I Suck, You Suck, We All Suck For Cycling!

Hello, sorry I’m late, I was busy parenting!

Hey, someone’s gotta ruin these kids’ lives.

I’m also late in addressing People for Bikes‘s 2020 City Rankings Data, which I received under embargo two days ago, meant to address yesterday, and then forgot about. So as always I’m a day late and a dollar short–but, hey, at least I’ve got a pocket full of clichés.

Anyway, data such as this deserves a thorough analysis. So while we all sit around and wait for someone else to provide one, let’s give this a cursory look through a monocle tinted with cynicism. Here goes:

Firstly, here are the top cities:

San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, both lovely places, should not count as cities so let’s just put a big red line through those. [Note to graphics department: figure out how to do that and then do it.] As for Madison, I was there roughly a million years ago and thought it was fantastic, so with San Luis Obispo now out of the picture I’m perfectly cool with them being Number One. That makes Toronto the runner-up, though technically we shouldn’t count them because they’re not even in America. Therefore, Washington DC is now officially in the second position, and I totally endorse that because I had a great time there too. [Prediction: someone will read that last sentence as an endorsement of Donald Trump and leave a lengthy comment about how they’ll never read this blog again.]

Of course, after looking to find out which group of smug assholes won, the next thing you do when you look at rankings like this is look up your own shithole. This is what I did, and New York City comes in with a 1.9:

Huh, New York City looks a lot like Portland.

This sounds pretty bad, but even Madison only got a 3.5, meaning that rating is the very best America has to offer.

I have no idea what a five-star cycling experience is, but I suspect it’s riding around on a Rivendell in Amsterdam after one and a half beers while people throw money and weed at you.

Here’s a closer look at that rating:

I’m not sure what they mean by “ridership,” but if it’s a character assessment of the sorts of people who ride bikes in New York City then 1.5 is way too generous, because people here suck.

But wait! That 1.9 overall rating for New York City doesn’t tell the whole story because People For Bikes also treats each of the five boroughs as its own city. Here’s the one in which I habitate:

The Bronx also looks like Portland.

And here’s the breakdown:

The Bronx would have got a 5 for “ridership,” but I’m such a gigantic asshole I singlehandedly dragged it down to a 1.5.

As for the New York City with the highest rating, that’s…yes, you guessed it, Brooklyn:

Finally, an accurate photo! That’s obviously Brooklyn Bridge Park.

They’re so smug it makes me sick, I can’t believe I ever lived there.

Finally, for the sake of comparison, I punched up Portland to see how they fared against New York City–and hey, look a that, it’s a dead heat with Brooklyn:

Huh, Portland looks a lot like Brooklyn.

Anyone who’s ventured beyond Avenue J on a bicycle knows this is patently absurd, but hey, who am I to argue with science?

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