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.
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:"
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.