(Great shouldering technique on the run-up, Jesus!)
And yes, the Stations of the Cross were totally the basis for the sport of cyclocross, every cyclist and Bible scholar knows that. Not only did you have Veronica with the crucial schmatta hand-up:
But there was also a shitload of heckling:
("You suck, Jesus!")
Anyway, all over America the Cross Freds are gathering in public parks for "cross clinics," annoying their fellow citizens trying to picnic as they practice the art of mounting their bicycles without smashing their genitals:
(Fortunately they're small so the odds are in my favor.)
They're also obsessing over #whatpressureyourunning, as well as over various tire tread patterns:
(SPOILER ALERT: They're all the same and you suck.)
Indeed, it was only a matter of time before cyclocross became the amateur bike racing discipline of choice, because no other discipline offers such a lopsided fussing-to-riding ratio. Basically, it's an entire work week of dorking out on minutiae followed by six or seven hours of driving on the weekend, all just to ride your bike (usually badly) for forty-five minutes.
In other words it's a Fred's dream come true.
Speaking of riding bikes badly, a cyclist hit a pedestrian in Midtown and of course it made the news:
MIDTOWN — A cyclist slammed into a pedestrian in the middle of Seventh Avenue in Midtown Wednesday afternoon, according to witnesses and officials.
The man was crossing mid-block between 53rd and 52nd streets when the cyclist heading south down the avenue struck him at about 11:30 a.m., an FDNY spokesman and multiple witnesses said.
Fortunately the pedestrian's injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, though naturally the police checked the cyclist's driver's license:
The pedestrian was taken to New York Hospital-Cornell and was expected to survive, the FDNY spokesman added.
The cyclist was uninjured and remained on the scene.
Police officers checked his driver's license and then allowed him to leave about a half hour after the collision.
We all know you're allowed to hit whoever you want in New York City as long as you're driving a car, but in the absence of one it turns out showing the police you have a driver's license is the next best thing.
"Well, this will have to do, but just make sure you're driving a car next time," I imagine the officers chided the cyclist before finally sending him on his way.
Meanwhile, the New York City Department of Transporation is taking measures to protect pedestrians from left-turning drivers:
And it apparently took a cutesy video message to drive the message home to the commissioner:
Dear Polly Trottenberg - Urgent! Imminent Death from Maxwell Project on Vimeo.
"I get a lot of letters in this job, actually thousands of them and a lot of tweets and emails and other things, but I rarely get a 'Dear Polly Trottenberg' video made specially for me," Trottenberg said at a press conference this morning. "And he [Maxwell] really helped to underscore our message today, the danger of left turns."
Really, that's what did it for you? Not the thousands of letters and tweets and emails? Not the piles of dead bodies all over town or the kids getting run over on the sidewalk while waiting for the schoolbus or anything like that?
I mean I know that's not what you're really saying, but sheesh.
Anyway, let this be a lesson to all you children out there:
You don't sell the safety, you sell the sizzle.
But who will protect us from the cyclists? After all, until another child makes another video we're all at the mercy of the two-wheeled menace. Fortunately, a reader informs me that someone's got a solution.
What is it?
Make bike messengers ride cargo bikes, of course!
What you can do in your city is lobby for a bylaw to require bike couriers to use European-style “cargo-bikes” with a low platform between the rider and the front wheel. You can’t drive this kind of bike as if you were a pinball and the bumpers are the crosswalks, cars, sidewalks and pedestrians you encounter.
Yeah, maybe you can't, but I'll shred the fuck out of a cargo bike.
Plus, everybody knows the whole "killer bike messenger" thing is mostly just a media construct. Firstly, bike messengers simply aren't that dangerous. Secondly, there are like three of them left in North America and pretty much the whole industry is going the way of cobbling. So even if they did want to kill us how effective could they possibly be?
Most of all, what would you rather get hit by: a fixie with six inch-wide handlebars, or a fucking bakfiets?
Given all this, it was no surprise to read the author's credentials:
Allan Bonner has consulted on major planning and public policy issues on five continents over 25 years.
I'm assuming "consulted on major planning and public policy issues" means "left many comments on Internet articles."
Lastly, speaking of public policy, via the Twitter I see that the United States Department of Transportation is in favor of helmet laws:
Traffic laws such as reduced speed, failure to yield, passing, and helmet laws can be effective in improving safety for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.
Though the way it's worded they could easily mean helmet laws for pedestrians too.
Wouldn't surprise me in the least.