Incidentally, I'm just a bottle rocket's flight away from Fort Washington, where General Howe beat the crap out of the Americans, and it's inspiring to hear the battle rage on night after night despite the complete absence of an enemy.
Anyway, besides being the occasion on which which we recreate America's birth pangs by blowing a bunch of shit up, the July 4th weekend is also when the summer begins in earnest. And because today's apparently going to be incredibly hot, I've resolved to head out for a ride before the sun reaches full power and heats the rivets of my Brooks saddle to scranus-searing temperatures. So what does this mean to you? Well, like last Friday, it means I'm going to post now, then fuck off for a bit, and then post again later.
This means there will be two (2) posts today! How lucky are you?*
*[Answer: very, very lucky.]
Speaking of last Friday, that was the last day I undertook a ride while wearing special clothes and the clippy shoes, because I spent all my saddle time over the holiday weekend on my WorkCycles FR8, shown here with my latest human creation:
I can't speak highly enough about this bicycle, nor can I overstate the fitness benefits I'm reaping from schlepping two (2) human children on it over the lofty peaks of the Northwest Bronx day after day. The above-pictured human child loves the bike too, so much so that he's constantly bringing me the helmet society makes him wear in the hopes that I'll take him for a ride--and when I don't he gets angry, throws the helmet, and headbutts me in the nuts.
But enough of familial bliss. Let's move onto more soul-crushing matters, such as the fatal hit-and-run that took place in Brooklyn over the weekend:
You know that if the NYPD isn't bending over backwards to exonerate the driver then it must have been really, really egregious--and it was sickeningly so:
They report, "Investigators believe the driver pulled alongside Von Ohen, slowed down and moved the car partially into the bike lane, where the victim was riding...The driver then hit Von Ohen's rear tire and as the victim fell off his bike, the driver slammed into him again, running over him and dragging him about 20 to 30 feet."
Though not egregious enough for the NYPD to forego its customary victim-blaming:
Police were out on Grand Street after the incident—not stopping and ticketing drivers who were in the bike lane, but rather "catching cyclists running red lights and handing out tickets," according to PIX11.
"When they got to the intersection of Grand and Graham on their way, police officers were there to stop them and hand out pamphlets on cyclist safety," Greg Fertel, who lives in the neighborhood, told us. "I found this to be pretty enraging—I don't think that this was an issue of cyclist safety." You can see the brochure below.
In other words, the NYPD isn't going to do shit to stop drivers from killing you, but in the event one does try to run you down you can always swat vainly at the car with your bicycle safety pamphlet. (Though bear in mind if you do swat at a car with a piece of paper you're liable to be charged with assault.)
And the situation's equally depressing elsewhere in America, as parade float in Columbus Ohio shows:
"I'll share the road when you follow the rules."— Spencer Hackett (@velospence) July 4, 2016
The #DooDahParade organizers should be ashamed. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/TdaSl4JZfv
I suppose the driver would argue he's merely "putting his own humorous spin on an issue and marching in irreverence:"
The Doo Dah Parade is about Freedom of Speech, through humor. Put your own humorous spin on an issue and march in irreverence on the Fourth of July in the Short North Arts District.
Remember, ALL politician must wear a funny hat. No full nudity. No blatant advertising. You don’t even have to pre-register. And, there is no entry fee! What the what?! This seems too good to be true!
Come out and see for yourself. If you’re too politically correct to march, then just come and sit along the parade route to watch and get a good laugh.
And while I certainly acknowledge his right to do so, I'd also argue there's a difference between engaging in freedom of speech through humor and engaging in stupidity by being a fucking idiot.
But hey, this is America, where you can drive an SUV with a cyclist plastered onto the hood along a stretch of highway that's been adopted by the Ku Klux Klan, all while firing an assault weapon out of your sunroof.
And that's what freedom is all about.
Lastly (for now), here's something to think about:
I expect these to be mandatory in Australia by the end of the year.@bikesnobnyc how big a helmet would need to be to prevent concussions https://t.co/mEg3krHsLF pic.twitter.com/xzRXrJUjNN— Basilisk Lambic (@NomicBasilisk) July 1, 2016