Given this, I made a point of throwing a leg over the old bicycle cycle this morning and basking in the February sun:
You know it's warm out when the suburbanites drive in from Jersey in their convertibles:
Between the blazer-clad guy in his Audi on one side of 5th Avenue and the wool-capped semi-professional bike blogger on the other I like to think we represent the entire depressingly narrow spectrum of white middle-age.
Speaking of high performance machines, the World Wide Internet Web has been abuzz recently with speculation that professional cyclocross bike rider Wout "There It is!" Van Aert is secreting a motor in his cyclocrossing bicycle:
Here's the video in question, and the salient bit begins at around 1:43:
(Open it in another window if you want controls, my IT person is on strike.)
Then his rear wheel loses traction and kind of fishtails:
Causing him to bust into a sick-ass whip-skid that would have gotten the fixie set all hot and bothered back in aught-seven:
Then the rear wheel catches again and he kind of rockets forward, which is where it looks like he has a motor:
Indeed, it almost looks like he's holding onto a runaway bike:
"Somebody stop this thing!," you can almost hear him shouting:
And there it is:
However, after roughly 400 viewings I'm now 99% sure he didn't have a motor and that it was really just a nice save on his part. Of course, this isn't the first time Van Aert has been accused of mötödöping, and there was also this suspicious moment not too long ago:
Which was explained away thusly:
Hmmm. Like a Specialized dealer, I guess I have no choice but to buy it.
But I'll be watching you, Van Aert!*
*[This is 100% not true, I won't be watching you at all. I have no time or inclination to watch bike racing anymore and am only interested in incriminating mötödöping footage and roadie slapfights.]
The above notwithstanding, I have absolutely no doubt pro cyclists are using motors, and I also have no doubt amateur Freds are too. After all, they're ideal for helping you reach your ridiculous mileage goals:
Normal, really? I don't think so:
“When I say I’ll meet a friend, I’ll meet him,” says Melbourne, Australia-based Simon Matheson, who’s on track to cover more than 12,000 miles this year. “If he can’t do it, the impetus isn’t there to get out of bed.” Matheson, 47, rides with groups of 10 to 100 other riders nearly every day and finds the social aspect rewarding. “It’s the camaraderie, the catching up.”
Won't get out of bed if nobody's waiting for you? Only ride your bike in large groups? You may be suffering from Autophobia. Talk to your doctor and find out if Frederol is right for you.
For architect and former triathlete Andy Johnson of Louisville, Colorado, 4am wake-ups are crucial—but it took him a year to adjust. “I have a family with two young kids, so I get up very early and get in two or two-and-a-half hours every morning,” Johnson says. “If I don’t, I probably won’t ride that day. It’s my time. It’s a lifestyle.” He expects at least 10,000 miles this year.
Getting up at 4am every day for any other reason than a job you depend on for your livelihood? Again, not normal. Trust me, I used to get up at 4am on weekends to race my bike, and I wasted some of the best years of my life in the process.
“You have to figure out why you’re riding a bike,” says Tanner, already at nearly 9,000 miles this year. "For me it's a competitive thing. I like knowing when I go to a ride that I'm in control of how fast we're going.”
Wait a minute. I don't get in anywhere near that kind of mileage, yet not only do I know exactly why I'm riding a bike (usually to pick up either beer or diapers) but I'm also totally in control of how fast I'm going (usually not very).
I must be doing something wrong.
Lastly, more bad news for the oppressed drivers of New York City! Some kind of unhinged individual in Marxist clothing is running around Prospect Park with a Smug-ometer:
(Why don't you just make ten smugger and make ten be the top number and make that a little smugger?)
“We want to uncover how bad the problem is and further evidence that the park should be car-free,” said Transportation Alternatives executive director Paul Steely White.
Mayor DeBlasio outlawed driving on the park’s Ditmas Park-bound West Drive in 2015, but stopped short of banning cars from the green space altogether, with Prospect-Heights-bound motorists still allowed on East Drive between 7-9 am on weekdays and holidays.
I could not agree more. Back when I lived in Brooklyn, after a hard day of blogging, I'd throw my human child onto the erstwhile Big Dummy (now lovingly re-homed) and we'd knock around Prospect Park. It was all rather idyllic--until the park opened back up to motorists at 4:00 (if I recall correctly) and suddenly the park was transformed into a complete shitshow. And woe unto the cyclist or runner who was not watching the clock like a student waiting for dismissal, because the very second the park road opened up these asshole drivers would roar into the park and honk relentlessly at any poor schmucks who still happened to be using the car lane.
The fact that keeping cars out of public parks is anything less than a complete no-brainer is depressing. They've got the roads, and they've got Dunkin' Donuts. That should be enough.