Well Friday I risked life, limb, and warranty by using them in the winter:
It was slow going at first and I was about to turn back, but eventually I got a little rhythm going and made it to the city line:
Emboldened, I pressed on, where footprints indicated only a few intrepid souls had ventured here before me:
And ultimately made it to this mighty waterfall, located far, far upstate in a quaint little rural enclave called "Yonkers:"
Then I cut a hole in the ice, fished for my dinner, spent the night under a bivouac, and undertook the roughly three-mile return trip the next morning.
In all, the entire ride was a little over six miles, and I was gone for a mere fourteen (14) days.
Meanwhile, remember awhile back I mentioned this building?
Well, when I did a reader who is involved with it was kind enough to send me some passes to the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art and Storytelling, which is located therein:
I'm pleased to report we marched all seventeen (17) children onto the subway this past weekend for a visit, and it was great. If you too are the parent of small human children in this city I should not have to tell you the importance of indoor activities located close to subway stations (especially in winter), and as such I would strongly recommend that you add this wonderful institution to your inventory of weekend activities. (You can read more on my other blog, Parenting Snob NYC.)
Who says bike blogging doesn't pay?
Indeed, later in the day I was still brimming with good cheer, and so I headed back out for an afternoon ride. I didn't feel like trudging through the snow again, and you never know what road conditions are going to be like outside of the city after a snowstorm, so instead of riding north I headed down to Central Park for a leisurely spin. The streets were perfectly passable, but of course the shoulders and bike lanes were clear in some places and a mess in others:
I was in no particular hurry, nor was I particularly eager to slip and fall in a puddle of slush, so I rode slowly and savored the brief respite from the twin tumults of weather and parenthood. Heading south on St. Nicholas, I turned left onto W. 120th Street, from whence I intended to make a right onto Adam Clayton Powell, which would then deposit me right into the park:
Anyway, there I was heading east on 120th. Traffic ahead of me was moving slowly due to a double-parked vehicle (shocker!) and the cars were shifted over to the left. As I mentioned, I was in no particular hurry, and the road shoulders were variably messy. It's also a short block owing to the fact that St. Nicholas cuts across it diagonally, so I made no attempt to pass anybody and instead took my place in the traffic queue in anticipation of making the right.
Meanwhile, the driver behind me starts honking. I can't see any reason he'd be honking at me, since there are cars up ahead of me and I'm certainly not holding him up in any way. So I figure he's just one of these assholes who honks whenever traffic's not moving as quickly as he'd like, which a lot of idiots do when driving in the city.
I'm still blissed out from the familial activities earlier in the day, and I'm also still really happy to be out on my bike on a Saturday afternoon, and so I choose to ignore this minor blemish on an otherwise lovely day.
Unfortunately, as I make the right onto Adam Clayton Powell, the honking driver pulls up to me and starts berating me for not riding in the bike lane. He's very insistent. I have to ride in the bike lane.
So let's look at W. 120th Street between St. Nicholas and Adam Clayton Powell:
There is indeed a bike lane on the left side of it. However:
1) I'm preparing to make a right;
2) The road shoulders are slushy;
3) Traffic is shifted over to the left due to a double-parked car, just like in the streetview, so you wouldn't know there's a bike lane anyway:
In fact the streetview scenario is pretty much the same scenario as when I was there, with the addition of the slush, and so I was positioned accordingly, directly following the vehicles ahead of me:
And once again, I'm moving at the same speed of the rest of the traffic, so you can't even say I'm holding anybody up.
Given all of this I have no obligation to be in the bike lane. First of all, there's snow in it. Sure, it's not an Obama 2009 amount of snow:
More like a Trump 2017 smattering:
So it's patchy and intermittent, but it's there.
And even if there had been no snow and instead puffs of pink clouds in the bike lane spelling out "Ride me!," I'm preparing for a turn at an intersection, so given all of these factors there's no reason for me to be in the bike lane according to state law:
Whenever a usable path or lane for bicycles has been provided, bicycle riders shall use such path or lane only except under any of the following situations: (i) When preparing for a turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway. (ii) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, motor vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, pushcarts, animals, surface hazards) that make it unsafe to continue within such bicycle path or lane.
The New York City Department of Transportation puts it even more succinctly:
In short, there's absolutely no fucking reason, legal or practical, for me to be in that goddamn bike lane.
Yet here's some asshole in a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe with New Jersey plates (the special ones with the lighthouse on them he probably paid extra for) not only honking at me but also telling me off for not riding in it. Furthermore, this dimwitted shitbag has the audacity to tell me that I need to learn how to ride a bike, and that he rides everywhere, all the time. From the driver's seat of a fucking Hyundai he says this.
Holy motherfucking shit.
I actually took video of the ensuing interaction and was looking forward to posting it today, but having cooled down over the past couple of days I've decided it would do a disservice to my valuable brand to appear on the Internet looking any way other than utterly composed. So I've shelved it.
Righteous indignity, however warranted, is never a good look.
Nevertheless, I remain stunned by this fuckwit's audacity. I'm Wildcat Rock Machine, dammit! I make it my business to know where I can and can't be when I'm on my bike. And this guy's gonna drive his Hyundai shitbox into my town and start fucking with me on a Saturday afternoon? What goes through his head as he drives? "Here's a guy on a bike. He isn't holding me up or anything, but he's not in a bike lane! I, on the other hand, ride my beach cruiser on the boardwalk in Jersey sometimes. So I think I'll rub my dick and balls all over his face."
I am of course an inveterate "woosie" who would never embroil himself in a physical altercation, but if this guy usually behaves this way I can't believe he doesn't get u-locks put through his windshield on a regular basis.
Here's a related question: this is not the first time I've told a person with New Jersey plates to "Go back to Jersey," nor is it the first time they've replied with "I don't live in Jersey." Why is this? Surely there must be people who actually live in Jersey. Are they all committing insurance fraud, or are they just embarrassed? Or is it some combination of the two?
I hereby acknowledge the following;
1) I am choosing to drive a large heavy motorized box into the most densely populated county in the United States;
2) This choice endangers people's lives;
3) This county has an extensive public transit network and is well-served by taxis, livery, ride-hailing apps, as well as a comprehensive bike share program;
4) While I may get lucky, neither deity nor US Constitution entitles me to immunity from traffic delays, nor does it guarantee me the right to store my large heavy motorized box anywhere for free;
5) Bike lanes do not cause traffic congestion. My large heavy motorized box, however, does;
6) I understand that people actually live in Manhattan as well as the rest of New York City. It is not a theme park or a sitcom. Therefore, any expectation that my car is the "It's a Small World" ride or that my windshield is a TV screen across which life will unfold according to my own whims or expectations is pathologically unreasonable;
a. Should I forget the above and elect to communicate my displeasure to any other road user by means of car horn or verbal haranguing, I acknowledge that I or my personal property may be subject to physical damage;
b. In the event of such damage, I shall not hold the other party responsible, nor shall I be entitled to any claims of loss, damage, or legal liability for anything that happens to me as a result of my being a complete douchebag;
7) If I don't like any of the above, I can feel free to shove a Bruce Springsteen box set up my ass.
I think this would go a long way towards obviating a lot of potential misunderstandings.
Anyway, apart from my exchange with Captain Fucknuts in the Hyundai, the rest of the ride was lovely.
Lastly, here you go:
You're welcome.Transition practice not always turning out the way you want it to, a good recovery by @Tri_Orca on TDC camp! :-) pic.twitter.com/0Pj0I9fqjr— TEAMDILLON (@Teamdillon) February 10, 2017