Thursday, May 3, 2018

New Outside Column!

Here's my latest column for Outside, which is about how just maybe we should treat delivering stuff by bike like it's an actual job, and also treat the people who do that job like actual humans while we're at it:


Though I still reserve the right to make fun of fixie scavenger hunts:


In other news, I've been riding early in Central Park owing to responsibilities concomitant with the curation of human children, and while as of a couple weeks ago the problem was that it was dark and cold, now the problem is that it's light and warm, because the park's officially become Too Crowded.  In particular, once the temperature gets above 60 American Degrees™ the triathletes start to appear:


New York City triathletes can be seen on bikes like the one above, and they're often engaged in inexplicable behavior such as sprinting on the downhills while splayed out over their aerobars. 

Of course if I were to encounter myself I'd be lamenting the presence of Freds on expensive wooden bicycles so there you go.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podio?

JLRB said...

"a couple weeks ago the problem was that it was dark and cold, now the problem is that it's light and warm, because the park's officially become Too Crowded."

Get up earlier. There, fixed it for ya.

JLRB said...

"And hey, if people using bikes for work also happen to have fun on them in the process, don’t hold that against them."

While I don't quite use my bikecycle for work, I sometimes enjoy my bikecycle commute. The shame of it all.

One of the more annoying arguments against bike lanes - "They are always empty" Factually incorrect, and misguided - cities don't put in bike lanes unless they have studied the need...

Anonymous said...

Excellent article. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Nice early morning post!

HDEB said...

When I was (briefly) a bicycle messenger my dispatch told me on more than a few occasions to act as if I wasn't making deliveries by bicycle, to leave my helmet with my bike and put both my pants legs down to my ankles so as to give the appearance that I was a good American using a freedom machine.

BeerDrivenCyclist said...

Podi?

janinedm said...

I saw the cutest Fred on my ride home last night. He was reasonably fast but shite in traffic, so he'd pass me and then get stuck at every intersection like "how do I cross this?" The lines of sight were so clear that a Dutch bike with full panniers could navigate it, but he'd end up in these knots. What I'm saying is that Peleton needs a traffic simulator. I bet he got goose bumps when his wheels finally touched River Road.

Jarra said...

What the hell are bike messengers delivering these days, now that we have scanners, email, e-docs, e-signatures, etc? Last time I bought a house, we just emailed all the documents.

Il Pirata est Mort said...

How much wood would a wood bike like if a wood bike could like wood?

theEel said...

weed.

Chazu said...

Rather than abandon the city entirely, perhaps you can maintain your current home as a pied-à-terre. You'd then have a "Primary Summer Residence" somewhere west of the Hudson, and a "Primary Winter Residence" in a location that stays warm and green in the winter.

You could then relocate at-will for strategic avoidance of triathletes, dog-walkers, foul weather, etc.

Your readers will surely purchase more Just Coffee, Brooks saddles, etc. by clicking through your blog to help finance this lifestyle. In doing so, we can live vicariously through your blog while we're stuck at work. (which is what we do anyway)

Skidmark said...

I’d like to order a hot pastrami, delivered to the 25th floor of the Ivory Tower. Yes, I’d like the extra e-bike express delivery upgrade, please. Hurry.

Anonymous said...

Both shocking and scary, I've seen tridorks climbing in the aero position. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Some people seem to think if the leisure activity isn't one they use, it's a waste their tax money. I don't begrudge the users of our city owned golf course, tennis courts, baseball fields and various other places designed to facilitate the hitting of balls with expensive sticks just because I don't partake. Not to mention pools, boat ramps, and all manner of parks underwritten by my tax dollars. Let me have a friggin' bike lane already! And guess what... I just might be going to work in that bike lane, so due to the absence of my car, you can get through the intersection 3 seconds sooner. It's a win win.

Sorry if this shows up more than once. I must be a robot after all.

N/A said...

Good Outsiding article Wildcat. Your advocacy-themed pieces are always very well done, and I hope that they get in front of more eyes than just those of us that are the choir that is being preached to. While I know Outside magazine is, ostensibly, for like-minded individuals (that are currently waiting in a dentist's office), I would suspect that the readership is about 90% assholes towards bikecyclists, rather than the normal 100% that we all meet in our daily comings-and-goings.



Somebody ought to study the Tridork species. How do they keep propagating? One would think that they would eventually go extinct due to injurious behavior, flat tires, or release of new iPhones at the mall, yet every spring a new crop appears. Fucking amazing.

N/A said...

I just might be going to work in that bike lane, so due to the absence of my car, you can get through the intersection 3 seconds sooner. It's a win win.


There are plenty of reasons why anti-bike people are morons, but this is one of the ones that the dummies miss that is the most head-scratching to me.
If I'm on my bike, you might have to slow down for 5 seconds to pass me on a narrow road. Maybe. Doubt it, though, and that's a pretty specific "maybe". On the other hand, you won't be stopped behind me at a light, you won't have to compete with me for a parking space, and best of all, I won't rear-end you because I'm looking at my phone rather than paying attention to the road.

Chazu said...

janinedm

Is that the River Road that runs along the Potomac River?

All,

Here is a Ford Fairlane on an MTB trail not too far from the mighty Cumberland River:

That'll buff right out

Anonymous said...

I've lived within 3 blocks of Central Park for about 10 years. I almost never ride there (other than my commute to work). I prefer a morning pre-work ride up over the GWB into palisades park even though about 75% of it is in traffic. It gets boring riding loops in the park, notwithstanding that it is pretty and car free. Although I've probably done this particular ride a thousand times. There are also too many other cyclists serving to remind me how mediocre I am as a cyclist. My main goal in my leisure activities is to avoid crowds as much as possible because as New Yorkers, we spend our entire lives in crowds. I guess if i were training for weekend races i would feel differently. What time do you ride there? Likely way to early for me, but would be fun to run into you while your crushing loops and doing hill repeats. I'd be the 200lb guy on a Moots with a beard riding at a relatively moderate speed and almost suffering.

janinedm said...

When I picture the average Outside reader, I picture the guy I once saw who left both his front and rear doors open on the Central Park West bike lane while he loaded his bike onto his car hitch rack.

wle said...

isn't this so-called "WOOD" ....


.... mostly made of the "CRABON"?

just saying ....

Never understood the attraction said...

The banana I brought with me to work is way too ripe.
But the issue of tridorks never is.
My ex bro-in-law once accompaigned me on a Saturday ride with my normal bent-handlebars group. Of course he showed up on his expensive-for-that-time-period tribike, for a ride that was severely up and down in the hills of a northern NE state. One of my friends suggested that he might be more comfortable on a normal bike, and he replied, "I'm training for a triathalon in CT." Oy. I was embarrassed for the guy.

Anonymous said...

Getting up early to ride in circles in a park? What happened to BSNYC? I figure the ransom post is next!

bad boy of the south said...

Chazu,i can see it now.airbsnyc.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Anonymous 1:15pm,

While I've been getting up early to ride circles in parks off and on for the last 20+ years, the short answer to that question is "kids."

Anonymous 12:58pm,

Honestly the only reason I head down to the park when I have to ride super early is that it's still pretty dark so I stay in the city where the streets are better lit. In a few weeks when the sun's coming up earlier I'll head north instead. My Strava reveals all as far as when and where I ride. When I ride early I have to be home by 7, which means I must leave early indeed!

--Wildcat Etc.

Anonymous said...

N/A said and best of all, I won't rear-end you because I'm looking at my phone rather than paying attention to the road

Well you say that (actually I wasn't looking at a phone because they didn't come with long enough extension cords when I was a kid) but still. Didn't do the bus enough damage for him to notice or stop

janinedm said...

Chazu, I'm referring to the River Road on the New Jersey side of the Hudson. But thinking of all of the bike-filled River Roads out there made me think of that time when Freddy Kruger said that every town has an Elm Street.

bad boy of the south said...

Great article in outside.i had thought about being a messenger when i had lived in Manhattan in the eighties and nineties. i had a full time job back then,mostly monday through friday.i would've attempted weekend work,but alas,it was not to be.
I salute those who work or worked by bike.it's tough out there for sure.
I doff my cap to ya.

BamaPhred said...

Time for some Aqueduct trail wildlife pics. I’d be happy with some UWS falcons or hawks. Or maybe owls, given your timing.

Drock said...

once riding a wood bike I got wood looking at a beautiful woman riding a steel bike.

David Suto said...

Careful, using words like "concomitant" is likely going to get you tagged as elitist and also run the risk of your articles only being understood by cyclist riding steel and titanium bikes with Ultegra groupsets without referencing the online OED.

NOTdjt said...

Information i didn't know at the time but eventually learned was....

Driverless Cars will be a big improvement over the scarecrows who are driving now. said...

The Car Supremacists start with the premise that bicyclists are bad (just like all bigots start with a premise that "X" is bad). And then they make up reasons to why they don't like bicyclists, even if those reasons are entirely contradictory. "Bikes are bad because they are for play, errrr, I mean for work". "Duh, I just don't like them, cuz they are IN MY WAY."

Though if they had a brain they would realize that transferring a lot of bicyclists /pedestrians /mass transit users to car users would result in gridlock.

NOTdjt said...

....i meant,eventually learned was....

NOTdjt said...

never mind...i'm a dotard.

Steve Barner said...

Powerful. The Outside column, that is. Thanks.

Some guy from upstate said...

N/A - exactly. When I drive my car, I have to slow down for other cars all the time (not because I drive fast, that's just how it is unless you live in Montana or something). When I ride my bike, I often have to slow down for cars. Yet when I am riding a bike and a car has to slow slightly or move over slightly for me, I am apparently a huge pain in the ass.

STG said...

Triathlon bars are dumb. They are dumb. They are dumb. I don't like interacting with tri-riders on the road, and I don't like that in amateur stage races you need to bring a TT bike in order to compete in the GC.

Get them off the road.

Get them out of amateur stage races.

Most of the tridorks you see on them can't hold a speed where its necessary to use them, and can't hold a line where its safe to use them.

Anonymous said...

I bought a new bike. Impulsively. It was $225 off amazon, scratch and dent. Cyclocross/gravel commuter whatever. Butted 4130. Claris 2x8 with compact crank. Tektro discs. Nova tech hubs with dbl wall rims, 32h. Should be a good lock to a pole bike. https://www.citygrounds.com/products/populo-quest-bike?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2NKcjtDq2gIVC9lkCh1qcg2FEAMYASAAEgLYiPD_BwE&variant=41303834380
Never even heard of this Populo brand. I guess they just make ebikes now.

leroy said...

I snuck out early-for-me this week and rode River Road on my commute from Brooklyn to Mid-Town.

But no matter what time I ride, my dog informs me I'm always in the dark.

Ride safe all!

Anonymous said...

Riding Circles in the Dark sounds dirty

Nathan Johnson said...

Nobody gets the triathlete here. My take is that it’s like when you’re in college and you have to take some classes to see if you like something. Eventually you realize that you’ll never make a living in the field of Multicultural Underwater Basketweaving Film Studies, so you focus on something useful and sensible. Then again, some people never learn.

Velik rider said...

janinedmMay,
You meen Hudson Drive?😆

JLRB said...

If you don’ t have anything nice to say

paulb said...

I'm trying to figure a good route from where you live to Central Park for chilly, early, dark, half-awake. It's not coming.