When you're a grown-up blizzards are mostly just a pain in the ass, but you know who loves them? Young children and "bros:"
You don't tag me in that tweet?It takes all kinds.... #Blizzard2016 #nyc @Gothamist @RedBeardBikes @RaphaCycleClub pic.twitter.com/Fo3MBqASzF— Robert Mc (@mizzoudmbfan) January 23, 2016
What am I, chopped liver?
Anyway, if you're looking for an indicator as to the severity of this past weekend's storm, consider that it was so powerful they postponed New York City's first-ever fat bike race:
DUE TO POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS CONDITIONS, THE FAT AND FROZEN FATBIKE RACE WILL BE POSTPONED UNTIL SATURDAY, JANUARY 30TH. #fatbike #fatbikes #bikes #bike #mtb #nymtb #nycmtb #adventurecycling #bkmtb #mountainbikes #mountainbike #mountainbiking #bikeshop #fatandfrozen #nyc #newyorkcity #myfavoritebikeshop #gowanus #queens #cunningham #winter #january #blizzard #class5killstorm #simpsons #kentbrockman #snowman #snow #snowstorm
Yeah, that's right. The fat bike race was closed due to...snow, which I thought was like the whole point of a fat bike in the first place:
Of course it's tempting to relish this irony, which is why I'm doing it, but at the same time the promoters had their reasons, and there's a difference between racing through snow and racing in the middle of an historic blizzard during the period of maximum wind and snow-dumpage. Plus, as it turned out, there was a travel ban and a transit shutdown and all the rest of it, meaning if you got there you might not be able to get back home, not to mention the fact that a New York Post headline about how a bunch of novice mountain bikers froze to death in a Queens park doesn't do anybody any good:
In other words I was glad they postponed because I'd been thinking of heading down on the Pine Mountain 1 and this saved me from having to make an excuse for looking out the window Saturday morning, mumbling "Fuck that," pulling the covers back over my head, and staying home.
Hey, we've got to give the people in Minneapolis something to feel superior about:
("Call that a blizzard?!? I'd have raced my fat bike and then spent the afternoon on Rockaway Beach in a thong.")
Speaking of blizzards, like any formidable weather event each one brings a lesson along with it. Consider the aforementioned Blizzard of 1888, which taught us that the city was criss-crossed with too many fucking wires:
See, back then the entire city looked like a college student's power strip, and the resulting outages and downed utility poles made people realize they had to tidy that crap up and bury those lines.
In retrospect it seems obvious.
So what's the equivalent of all those wires today? You know, an everyday convenience that's just some foul weather away from becoming a complete disaster and an utter clusterfuck? Something that really ought to be addressed before the next shitshow? Well, here's a hint:
A 40-mile backup on the turnpike on Friday forced thousands of people in cars, buses and tractor-trailers to sleep on the highway. Hundreds of emergency responders and National Guard members worked from Friday to Sunday clearing snow and providing fuel, food and water to stranded people.
Yes, of course I'm talking about cars. However, I wouldn't expect anything to change anytime soon, because there is nothing more American than driving right into an apocalyptic weather event:
Among those stranded were more than a dozen buses of Catholic high school and college students who were returning from the March for Life in Washington, an annual anti-abortion demonstration.
A stranded bus full of Catholic high school and college students on their way home from an anti-abortion demonstration?
By this time next year all the babies conceived while they were stranded on the bus will be about three months old, so hopefully they check the weather beforehand and bring plenty of diapers and bottles with them.
Meanwhile, last Friday I mentioned the shifter cable on my WorkCycles Fr8 had frozen on me, and a reader was kind enough to inform me that I'm not alone:
This experience also demonstrates something about Amsterdam cyclists: Not only do they store their bikes on the street, they also ride in ALL conditions including snow. Of course they do; How else would they get to work, take the kids to school, do the groceries and visit their friends?
Why that's a silly question. In a car of course! Not only are cars a symbol of Freedom™, but they're also impervious to bad weather:
Sure, when you grow up the novelty of snow mostly wears off, but I don't think I'll ever get tired of watching assholes who think they're driving the Snowpiercer getting stuck in it.
And of course nobody relishes snowstorms like the smuggies:
For the uninitiated, sneckdowns are neckdowns created by driving patterns in melting snow or slush. Sneckdowns highlight excess asphalt that could be repurposed for streetscape improvements to slow motor vehicle traffic and make walking safer.
I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, yes, the snow does help underscore how much public space we gratuitously allocate to cars. Furthermore, there's nothing quite like watching idiots struggling with said cars in the snow to emphasize how pathetic our dependence on them truly is.
On the other hand, yes, the first day or two after a blizzard may indeed be a magical time when motor vehicles are immobilized and children may play freely in the streets, but if it were to go on for much longer and the Park Slope Food Co-op and the Whole Foods in Gowanus were to both run out of provisions due to impassable roads I guarantee the smuggies would be the very first people to turn on each-other and resort to cannibalism.
But sure, point taken about the "sneckdowns," which may be the only portmanteau more annoying than "brifter."
Penultimately, here's Carlos Sastre recovering from a blood transfusion:
And lastly, addled cycling commentator Phil Liggett now claims to be the Dr. Frankenstein to Lance Armstrong's Frankenstein's Monster:
Speaking directly to the New Zealand Herald, Liggett said: "I built him up. I created him into a great cyclist, and he was, even though he took drugs.
"On the other hand, I feel hurt and cheated that we made him look better than he should've and turned him into a star."
He really shouldn't blame himself.
If anything, thanks to his commentary I've slept though countless Tour de France stages.