Then let's begin.
Brooklyn side. Something o'clock. In the distance the sun is going down on New Jersey like an intern on Chris Christie. I mount the Manhattan Bridge bike lane and put the Citi Bike's balky shifter into spin mode like I'm firing up a load of laundry:
On my right the lights of the city twinkle. In the distance are the billionaires of Manhattan, in the foreground are the multi-millionaires of Brooklyn:
Beneath me, the schlubs of Staten Island sit in traffic on the BQE:
And on my left a subway train rumbles by:
The B train isn't the only thing here to rumble though, because so am I! It's rush hour on the Manhattan Bridge, baby, one of New York City's definitive Cat 6 proving grounds. See that light in the distance?
It grows larger and larger and then PYEAOW! (that's a laser beam sound, not a dying cat), it blasts by me at supersonic speed, so fast it blows back the thinning hair on my flagrantly helme(n)tless head:
I'm settling into a rhythm now, but already the attacks are coming faster than Cipollini at training camp:
I let the attacker go, but another rider is right on his wheel:
And moments later they're both pursued by an ebike:
As we race towards Manhattan, other riders race away from it, and here the action is stopped by a wayward pedestrian:
I pass the bottleneck and assume an aero tuck:
So aggressively low I can practically lick the Citi Bike's cockpit:
So I do, in profound act of communion with my steed.
As I descend I recite the Citi Biker's Creed:
Yield to pedestrians
Stay off the sidewalk
Obey traffic lights
Ride with traffic
AND FUCK ALL OF THE ABOVE IF CAT 6 GLORY IS ON THE LINE!!!
As I approach Manhattan I scrub off some speed lest I break the sound barrier:
I'm tempted to high-five a fellow Citi Biker, but at these speeds we're liable to tear our arms right out of each-other's shoulders:
Alighting onto the island of Manhattan is to land on sort of a Cloud City in which everyone is a giant douchebag:
And the Brooklyn-bound salvos are relentless. In fact there's an attacking rider right in the middle of my lane:
Though I'm on a bike that weighs 50lbs, so I turn my face to the darkening sky and laugh maniacally:
No surprise who won that face-off:
Indeed, the Citi Bike is increasingly the Cat 6 race bike of choice, and this crew appears to have cleared out a whole station:
They're strung out like the last days of Pantani:
Deftly I maneuver the highly flickable Citi Bike through the construction area:
And arrive at the finishing bollards triumphant over absolutely nobody:
Though I do look resplendent in my Inspector Gadget jacket and Rivendell purse:
A lone dork beneath the moonlight:
Say what you will about New York City (I recommend "It's a fucking dump"), but there's no shortage of cycling excitement. We've even got mountain bike trails, and while they may take awhile to get to, at least we don't usually have to share them with horses--though if you do you might want to watch this helpful video:
Wow, horses sure are a pain in the ass! If you don't have time to watch the video, allow me to summarize proper protocol when you encounter a horse on the trial:
1) Mail a certified letter to your local stable or equestrian group postmarked at least 10 days prior to the encounter informing them of you ride plans;
2) On the day of the ride, dress appropriately. Remember: horses are frightened by bright colors, subtle colors, jarring patterns, monochrome, short sleeves, long sleeves, knee socks, ankle socks, and the horrific "whooshing" sound emitted by certain windbreakers. Therefore, dress as one of the very few things that doesn't frighten horses, such as a tree or feedbag;
3) The equine relies heavily on its sense of smell, and the pungent mélange of armpit and crotch emitted by the typical mountain biker may cause a horse to bolt. Horse manure can go a long way towards masking your aroma, so be sure to stop and smear yourself with it whenever you encounter a pile on the trail--which should be incredibly often since horses are basically gigantic anxiety-ridden shit dispensers;
4) Give horses plenty of warning when you're approaching--but not too much warning, or else you'll frighten the horse. Strive instead for insistent trepidation, like a 10-year old waking a hungover parent for a ride to school.
5) Horses are frightened by loud noise and rapid movement, as well as by silence and stillness. When passing, come to a gradual stop, dismount, lay your bicycle down, and drop your pants. Spreading your buttocks, rhythmically purse and relax your anus in the universal sign of equine submission. This will show the horse you mean it no harm. Continue the gesture until the horse has safely passed. If horse attempts to mount you instead, remain calm until completion.
6) Share the trail and have fun!
Imagine my surprise when I took the kids to see "Equus." I just assumed it was an animal-themed musical like "Cats," only with horses instead of felines. Boy was I wrong.
I mean sure, they loved it, but still.
Also, word to the wise, "Oedipus Rex" is not about dinosaurs. Don't ask me how I know.
Lastly, the cycling media's fascination with "smartglasses" continues:
Everysight is spun out of a defense technology company in Israel that works with fighter jet and rotary wing helmet-mounted display systems. Utilizing Everysight’s Beam technology, the Raptor’s lenses serve as an augmented display, meaning that computer-generated input or graphics are added to the real-world view through the lenses. This allows you to see the road, cars, and your surroundings clearly, just with some data and digital information also included in your field of vision.
Hey, I admit it, I do love bike stuff made by Israeli defense contractors:
Though judging from the stills it appears they have some work to do:
For one thing, I want a lot more information when I'm out on the trail:
They're like horse blinders for people!