a bottle on her pit bike. This ruling, according to UCI cyclocross commission member Helen Wyman, appears to be a misinterpretation of the rule.
This makes about as much sense as allowing a saddle on your main bike but not your pit bike--though the officials eventually offered a "splash zone:"
After seeing many women abandon the pro race because of the heat, the officials allowed a “splash zone” to be set up for the men’s race. Riders could be doused with water as they passed this zone.
Sounds like something they'd have at a dog run.
Meanwhile, professional cyclocrossing person Jeremy Powers thinks they should institute a "fully dedicated bottle pit:"
In my opinion, the only real solution for this is a fully dedicated bottle pit, a lane designated only for bottle hand-ups. After having spoken to a slew of riders, mechanics and managers at the last two weekends of racing, it seems like that’s the right action step moving forward if feeding in the bike pit isn’t going to work anymore.
I applaud this move towards hyper-specialization, and hopefully in 10 years a typical cyclocross course will look like this:
Maybe by then everyone will acknowledge that cyclocross here in Canada's pit area bears little resemblance to its European counterpart, and that for all its imagery of mud and cold most of the racing take place in bone dry conditions when the temperature is over 70 American Degrees.
In other news, remember New York State Senator Diane "Find A Fucking Bike Lane And Get In It" Savino of Staten Island?
Well, thanks to the MTA's new bike rack pilot program, Staten Island cyclists can Find a Fucking Bus And Get On It too, and here's a handy instructional video:
As you can see, all you have to do is follow these simple steps and you'll be riding the bus while not riding your bike in no time:
1) Alert Bus Driver That You Wish To Board
Please note that if there are no other passengers, the driver will bypass you for your safety and police will be dispatched to ticket you for riding on the sidewalk.
Before boarding, you must complete a simple six-page form including the following:
--Proof of identity;
--Proof of address;
--Proof of ownership of bicycle;
--Acknowledgement that you indemnify, defend and hold harmless the MTA for, from and against any liability in the event your bicycle is damaged or stolen or you are injured or killed;
--A brief survey that the driver will pressure you to answer negatively so that the MTA does not permanently implement the program.
3) Lift Bike Onto Rack
To prepare yourself, the MTA recommends participation in a cyclocross clinic, as well as a cyclocross bicycle on which the Top Tube Has Been Flattened For Comfortable Portaging™.
Please note that water hand-ups are not permitted during the bike-loading process.
4) Obfuscation of Advertisements
Advertisements are a significant source of revenue for the MTA. Therefore, if your bicycle blocks an ad from view, you will be charged on a pro-rata basis for any time during which the ad is not visible, said charge to be deducted from your MetroCard upon disembarking. Charges vary depending on route, date of travel, and time of day. Here is a complete schedule of fees:
If traveling with a bicycle, you must wear a helme(n)t at all times, even while riding the bus.
6) Arriving At Your Destination
7) Removing Bike
You have four (4) seconds to remove your bicycle from the rack. If you do not remove your bicycle within the allotted time, the rack will lock and you may retrieve your bicycle from the depot after the bus has completed its route and your bicycle has been duly inspected for explosives and contraband.
8) Fold The Rack
Failure to return the rack to its upright position is punishable by $5,000 fine or 6 months in prison.
Wow. I wonder if the Rapha club rides will incorporate a bus segment to complement those dirt sections. Seems pretty epic.