Monday, October 22, 2018

Virtually Virtuous

I don't Zwift.  Please note I don't say this with smugness--I've become a total Strava dork so acknowledge anything's possible--but the fact remains that as of now I don't ride indoors, with or without digital enhancements.  Nevertheless, I was amused to see that Zwift now offers a virtual New York City for your e-Fredding pleasure:

Of course any New York City facsimile would be incomplete without blocked bike lanes and incessant NYPD ticketing blitzes, though this is a futuristic New York City so presumably our Fredly progeny will have left those indignities behind along with other crude relics such as mechanical shifters and rim brakes:

As a non-Swifter I can only go by the video, but I will give them high marks for verisimilitude because this totally looks like the sort of person you're liable to see in Central Park:

Also, like the sea lions at the Central Park Zoo, New York City Freds can spend their entire cycling lifespan without ever leaving their enclosure.  So thanks to Zwift, not only can they do all their actual rides in Central Park, but they can also do their virtual rides in an idealized Central Park with elevated roadways that will lift them over the rent-a-bike tourists and piles of horse manure:

Not only that, but you can also do the unthinkable, which is ride around the park in different directions:

If you're unfamiliar with Central Park, you're only allowed to ride on the perimeter loop, and only in one direction.  If you're caught riding against traffic or on any of the park's many footpaths you will be ticketed and then locked in the Central Park Conservancy jail deep in a secret tunnel beneath the park where a cadre of wealthy sadistic patrons will read to you from the interpersonal correspondence of Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted until you beg for the mercy of a swift death.

In any case, I'm not sure that I'll ever need to see the computerized version of Central Park, because I lived it.  Crowded and contained as it may be, I enjoy few things more than a leisurely ride in Central Park, especially on a crisp Sunday morning in autumn when the city is sleepy, the traffic is light, and getting to the park is delightful rather than onerous.  Still, this is New York, so it's always something--and on Sundays that something is churchgoers parking in the bike lanes:

Jesus died so you could double-park:

One can only imagine if the velocipede had existed in Jesus's time.  You've strapped on your sandals and headed out for some hill repeats, only to find mile upon mile of double-parked asses with signs hanging around their necks reading "In Worship At The Mount Of Beatitudes."  Actually, a Biblical Zwift could be the one thing that would get me to use it, and Twelve Apostles would make a great virtual Grand Tour team.

Another problem with Central Park around this time of year is that when you get there there's usually some kind of endurance sporting event going on, and the participants get much more latitude than the Freds do.  See, in the spring and summer the roadies have to start racing at the crack of dawn, there are course marshals stationed roughly every five feet, and we're already finished and out of everyone's hair by like 7am.  Meanwhile, when there's a triathlon or duathlon or whatever kind of -athlon this was people get to weave around the park all willy-nilly during peak morning workout time with nary a marshal in sight:

Though there was this guy in an NYPD t-shirt:

Perhaps there was a warrant out for those outfits:

As a Fred I should probably observe the "Let he who is without Lycra cast the first insult" platitude, but if there's one thing I've learned from watching worshippers park in the bike lane it's that none of those teachings are supposed to be taken literally.


Lisa Hyundai said...

Imaginary friends and virtual Freds go well together.

Matt said...

I don't know...I think I'd be begging for a ZWIFT death if I EVER decide I need to do virtual rides on a trainer.

bad boy of the south said...

What,no bike cops on zwiff?(yeah,I'm aware of the true spelling)

Drock said...

Mapmyride does all those things as well. It even sends god messages about whatever subject you want. Dear god let the price of fuel raise to your level and never come back.

leroy said...

Dear Mr. BSNYC -

Can you help settle a bet?

I don't think my dog understands why Zwift won't recognize his Central Park dog sled segments.

pbateman has pacentis unless he doesnt...he isnt quite sure said...

"a warrant for those outfits..."

ha. that's some good Snob right there.

though that does require some zwift level suspension of disbelief as it pertains to the fact that the fashion police around here wear jorts.

speaking of jorts, world's largest outdoor cocktail party is this saturday and i am super duper excited to see so many jorts wearing cousin f'ers in one place.

in bike news:

kirk pacenti apparently left pacenti. so ...if i still buy these wheels they have on they still count as pacentis?

bikey riding is full of so many complicated issues and concerns that make expert blaughs like this invaluable for making informed decisions.

also, i got pretty radical yesterday on my bitchin dawes with it's ex-pacentis and 38's. got sick air jumping off some curbs and such. had there been a cube...i will assure would have been gleamed.

ken e. said...

donkey hill repeats!

HDEB said...

I'd rather masturbate than ride a bicycle indoors : )

janinedm said...

Listen, Central Park is beautiful and I love to do a couple of laps in it, especially in Autumn. That said, the idea limiting your biking to laps on the park (with tentative, sketchy looking commutes to the park being your only non-park riding) made me sad. The idea that, instead of using the technology to ride anywhere, you'd limit yourself to virtual laps around that one park makes me so bummed out I cannot find words.

It seems like a missed opportunity. Why not let them live out their Premium Rush/Quicksilver (depending on age) dreams and bomb up or down Broadway? Why not let them live out their Vanilla Sky fantasies riding through an empty Times Square ( can't imagine Zwift would turn down the advertising opportunities from the billboard space that will need filling? Plus, if they left the park, they'd be able to find non-imaginary climbs. Snob knows, the Bronx has hills. The most direct route from my apt to the Cloisters includes a 1.7 mile, 9% climb up Overlook Terrace.

All that said, I look forward to stories of tourists who have "ridden in the park" hundreds of times having the entire park come down on them when they attempt to ride in the real park backwards as part of their favorite route.

Bikeboy said...

If Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are the "domestiques," you know the Lead Rider must be world-class!

Thanks for this week's sermon.

Unknown said...

There's probably more miles ridden indoor than on the roads, lanes and paths combined.
That's a sad commentary. An opportunity for daily exercise, better health, reduced noise and pollution through basic transportation limited to an indoor toy, using virtual reality, basically because of motorist intimidation, whether purposeful or incidental to their mass and driver inattention.

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

I don't like things that make JanineDM sad.

And for something completely different:

Do you get or lose Zwifty points for using aerobars?

Asking for a Zwift-contact...


Pist Off said...

Don’t mind them parking in the middle of the frickin street, it’s just a bike lane. Also, said persons are In Warship, sorta like being With Child but with far worse outcomes.

pbateman only rides your mother in doors said...

wait, i didn't even think about the aero aspect of riding indoors...

are you saying all this money i spent on DA a/X parts -- which were specifically designed to be sooooo f'in aero and save me 10's, if not 20's, of watts per thousand miles ridden....

are you saying I've wasted all my money on this if i ride indoors?

jesus titty f'ing christ.

i've been a damn fool.

another downside to riding in the inside of in of doors....your chances of being hoodwinked by a passing cyclist drop to zero.

janinedm said...

I mistyped yesterday. The hill on Overlook Terrace is .17 miles, but 9% is still a real deal hill. That's not in Central Park.

huskerdont said...

I don't Zwift either, but I used to say I didn't ride a single speed, so yeah, things change.

Rode in NYC for the first time a coupla weekends ago. I think my average speed was like 9 mph (Brooklyn Bridge is shite; Manhattan Bridge much better coming back over). So, I prolly shoulda just gone to Central Park ... if I were worried about my average speed.

Anyway, Brooklyn itself was no worse than DC for effers parking in the bike lane.

Oh, and the ferry across from Jersey City was fine. As a total rube, I didn't realize that the bike had to sit outside in the ungated fore area of the ferry, so I *almost* didn't hook the handlebar over the railing. Would have made for a very short ride.

G. Thorogood said...

When I Zwift alone - I prefer to be virtually by myself.

pbateman certainly is not going to start running anywhere except out the back door of your mom's house when dad comes home said...

It would be neat if on Zwift if they occasionally just walked by and threw you over the bars and your screen would flash a red alert like:


they may need work on that message for brevity but something like that.

the whole leaning through turns and getting radical jumping off curbs or having to you actually pilot the bicycle through the actual 3-D (as far as we know) world is the fun part of bike riding. like, if you are just gonna pedal circles why not just go running?

bad boy of the south said...

Nice article in outside.i,too,am enjoying said 27.5x3.00.
Perhaps i read the same piece you had about the that particular size being ex-or-sized out,possibly.
Since it is autumn,perhaps like those furry little creatures, i should squirrel away tires in that size before they disappear like a t-rex.

JLRB said...

I am behind in my readings because I am pretending to be an adult - now catching up in an airport giggling a bit - good stuff in this here web space.

As for me, I pedal my bicycle outside but put my car in rollers in the garage