Built in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, it is one of New York City's most famous landmarks.
I'm also willing to sell it to you at a deep discount. Simply contact me offline and I'll give you payment instructions:
As an erstwhile Brooklynite I've traversed the Brooklyn Bridge by bicycle many times, and like most New York City cyclists I've got a love/hate relationship with it. I love it because it is iconic, it's fun to ride over wooden planks, and it's more convenient than the other Brooklyn/Manhattan East River crossings. And I hate it because the bike lane is often impassible due to the massive number of tourists the bridge receives:
(DISCLAIMER: Not the Brooklyn Bridge.)
Indeed, in theory the Brooklyn Bridge is an ideal bike route, but in practice the only times one can cross it by bicycle are early in the morning, late at night, or in subzero temperatures when it's just you and the moon:
This is not to say I begrudge the tourists their unfettered access to the bridge--far from it. It's one of the world's most recognizable landmarks, and as such it's foolish not to expect throngs of flyover rubes and Euro-cheeseballs to converge upon it with their stupid pants and their moronic selfie sticks. I don't even begrudge them their tendency to stand in the middle of the bike lane--often right on top of the bike lane symbol itself--for when confronted with the beauty of the New York City skyline as viewed through those prophylactic-shaped arches one cannot help but go all agog. So to expect somebody in this state of exhilaration to notice some painted lines and some faded bicycle silhouettes is not only naive but frankly inconsiderate to our sales tax-paying visitors.
I mean sure, I've been tempted to Chris Froome a tourist now and again, but on balance their benign cluelessness is far less offensive than the Cat 6 doofuses who plow through anyway, ringing their bells and yelling "Bike lane, bike lane!" at all the selfie-tards when there's another tourist-free bridge not much more than a bike throw away.
Anyway, there's now a glimmer of hope that the situation will improve for everybody, because the Department of Transportation is going to perform...a study:
For pedestrians, there’s not enough space to walk past other people or line up that perfect shot of the Lower Manhattan skyline and stay within the confines of the walking path. For cyclists, the bridge is pure stress, dodging and weaving and trying to avoid collisions with people who stray into the bike path. It has become a bottleneck in the bike network, putting people off cycling across or compelling them to take indirect routes via the Manhattan Bridge instead.
Come on, do they really need a study to prove that the path needs widening? I coulda told you that shit for free. And it's not like cyclists haven't been lobbying for a better bike lane since...oh, I dunno, 1897?
If you think dodging tourists with selfie sticks is frustrating, just imagine how annoying it was to dodge Victorians marveling at the miracle of rail travel while riding a bicycle equipped only with a spoon brake:
I'm sure the retrogrouches of the era were as skeptical of the advent of the rim brake as today's are of the disc brake.
Still, I'd gladly deal with a spoon brake if it meant a return to the days of bicycle speedways in the Bronx:
Note the Victorian notion that cyclists are full of "surplus speed" that must be released only under certain circumstances, just as men were full of surplus seed that had to be similarly managed:
(Cock Lane, really?)
Yes, the Jugum Penis stopped onanism in its tracks faster than a spoon brake stops a safety bicycle.
Anyway, all of this is to say that the impending DOT study is an encouraging sign that the situation on the Brooklyn Bridge might improve for both pedestrians and cyclists sometime during the late 22nd century. Meanwhile, politicians will continue to fight every attempt to toll the motor vehicle traffic that occupies an unconscionable portion of this great structure.
Speaking of "scorchers" and "surplus speed," you've almost certainly heard by now about how American rider Mara Abbott was overtaken at the line in the Olympic road race:
This sort of scenario happens fairly often in road racing, but of course it's the Olympics and it happened to an American, so journalists grabbed their Crayola boxes and busted out the purple prose:
RIO DE JANEIRO (VN) — They were tidal, Mara Abbott’s eyes, glistening pools that dried out only in brief moments of distraction from the all-encompassing loss. She stood in front of the media and pulled herself together and answered questions until she couldn’t, and we couldn’t, anymore.
One hundred fifty meters from gold. Four seconds after nearly four hours of racing. Imagine it, and know that the pain of defeat is magnified by its proximity to triumph. “You’ll never have that chance again in your entire life,” Abbott said, as the weight of a truth seemed to settle on her.
By all means this was a dramatic finish, and of course Mara Abbott deserves both commiseration and respect. At the same time, I find it interesting that the very same writer had nothing but derision for the riders when this happened at a different bike race:
See, apparently some races are borderline sacrosanct, so when competitors crash its tragic:
Alone in search of gold, van Vleuten crashed horribly. A fistfull of rear brake led to a skid. She flipped and smashed into a deep curb. It sent her to the hospital with a concussion and spinal fractures.
Abbott shot back into the lead, past a crumpled competitor. Another moment forever on replay, surely: the instant she stepped into the race lead and went from pursuer to pursued. She refocused as she’s done so many times. “Shocking things happen and surprising things happen and you just have to keep your focus and keep going,” she said. “It’s a really creepy single-mindedness.”
Whereas other races are simply "idiotic," so when they crash it's because they're "idiots:"
Not sure why one group of riders is better than another--I mean apart from the unassailable credibility and integrity of the Olympic Games versus other organized competitions, of course. I'm also not sure why Peter Sagan is wasting a bunch of time beating up on Mountain Freds:
Well, Sagan’s fellow competitors didn’t get to look at him for very long though. The Tinkoff rider won the 50km race in Pierre’s Hole by a little over 21 minutes.
Firstly, "Pierre's Hole 50" sounds like a pornographic film. Secondly, if he won by over 21 minutes, he might as well have just saved himself the trouble and gone on a training ride by himself.
But hey, I admit I'm overly cynical when it comes to sports, since the real acts of cycling heroism happen well outside of the realm of competition:
The guy was a 19-year-old from Massachusetts. He had climbed over the rail that separates the path from the concrete ledge. Mr. De Leon, 61, started riding across the bridge two or three months ago after a cranky knee brought an end to his running. He remains a trim, fit man for whom the bike ride is exertion but not exhaustion. “I never stop when I’m riding,” he said.
Except last Thursday.
Tell me about it. Indeed, I performed a similarly selfless act when I stopped in almost the very same place to recover a lost Ass Saver:
Sure, I could have kept going, but that's just the sort of person I am.