Monday, August 15, 2016

Sharing is Caring, Driving is Conniving

So there I was on Friday afternoon, clawing my way out of a ditch in the punishing heat:


Well okay, it wasn't exactly a ditch, but it felt like it.  Anyway, I made it up and over, and before long I attained the reservoir.  The spillway was dry:


Usually it looks like this:


I don't know if this is normal for this time of year, and it sure seems like we've had plenty of rain, so I can only assume it's been so hot we've drunk the water supply down to below the rim.

After admiring the view for a bit I dropped into the nearest town for some lunch, and because it was so damn hot I said "Fuck it" and caught a train back to the Bronx instead of riding because I no longer have anything to prove and trains have air conditioning.

My multimodalism continued into Saturday morning, when my eldest son and heir to all my vast landholdings according to the rules of primogeniture and I took our bikes onto the subway and headed downtown for Summer Streets, which is this thing where they close Park Avenue and you can ride (or walk, or run, or unicycle, or skateboard, or Rollerblade, I saw them all) up and down Manhattan unmolested by drivers:


My son acquitted himself very well, and he spent most of the ride making fun of my tiny wheels:


This was our first Summer Streets and we quite enjoyed it:


Even though we couldn't ride the gigantic water slide because we hadn't pre-registered:


"Pre-register?!?  What is this, a friggin' cyclocross race?," I wanted to shout at the VitaCoco representative guarding to the entrance to this gigantic inflatable product placement.  I then tried to get my son to work up some tears so I could explain to the representative that she'd just ruined his whole day, but he didn't really give a shit, and frankly neither did I because I'm sure the thing is rife with waterborne diseases which is why they make you sign a waiver first.

So we remounted and headed back uptown.  By this time it was like a billion degrees American, and so at Union Square we said "Fuck it" and ducked into the subway.

In all it was a very pleasant (if uncomfortably hot) morning.  It's also worth noting that New York City cyclists get a lot of crap for salmoning and all the rest of it, but as it it turns out we're all quite civil when we're not under constant attack by drivers.

Go figure.

Indeed, it's hard not to leave Summer Streets without thinking that allowing cars into Manhattan at all is fucking crazy.

Then there was the well-meaning volunteer who took a look at my sweaty, balding, helmetless pate and informed me that the DOT was giving out free helmets.  The idea that I needed safety gear to ride a Brompton at 6mph on a street completely free of motor vehicles was of course patently absurd, but she was so earnest I simply couldn't muster up much in the way of indignity.  I wonder if she also solicited this rider, who was wearing full Lycra on a Linus:


Anyway, in addition to Summer Streets, the DOT is now also doing something they optimistically call "Shared Streets:"

NYC DOT is excited to launch this new public space initiative! Pedestrians, cyclists, and motor vehicles will share the historic streets of Lower Manhattan and motorists are encouraged to drive 5 mph.

Though I bet you'll never guess which road users don't understand the concept of sharing:


The Department of Transportation tested out its Shared Streets program yesterday, designating a 60-block area of the Financial District to be a 5 MPH zone for all vehicles, with pedestrians and cyclists encouraged to join them on the asphalt. And while there were certainly some pleasant moments throughout the afternoon, it was unsurprising that for the most part drivers refused to play along.

On busy Maiden Lane, for example, despite having just passed through the NYPD-manned barricades with big speed limit signs, most cars cruised by at regular speed, forcing pedestrians to stick to the sidewalk. For the most part drivers seemed frustrated (one yelling "get the hell outta the street"), confused, or simply annoyed.

Sounds about right.  In fact, if you read the comments on the above-linked article, the photographer had this to say about the driver in the picture:

He instantly went into full rage after I told him why I was in the street! Screaming GO FUCK YOUR MOTHER!!

Of course he did.

Alas, it's clear we need to ban all cars from Manhattan and force anybody who insists on driving to ride a suitcase instead:



Next time you’re trudging through an airport dragging a suitcase, just imagine you could pull some handlebars out of that bag, sit on it and zoom to your gate at 5 miles an hour.

That is the plan for Modobag, a Chicago startup that has spent two years developing a $1,500 rideable suitcase, even though some airports say they won’t be allowed. Three weeks into an Indiegogo online campaign that offers the bags at a discounted price of $995, the company has found nearly 300 backers who have committed more than $280,000, nearly six times Modobag’s original goal.

What?  No helmets???


Now that's more like it.

59 comments:

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Winnah!

janinedm said...

If you decide to go back next week, the slide is worth the registration. There is very little water actually. Just enough to grease your way down. Last year I saw a guy wearing a hydration pack to shared streets.

Dewayne B. said...

I like to commute sans helmet on my fat bike and upset everyone.

weasel said...

Storefront

bad boy of the north said...

glad that you made it outta da ditch,or whatever it was.now back to our regularly scheduled program.

Sax Huret said...

Mi nombre es Alejandro Valverde.

dem_bieks! said...

Impressive photoshoppery skills, Snob.

I was in your fair city a few days ago and was simultaneously amused/terrified while crossing a street, with the light, a driver making a left into me and waving at me while not yielding, not even a little. If I didn't take a couple of quick steps, I would have been under the car.

Vision zero FTW!!

That 5mph thing is a great idea. A little too soon, though.

Anonymous said...

Je suis dans le premier dix.

leroy said...

Well that's odd.

Apparently, upset driver at Shared Streets initiative never heard of documentary and inadvertent cult comedy hit "My Mother The Car."

His vehicle could be anybody's mom.

Hope he's not advocating tire humping.

dop said...

I rode up the OCA to the Croton Gorge yesterday (guaranteed shade) Forget the low water level. The freaking Croton Reservoir is now the same shade of green as the diving tank in Rio.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

10th, missed the sprint. Scranus!

Frickus Rungus said...

A friend of mine regularly sees a neighbor cruising to and from the local pool on his ride-able cooler. Something like this: linky They have multiple "train cars" so everyone in the family can ride. Not sure if you could commute on it, but at least you'll never go thirsty.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

So if that rideable suitcase is for tooling around through the airport it must be carry-on luggage, right? Is it going to be Lithium Ion battery powered like the hoverboards no longer allowed on airplanes? Can't wait to see the latecomers getting on the plane with no overhead compartments left to store their precious scooter cases that will have to be gate checked. One thing for sure, you can't straddle it and ride down the narrow aisle inside most planes!

Willard Scott said...

"...sure seems like we've had plenty of rain..."

Mr. Pedantic said...

"... my eldest son..."

As every English major knows, this should read "my elder son."

No need to thank me.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Early enough for gratuitous empty comment ...

vsk

BikeSnobNYC said...

Mr. Pedantic,

No, I have 17 children.

--Wildcat Etc.

N/A said...

I wonder if those suitcases are gravel-ready? Boost compliant? You're going to see suitcase freds in full kit of grey pinstriped lycra.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Pedantic,
"The suffix 'er' should be used when you are comparing two things.
The suffix 'est' should be used when you are comparing more than two things."
WCRM has (17) seventeen human children. It's his eldest son.

N/A said...

I am the eldest son of a man that had only sons. I do not have any sons, only daughters. Which one is the eldest?

N/A said...

The one born first, of course.

Winky said...

Those rideable suitcases will be so full of lithium ion batteries they won't be allowed on the plane anyway. Isn't it ironic?

crosspalms said...

Nonsense. Nobody drinks eldestberry wine. It's elder. Do creepy religions have eldests? No, they have elders. QED.

N/A said...

NOT IRONY.

Mr. Pedantic said...

"Do creepy religions have eldests? No, they have elders."

Never noticed that before. Looking forward to an opportunity to correct a LSD member.

Sax Huret said...

Snob, based on the wheel size teasing of your eldest, have you accepted that he's going to grow up to be a 29er Fred? Are you going to hide the 650b wheels in the house now or later?

Alsatian said...

The faster we go slow, the faster we go fast.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the ridable luggage;
The "douche-chills" seem somewhat comforting on this sweltering day.

N/A said...

Mr. Pedantic:

"an" LDS member


LSD members are much more fun to hang with, though.

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Does the church of latter day saints have an eldest of the elders?

In other religious news, alternate side of the street parking is suspended today on account of the Feast of the Assumption, but don't assume you don't have to feed the meters.

Comment deleted said...

Snob, I can't stop thinking about, and seeing confirmation of, your observation that drivers operate on the simple principle that they should not be slowed down by a bicycle for any amount of time, ever. This predicts and explains the dynamics of 99 percent of car/bicycle interactions.

Just mentioning it, because I think the profundity may be hidden in the simplicity.

Dooth said...

Elder Fudd says it's rabbit season, gaddabbit.

NJ Where the Sheep are Nervous said...

"Go F Your Mother" Why that's illegal in New York State. However, if you go to New Jersey....

Bryan said...

Hah. Those motobags. Delta has banned all lithium ion powered "vehicles." Well, I have this week, a nice long beach weekend ahead, and I am headed up to America's Top Hat for just about a month! I'll try and check in and make sure this place doesn't go to shit while I'm away.

Dotty Rabinowitz said...

GO FUCK YOUR MOTHER!! Is that a command or a promise? I am hoping it's a promise.

Chazu said...

Thoity Fidth.

Old timer said...

Huh? What?

Old Boy said...

So sad to hear that your son is elderly, is it a genetic condition?

Louis Voltton said...

If there was a way to mount some panniers on those moto-suitcases, you could greatly increase their carrying capacity.

1904 Cadardi said...

For maximum irony they should make a motorized travel case for bicycles so you could ride your packed bike through an airport. What could possibly go wrong?

Dorothy rabinowitz said...

Dear Mr. Roadrager,
I can provide that mother experience you so desperately need.
Love, Mom

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Old boy, like the curious case of Benjamin Button?

babble on said...

For about five years, my eldesterly son had to commute between continents to spend time with both parents, so his father, a physicist, rigged his drag along bag with a longboard, turning the assembly into a scooter. It wasn't pretty, but it made Heathrow easy peasy, even for a twelve year old boy.

This weekend I saw a little kid riding a commercial version of the same concept. Poor little mite was wearing a hot, heavy, poorly ventilated healment, but he was having a much better time of it than his parents, who were pulling their suitcases instead.

JLRB said...

#whatlaundryyourunning

Spokey said...

my eldest son is not the eldest. but my youngest daughter is the youngest.

it is all so confusing

coveted 45. so suck on it all you car loving mudders.

FlyoverRube said...

GO FUCK YOUR MOTHER!!

YEAH? I GOT YOUR MOTHER RIGHT HERE! (points to crotch)

These are not standard City salutations?

I've been misinformed.

Spokey said...


To all those who would do that to my mother

DON'T She'd be pretty mouldy by now if we hadn't burned her.

McFly said...

Now back to our regularly scheduled program Scared Streets....

Pathetic Old Cyclist said...

I just bought a Dahon clown bike. Now I have to buy ridable luggage too?

Holy Roller said...

And Jesus said, "And why are you taking pains about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow without laboring or weaving." If we all just embrace the truth of the Bible when it speaks about the sinners excessive attention of the need to collect many garments, then we shall have little need for ridable luggage.
I wear only one cloak-type outer garment as a habit.

Glen Larimer said...

My quest is fulfilled - a HEMLET (if he doesn't fix the typo before you see it): http://www.ebay.com/itm/Giro-Eclipse-MR2-Hemlet-Size-Large-/191939286227?hash=item2cb07914d3:g:yfgAAOSwCfdXpNho

dop said...

After you climb up BSNYC's ditch, this is the descent (I walked)

dop said...

BSNYC's ditch

Hugh Janus, Expert Motorist said...

You sons-a-beeches need to stay off my road...unless yer on one of those motorized suitcases. Then it's ok...because at least there will be a bag available in which to dump yer sorry carcass. After all, we can't have squashed moron-guts all over my highway. Think of the children.

Persia said...

Rideable suitcases in Oz will require the wearing of helmets and use of mandatory seatbelts.

CSN&Y said...

Carry on

Forgot to mention said...

...the seat on the Wild Kitten bike is too low.

Vlad from Romania said...

Les premiers dix is the corect spelling, you false frenchie!

Anonymous said...

Enraged drivers are driven to promote incest, just like Hugh Janus.