From which I was amused to learn this:
In addition to the eight professional entries, there were 11 amateur teams, the most colorful being a six-man squad from Holland that was sponsored by Sauna Diana, an Amsterdam brothel. "The largest in Holland," explained one team member. "Beautiful girls."
Naturally I consulted a popular search engine to learn more about Sauna Diana, and I found a team photo that would make Cipollini blush:
Professional cycling has certainly come a long way from the quaint days of promoting sex trafficking to promoting human rights violations and slavery, so there's no reason to feel anything other than optimistic about the sport's future, because at this rate you can expect Team Sharia to win the Tour of the ISIS Caliphate by 2025.
It would be pretty awesome to have a Sauna Diana jersey though.
In other news, if you enjoy fake bike riding, you'll be pleased to know Zwift has added a fake mountain:
Zwift, the indoor trainer videogame, added a substantial new mountain section to its virtual course, allowing riders to do a steady climb for about 30 minutes — and then bomb down the other side.
As with the rest of Zwift, getting access to the game requires a $10 / £8 monthly fee, a bike, a computer, a trainer, a USB dongle and either a power meter, a speed/cadence sensor or a smart trainer.
As opposed to riding your bike outside, or staying inside and wanking, both of which are not only free but far more productive.
Though I suppose the Zwift matrix is the only place Freds can still ride helmetless without turning themselves into social pariahs.
Speaking of riding your bike in real life, there's a bridge north of New York City called the Tappan Zee. It spans the Hudson River and connects Tarrytown in Westchester county with Nyack in Rockland county. This bridge sucks for two reasons:
1) You can't cycle or walk across it;
2) It's a piece of crap that's about to fall into the Hudson. In fact it's so disposable they should call it the Tampon Zee.
Owning to reason No. 2 (our governor couldn't give a shit about reason No. 1), they're currently building a new bridge. It's supposed to open in 2018, and it will even have a bike path:
This is huge.
See, despite being a "Global Power City" and all the rest of it, New York City is pathetically retrograde as far as recreational cycling goes. Part of this is due to the fact that the Type A d'bags who live here tend to be incurable roadies and tridorks who hire coaches and ride up fake mountains on Zwift, but a lot of it is because of our lousy infrastructure situation that precludes mixing up routes and riding styles. Consider:
Fred Central is Manhattan (and increasingly Brooklyn), from whence most of the Freds hail. What the Freds do is ride uptown and then over the George Washington Bridge to Nyack (route indicated in red), over and over and over, weekend after weekend after weekend. (Except during the winter, when they hole up in their overpriced apartments and use Zwift.) You may recall Nyack as where I was once served a hairy muffin.
Now don't get me wrong, there's some lovely riding to be had over that way. However, owing to lack of transit and a general lack of culture (the two tend to go together) it's not terribly conducive to non-Fredly riding. (Riding, stopping for beer, and taking the train back to New York, for example.) Also, just as our seas are being over-fished, this part of the world is dangerously over-Fredded, to the point that a trip over the George Washington Bridge on a Sunday morning can be so dispiriting as to make you want to take up Rollerblading. (Waiting behind a line of 10 tridorks who can't negotiate the switchback on the bike path ramp will quickly undermine your will to live.)
Meanwhile, on the eastern side of the Hudson, you've got lots of transit and therefore it's more densely populated. The downside of this is that you've got to go further to find open road. The upside is that there are lots of nice towns with cafés, brewpubs, and direct rail connections to Manhattan. You've also got various paved and unpaved paths and trails along the route indicated in yellow, as I've documented on various occasions. (My Gran Fondon't also employs some of them.) So conceivably the non-Fredly city dweller could do a four-hour dirt ride from his or her apartment, recover at a brewery, and then take a train home. However, relatively small numbers of city dwellers do this--partially because so many of them are Freds, but also because the route from Manhattan to these paths and trails is less obvious. (Most New York City cyclists can get to the Gimbels Ride and back and that's it.)
The result is a segregated recreational cycling landscape.
However, once they open that new bridge (indicated in blue), the cyclists of New York City will be able to mix the red and the yellow together without going all the way up to the Bear Mountain Bridge. The effect will be synergistic, like mixing stimulants and depressants. Fred rides, dirt rides, "multimodal" rides, whatever rides...instead of color-coded routes it will be like someone dumped a bag of Skittles over the whole area:
This will make local cycling much more interesting. Not only that, it will make the region north of the city much more interesting. It will give the locals more to do, and it will be great for business. Honestly, if it weren't for Freds, who the hell would go spend money in Nyack?
Yet, as a reader tells me, that's not stopping them from complaining about it:
(via BikeBlogNYC via Stephen Arthur)
Peter DeMaio, who has lived in the village for 40 years, said he only began following the controversy in recent months, admitting the issue has motivated him to get involved. The path is scheduled to open in 2018.
"I couldn't have been more surprised if they said they're going to put a Wal-Mart in our neighborhood," said DeMaio of the state's proposed location for the path's entry at Cornelison Avenue and South Broadway, next to a private home. "I'm ready to do anything. ... We've got to stop it."
Yes, a bike/pedestrian path entrance is JUST LIKE a Wal-Mart.
Worse yet, people might want to visit their attractive village:
Their fear is the 3-mile path may become a tourist attraction. By the state Thruway Authority's own estimates, 473 visitors could visit it per hour during peak times, with 59 percent arriving by car and 19 percent by bike. The state figures that type of traffic will require 151 parking spaces for both counties to meet demand.
Tourist attraction? Yeah, get over yourself. It's a nice town and all, but you're still Nyack. Nobody gives a shit about you. That's like me worrying I'm going to be mobbed with fans because I've got a new book coming out.
Of course, the people of Rockland have always had an uneasy relationship with the only thing that makes them worth visiting. After all, they've had to endure the sound of cyclists chatting for years. And who know, maybe the complaints are warranted. Maybe the entrance to the bike/pedestrian path is indeed poorly planned. Because after all, you can't have a place where people cycle or walk without giving them plenty of PARKING:
In Tarrytown, state land will be used to provide public parking and restrooms. Several parking options in South Nyack have been floated by the state, from using local streets to building a 54-space lot at Exit 10 to utilizing existing parking lots about a mile away in neighboring Nyack.
By the time this bridge is open the bike path is going to connect two massive parking lots, go nowhere near either town, and be open for roughly two hours a day in spring and summer only.
Can't wait to see how they fuck this one up.