Sunday, February 18, 2018

Farewell Yuba, I Hardly Knew Ye.

Good morning!

First things first, I've got a new Outside column on Outside's website:


It's all about my experiences riding the Yuba Supermarch√© and the sociological implications thereof...though yesterday I officially returned the bike because they asked for it back.  This involved a 20-mile ride from my Bronx estate to 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn, who you should be sure to visit for all your adventure and cargo bike needs:



It snowed here on Saturday night, so when I approached the bike yesterday morning here's what it looked like:


I briefly considered leaving the snow in the tub to enhance my workout, but instead I leaned the bike over and dumped out the snow in the middle of the street.  Then I shoved off, sticking to the surface roads since the Hudson River Greenway was undoubtedly a mess.  Things were a little messy at first, and I'd have rather been on the greenway than in amongst the car traffic on a large bicycle, but by the time I reached Central Park I was pedaling through a winter idyll:


So was this guy:


And yes, he was listening to a handlebar-mounted speaker system.

Anyway, all was going well until the bike started going a little squirmy, and that's when I realized I had a front flat.  Naturally I'd brought no flat-fixing supplies with me whatsoever, but fortunately there's a bike rental place on 7th Avenue just outside the park, and so I availed myself of their mechanical services:


The gentleman who performed the repair declared himself the "flat king," inasmuch as he services all the pedicabs and various other pedal-powered conveyances that exist in the tourist ecosystem around Central Park, and said he repairs 50 a week.  At $20 a pop (see what I did there?) that's a cool grand a week in flats alone, unless of course I paid the sucker rate.  (Honestly I have no idea what the going rate is for flat repair these days.)  But I was in no position to haggle at this stage of my journey, and at any rate he earned every penny because I was up and running again just as fast as you can say, "Lemme run across to the ATM real quick," and I was grateful for his services.

Hey, it's pretty much impossible to make it through midtown without parting with $20 one way or another, so consider it congestion pricing.

Finally I crossed the Manhattan Bridge and alighted in Brooklyn, but before dropping off the bike I figured I'd stop at Whole Foods and make one last farewell haul:


The Gowanus Whole Foods has ample bike racks, though even the progressive (by American standards) designers of this yupster flagship didn't account for cargo bikes.  Therefore, parking was a bit awkward, but I made it work:


Then I made scant use of the bike's voluminous hauling capacity by loading up on six (6) whole cans of beer to gift to 718 because I felt guilty about returning the bike in such a filthy state:


Once I'd discharged the bike and the beer, I figured 20 miles of riding a heavy bicycle (which I didn't Strava, by the way, because my Apple watch was acting all wonky) wasn't enough, and so I grabbed a Citi Bike for the next leg of my journey.  Despite its size and heft the Yuba is quite easy to ride, and even my long trip on it was quite manageable.  Still, it was a bit of a relief to get onto a bicycle with a "short" wheelbase, if only because I didn't have to be so careful about accidentally blocking the crosswalks.

It's also worth noting that by now (in Brooklyn anyway) most of the snow had disappeared, though you've got to give motorists credit for still finding a way to obscure their visibility with it:


Seriously, it's two swipes with the snow brush, what's so hard about that?

Then, before leaving Brooklyn, I docked the Citi Bike bought myself a drink:


Because I deserve it, dammit.

47 comments:

wishiwasmerckx said...

Wow, I wouldn't have read it first had I realized that there were no comments.

Brad Smith said...

Sunday surprise.

Brad Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Persia said...

Wowsers' trousers! Podium from Oz? (holds up flowers, etc)

Anonymous said...

Podium prize.

Olle Nilsson said...

Sunday post?!?! That's gotta be a first.

Some Guy on the Innernets said...

Wut?

ken e. said...

what is that beverage? asking for a friend.

Hee Haw the barista said...

BLDY MARY

der blaue Reiter said...

Nice! So this way when there's no post tomorrow the trolls can comment, "Your president was hoping to podium with his comment. You let him down." Love it.

And sincerely enjoyed the outside article, especially the clothing simile. I guess the couriers' question is where the rubber really meets the road, isn't it? 3k is a lot of sandwiches to deliver...

Anonymous said...

seems to me, 518 should have paid for the beer.

jim said...

You can find bike trailers designed to hold kids at yard sales now. I got one that will attach to almost any bike. It will hold way more stuff than I'm inclined to pull.

bad boy of the south said...

Saturday in Central Park with Snobbie.
Nice pic of the bloody mary,but where is the umbrella?

NourskSyklist said...

Time is money,and only woosies spend it brushing off snow. Better to live la vida loca and hit whatever comes your way. Thank you for keeping up the good web log effort still; it's part of the 0,001% of the inter nets worth reading.

EBEN
FLOW

HDEB said...

Please support your local owned beer and grocery retailers : )

Bryan said...

I feel like you missed smugness points by not putting the brompton in the cargo hold so you had a return bike. You gina some back for the Citibike, but think of how many smug points you could hace accrued y portaging a folding bike with your cargo bike

Schisthead said...

You've never had a driver or random passerby tell you to 'ride carefully', or 'be careful out there', or 'are you really riding out there on the street in this weather'?

I feel like the average driver will justify their actions through the implication of your inherent danger no matter what the gender, age, or fred status here, but I guess NYC is a very different place from where I ride.

Are these drivers afraid you'll 'bust a cap in their asses' for the lip?
That would explain their ease of lecturing when you have kids, since you wouldn't want to start shooting people in front of your kids?

Such an odd world we live in...

Skidmark said...

Bloody Mary happy hour: 10:30-11:30am

Anonymous said...

BEER BIEK

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post.
Now, 20 miles one was, at 30c p/mile of car ownership, makes 6$ (minus parking) .
6$ less to the Automotive Monster, 20$ to the lumpenproletarat of the Bike conspiracy.

In 1 milion rides, you better watch your tweet from russian influenza (and anthrax).

Where's Ted K. when you need it?

Bill said...

I love you, Snobbie.

Fergie said...

" Anonymous Anonymous said...

seems to me, 518 should have paid for the beer.

February 19, 2018 at 12:52 AM"

518 is the area code for the Capitol Region of NY. I don't have an opinion of who should have to pay for the beer, I just wonder what your reasoning was on thinking they should pay.
Genny Cream Ales for EVERYONE!

Bikeboy said...

Twenty bucks for a flat repair! Mamma-mia! Glad I picked up that skill myself, early-on. Hopefully it included dismount/remount service on that box bike, at least.

biorider said...

Fun post and another great column in Outside.

leroy said...

My dog told me last Spring the bike security detail at the Gowanus Whole Foods is first rate.

https://mobile.twitter.com/leroys_dog/status/868934461399990273?ref_src=twcamp%5Eshare%7Ctwsrc%5Eios%7Ctwgr%5Eother

I told my dog a couple of weeks ago I brought my bike into 718 Cyclery for a quick repair and they couldn’t have been nicer (or faster).

wle said...

!!sunday!!

Fourhourerection said...

Flat repair? Who gets flats? I've been commuting for decades, always using tires lined with MR. Tuffy liners. Only way to go.

JLRB said...

SNOW FUNn

Some guy from upstate said...

Fergie, 718 Cyclery never did anything for me, so they can buy their own damn beer. I'd be happy to buy Snobbie something from one of our fine local brewing establishments for all the joy his expanding media empire has brought me over the years.

Anonymous said...

Good Outside column, Snob. Once it’s been determined that a non-Fred cyclist isn’t poor, making deliveries, or lost his license because of too many DUIs, eccentric is about the best assessment we can expect. "Coolest thing ever" is a big step up.

By the way, rando bikes were kind of a big deal at NAHBS this past weekend. Maybe now would be a good time to hit Johnny Coast up for a loaner....

N/A said...

Give your bikeshop bros the occasional beer, it establishes good will. When you need them to go above and beyond to fix something fucky with your bike, you want them to remember that you are a bikecyclist that isn't a jerk.


Nice Outside article. 'Round here, anybody over 15 years old just being on any kind of bike raises eyebrows. Pedaling a wheelbarrow would cause them to actually look up from their phones for a moment. It would really cause a ruckus. Then they would chuck a Dew can at you and go back to Facebooking and driving.


I've never ridden on a cargo bike of either the front-loaded bucket variety, or a long-tailed hauler. I'm thinking that the lower COG of the bucket would make for a better riding bike, but the long-tail may be less obnoxious to deal with when you're not riding the bike. What's your opinion on this, Wildcat?

Anonymous said...

I had a Schwinn 5-speed tandem (64 lbs stripped) that I used for 20 years taking people out for rides. From my mother, to nieces and nephews and everyone in between. Always got a ton of attention and the usual comment was "they aren't pedaling". It was always a nice break from the usual comments from drivers.

Joe said...

Why didn't you just toss the IOJB in the tub for the ride home? Then you could put a bumper sticker on the Yuba about how your other car is a bike.

Anonymous said...

Anyone been riding behind an RV or cargo van and have a sheet of snow or ice slide off at head level when they brake? Fun stuff.

JLRB said...

Now that I read the Outside while eating my lunch the Inside, well done.

I promise not to ask to hop into your overalls.

Victor Kaminski said...

vsk said ...

Johnny Coast makes awesome stuff !!



vsk

Umustbjoking said...

?What kinds of roads are surface roads

BikeSnobNYC said...

N/A,

Yeah, longtail is a little easier to park and store, plus it handles more like a regular bike at low speeds due to "normal" front end. (Though you get used to the front-loader's handling quickly.) Front loader is more stable when loaded up and you can't beat the simplicity of just tossing stuff/kids in a big tub. I'd say longtail for high density area, front loader if you've got space and ample bike infrastructure.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

Other people's music is so tedious.

All music sucks except the stuff I like, and that's as true for you as it is for me.

Unless you're one of those extra tedious people who "likes everything"

Which essentially means you like nothing and are probably one of those people who leaves the tv on for background noise when you're doing other stuff.

Focus_503

Unknown said...

Why would someone ride with a very large backpack when they have ample room in the tub?

Anonymous said...

I’m guessing the kids now have experienced both frontside and backside rides when you tote them about. Do they like one or the other best?

Bahn, James Bahn said...

See, Eben? NOBODY!

And nobody read the Outside article! Or your books! (Just to hypothesize!)

Don't blow your second chance, that one you started, ah, before easing off here, and uh, telling everyone what you were doing the whole time...

Very Slim Pickens said...

"I'd stop at Whole Foods and make one last farewell haul"

Ar first glance I thought "farewell haul" said "wellfare haul" and I immediatelt thought "who the hell on wellfare can aford to stop at Whole Paycheck?"

Jeffrey Abelson said...

Sometimes I wonder what NYC you ride in...up in WaHi (that's dickish for Washington Heights) cargo bikes are everywhere and ebikes cruise the sidewalks with no lights. And no one says sht to anyone else abt bike riding. .

Jeffrey Abelson said...

I've had 2 commuting in NYC for the last 6 months

BikeSnobNYC said...

Jeffrey Abelson,

Cargo bikes are "everywhere" in Washington Heights, really???

As for nobody saying "shit," while returning the bike I got (appreciative) comments *while riding through Washington Heights*.

--Wildcat Etc.

Jeffrey Abelson said...

Ok, I exaggerated to make a point! But the cargo bikes I've seen are all uptown and I too have had appreciative comments on my Euromini up here but I didn't count positive comments. I love your posts so please keep them coming!