Thursday, April 19, 2018

You may ask yourself, "How did I get here?".

I'm going to tell you all about L'Eroica California in painstaking detail:

Just not now.

I will say though that I've given a lot to cycling over the years.  Selflessly I've blogged for eleven (11) years, written four (4) books, and banged out countless articles in various periodicals, asking nothing in return except for money and adulation.  So why the hell is it that I'm still riding in the cold and rain instead of living somewhere like this permanently?  Let's see that picture again:

I'm not just coming to this realization now, either.  I've had many opportunities over the years to head out west and ask myself why the hell I live where I do:

Even in Los Angeles, which is supposed to be a smoggy automotive hell, you can ride to this in like five minutes:

Well at least you can ride to it in like five minutes from the cool neighborhoods, which is where I stay when I visit.

Anyway, as great as it is to come home and be greeted ebulliently at the front door by my seventeen (17) children, I can't help resenting the fact that I have to go back to riding all bundled up--in late April no less!  Indeed, this very morning as I rode around Central Park in the spitting rain, my California sunburn still itchy beneath my multiple layers of Lycra, I pondered my lot, pulled over, and shouted at the nascent buds, "HURRY THE FUCK UP ALREADY!"

Of course the spring will arrive in earnest eventually, and as always it will be glorious, especially after such a long winter.  When it does, I'll tell myself that there's no other place on earth I'd rather live.  Then it will turn hot as balls, followed by like two and a half sublime weeks in autumn, and the whole cycle will begin anew, netting me like six or seven weeks of ideal riding weather annually.

On top of all that, ironically in middle age I've grown mildly allergic to all the local staples that have sustained me since childhood, namely: pizza, bagels, and hero sandwiches.  Indeed, probably the fact that I ate nothing but pizza, bagels, and hero sandwiches for like 40 years broke something inside of me and I have nobody to blame but myself.  Meanwhile, out there the staple is tacos, which are not only right in line with my current dietary requirements, but also delicious.  

Alas, I'll most likely never leave New York, not only because my wife has an awesome job here, but also because I'm awesome at not having a real job here:

Plus, I could never give up my apartment, which is not only legally habitable according to city and state law but also has a full-time doorman!

Sorry, did I say full-time doorman?  I meant full-time door:

A lot of people in New York have to make do with door share, and that's no way to live.

Hey, I've even got exposed brick.  Granted, it's in a pile in the living room, but I'm confident that one day the contractor will come back and finish the job.

After all, I paid him in full before he even got started, so why wouldn't he return?

Moving on, as you know I've been enjoying a bit of a Fredly Renaissance lately, part of which involves swallowing what's left of my dignity and supplicating myself to Strava, and recently I see they've added some new feature called "relative effort:"

I stood there for an embarrassingly long time wondering what the number "28" meant and what exactly it was relative to until I realized that it's all just an eye-catching graphic telling me that I suck.  Indeed, the whole app is just a You Suck-ometer that helps you visualize your suckitude in the form of numbers, colors, and tiny gold cup icons that mean nothing, all of which I new already anyway.

So obviously I use it all the time now.

(I also assume "managing your effort" is a nice way of saying "riding really slowly.)

Finally, I checked, and yes, people are still making fixie videos:

This is truly a daredevil feat--not the riding briskly in a straight line part, but the willingly placing yourself anywhere in the vicinity of Times Square, bike or no bike, part.


HDEB said...

Times Square is super fun to ride through : )

slowdawg said...

Top Step?

Unknown said...

Podium? read it too, kinda.

NYCHighwheeler said...

New York may suck in a great many ways, but I still enjoy the singletrack here more then almost any other place in the US. Sure, slickrock is a great novelty as is riding at 10,000+ altitude, but being able to ride Sprain, Blue, etc almost year round has it's charms as well.

Or at least that is what I tell myself until I move to Ashville, Boulder, or Peoria.

Also, 5 Boro Bike Tour countdown has begun! I've been training hard to finally win that shit!

bad boy of the south said...

Welcome back to the cold,er,i meant fold.

Jason said...

Yeah, but soon after you move to these cycling paradises, you find yourself bundled up in layers of lycra and complaining about how cold 60 degrees feels.

They used to call me Fred (really). said...

Just in time for your tire pressure needs, Quarq TyreWiz. DC Rainmaker has a review of this very needed gizmo.

cyclejerk said...

Top Ten? No? Whatever.

1904 Cadardi said...

Gosh darn that looks like nice riding. I wanted to go to there (having been encouraged by a friend who did L'Eroifornia last year) but couldn't convince the Cadardette.

Unless she's a Broadway musical producer tell your wife they have awesome jobs in parts of the country with good weather/good schools/low cost of living/fewer people and get the heck out of dodge already.

Looking forward to the detailed ride account!

(until then more '80's vintage bike porn

BikeSnobNYC said...

1904 Cadardi,

Not a Broadway producer but might as well be as far as her industry being in NYC.

--Wildcat Etc.

BikeSnobNYC said...

(Also, I don't think the cost of living is lower anyplace I'd want to live outside of NY.)

Unknown said...

I don't know who the bigger dare devil is: the rider, or the rider with the camera following him. Egad.

Unknown said...

OH meant to mention: I used to live in glorious bike country. I came back to NY for the people. No regrets.

BPsucks said...

I moved to San Diego thinking about great year round riding. Big mistake. Here auto rules supreme. Outside of downtown, every arterial has at least two lanes in each direction, with speed limit often set at 50mph, but sometimes 55mph. The traffic lights all have super long dynamic cycles which makes timing lights close to impossible and long waits every time you get stuck. Everything is so spread out, my ride length for doing regular things like getting to work or visiting a friend often end up being 25 miles each way. There are freeways everywhere and very few through routes. So most of my riding is either on major roads, or on bike paths right next to freeways. Given the plethora of studies about the negative health impacts of living within 500ft or even 1000ft of freeways or major roads, I'm basically killing myself by riding.

Then there is public transit. Most buses come every half hour with winding routes and stops every block. If you happen to live in a trolly line and work on it too, you can get by, but mostly it sucks.

Right now I'm asking myself, if I can get to places in 40 minutes at rush hour by car, but takes 1:40 by bike or bus, why don't I just give in to car culture and buy one? Or I could just say fuck no to cars and move back to Seattle.

JLRB said...

Go back when it’s “everything is on fire” season

Dooth said...

Oh yes, the Fashion Industry. Did a stint there when the elevators were manually operated by uniformed men who knew everyone’s floor. Where are the hemlines falling this year? Midi, is so fickle.

BikeSnobNYC said...


Not fashion, book publishing.

--Wildcat Etc.

BamaPhred said...

You can take The Snob out of The City, but you can never take The City out of The Snob, or something like that. Accept your fate, WCRM, it is your destiny.

Clay said...

"Then it will turn hot as balls, followed by like two and a half sublime weeks in autumn, and the whole cycle will begin anew, netting me like six or seven weeks of ideal riding weather annually."

Isn't that the truth. With everyone complaining about the cold weather, I can't help thinking that we are only about 2 months away from sweating as soon as we step outside (at least for me). Hopefully we'll get a few nice days in between.

Dooth said...

Oh, nice. Well, I had it narrowed down to Fashion, Book Publishing or a bouncer at an S&M club.

Hee Haw the Barista said...


wle said...

meh, one way street, all downhill, synchronized lights, huge backpack.,,,

wait, what;'s with the backpack? is this guy camping on mt everest later?

and - i'da loaned him a blinky... dude is total stealth..

wle said...

Atlanta actually has
4-5 months of nice weather,
2-3 of too-cold-but-not-really, then
4-5 months where you never have to wonder what to wear - it is going to be HOT..

mountains 50 mi away

and traffic so frozen that these cab-dodging fixie jaunts are actually safe

a little public transport

the world's biggest granite rock (with presidents carved on it - i didn;t say what side they were on)

film industry bigger than hollywood, more or less

dogwoods and magnolias

the snobber could not-work in atl same as NYC, the wife could commute - almost


bad boy of the south said...

NYCHighwheeler,don't forget all the breweries that the asheville area has,too.

DR said...

Right, tell me the places that are affordable, beautiful, good weather, easy living, with some semblance of culture. Seriously, I live in chicago, there’s snow on the ground, I’d like a list.

DR said...


In your experience which cities/areas have the best combination of recreational cycling opportunities and practical cycling feasibility? I can say that I lived in Madison for a year and it had high marks in both areas, but also had serious winter. Thank you.

der blaue Reiter said...

Cali already has AHTBM and i am grateful for the diverse reading and pictures we get to enjoy thanks to your different temperments and environments... And anyway, for some of us it's really true that "you can't live on landscape".

I understand the temptation to try, though.

Mike said...

Same as it ever was.

BikeSnobNYC said...


For all my complaining we've got it pretty good here in NY in terms of recreational and practical cycling. We've even got "easy living," to the extent that anything you can possibly need or want is readily available at all times.

I was very impressed with Madison but was there for like half a day have not experienced that winter. Given that I'd probably have to give the prize to Portland.

--Wildcat Etc.

Andy said...

Did you see the new Nissan "e-pedal". They have integrated the gas and brake pedal into one for some reason. Doesn't this seem like it will just cause many more people to step on the wrong pedal and crash into other cars / people / storefronts etc?

Jake said...

Snob you live in the Bronx yet you decry a lack of tacos? Like Dorothy, you need not look beyond your own doorstep for happiness.

BikeSnobNYC said...


I'm not saying there aren't any, I'm just saying it's not like out there where they're all over the place. By all means if you have a recommendation don't hold out.

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

And the burritos. Don't forget the burritos.

leroy said...

Only in New York: my dog got me a spot in the Happy Island Senior Center team.

Only down side is I have to drive the SAG van when I’m not racing and the name on the side of the van is a little embarrassing.

Ride safe all!

(Marshaling the Tour de Staten Island this weekend if the Happy Island squad can spare me.)

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ken e. said...


Jake said...

La Morada
308 Willis Ave, Bronx, NY 10454
(718) 292-0235

BikeSnobNYC said...

Very far from me but thanks! Will check it out.