It was raining fairly steadily this morning, but I was determined to ride my bicycle. At first I was dismayed by the weather, but I then realized it presented me with an excellent opportunity to test some of the fancy new garments I recently relieved. So I put on the dramatically-named Men’s Rove Barrier Jacket from Pearl Izumi:
If you buy anything over at Osloh via the above links just use the discount code “BSNYCFANCYPANTS” for $5 off. Seriously. That’s pretty much the same as ordering some new pants and finding five bucks in the pocket. I also heard a rumor that Osloh will have some Black Friday sales coming up, and you can be sure I’ll plug them shamelessly when they kick in, because it’s long past time I embraced the twin American virtues of riding in nice clothes and commerce:
While I’ve been wearing these jeans fairly regularly on the bike and have been quite pleased with them so far (I like the chamois more than I thought I would), this was my first time actually riding in the Rove jacket. Like the Rove Thermal Shirt I mentioned the other day, it’s perfectly suitable for everyday wear, but it also has certain bike-specific features. For example, see my ass?
Now you can really see it, thanks to this high-visibility presenting baboon-inspired safety flap:
The flap stays tucked into the jacket when not in use thanks to some tiny magnets, and I actually discovered it quite by accident. See, while before today I hadn’t actually ridden in the jacket, I have been wearing it around casually, and the other day I was getting out of THE CAR I OWN OUTRIGHT BECAUSE I FINISHED PAYING BACK THE FASCIST BULLYBOYS AT THE BANK, when the tail end of the jacket stuck to the door’s sheet metal like a fridge magnet. “Hmmm, that’s odd,” I thought to myself, but soon figured out I’d in fact found an integrated safety device. It’s pretty clever too, since thanks to the magnets you can easily pull the flap down without removing the jacket. In fact, since discovering it, I’ve been amusing the kids by announcing “DEPLOY BUTT FLAP!” and then doing just that. (I mean my own kids, I don’t yell “DEPLOY BUTT FLAP!” at strange kids, they’d put me away.) So while it may or may not be enough to keep you alive, at the very least it might keep your children entertained.
Oh, and speaking of kids and entertaining bike safety gear, a friend recently ordered some cute bike lights in a rubber ducky styleway from Amazon:
Apparently, some of them were missing that little white clip you see in the photo, so they requested more from the seller. Well, the seller sent some more clips–along with these:
As my friend put it, “Now you know what a bag of dicks looks like.”
Should have ordered from Ben’s Cycle.
Anyway, given the weather and my attire, I figured I’d skip the country lanes and spare my “fancy” bikes and instead take a little urban tour on my midlife crisis fixie:
It was around 50 American Freedom degrees and raining gently yet steadily, but I was emboldened by the beading action of my jacket:
I didn’t have a destination in mind, and instead of heading into Manhattan and down to Central Park I rode south through the Bronx, where I passed this mysterious structure:
According to historians, buildings like this were called “stadiums,” and citizens of a once-great empire used to gather in them en masse to watch sporting events.
Sounds positively decadent.
From there, I headed onto Randall’s Island:
Which is separated from the mainland by the Bronx Kill:
Which is a pretty cool name for a waterway:
I believe Martin Amis would say, “That’s good spondee.”
At this point I figured it was time for a bike check–not “bike check” as in, “Here’s what gear I’m running on my fixie, braaah,” but “bike check” as in “Let’s make sure nothing’s about to fall off this cheap-ass mail-order fixie and kill me:”
Having replaced the original wheels due to rusty spokes (and the cog while I was at it, since like any respectable cyclist I have a Random Cog Drawer), so far everything else looks pretty good, though if you look closely you can see the lip of the cartridge bottom bracket is rusting:
Being the tremendous bike dork that I am, I’ve recently found myself window-shopping for a “nicer” midlife crisis fixie, though I keep reminding myself this is utterly ridiculous since the entire point of this bike is to lock it to poles and forget about it. Also, it rides quite well despite being made of what I can only assume is “high tensile steel,” which people on tHE iNTerNeT would have you believe is a frame tubing material only slightly more structurally sound than riding a wire coat hanger. Here is a Venn diagram of the people who say you will die if you ride a high tensile steel frame, and the people who say riding Rene Herse tires is like having your scranus massaged by God:
It’s around nine miles from my home to Randall’s Island, and the rain had not abated in the time it took me to travel it. But while I’d taken on some water during that time, I still felt pretty comfortable thanks to my wardrobe. Obviously denim isn’t waterproof, but the jeans are heavy enough that I didn’t feel like I had wet fabric clinging to me:
In an attempt to capture the entire ensemble in its mid-ride state, I stuck my phone in the branches of a sapling and set the timer on the camera. I then flashed my best attempt at Blue Steel, but while I may have felt like the very embodiment of the chic urban cyclist, I instead wound up looking like one of those people you see along the bike path who look like they’re either going to ask you for change or jump you:
I blame the photographer.
From Randall’s Island, I made a quick foray into Manhattan, and then popped back over to the Bronx again. The city has added quite a bit of bike infrastructure in the Bronx recently, and there are even Citi Bike stations now, but the bike lane on the Grand Concourse is such that all it takes is a single double-parked vehicle to send all the drivers (and that includes the city buses) into the bike lane:
It wasn’t happening at the moment I took that photo, but if you’ve ridden it you know what I’m talking about. Also, most of the bikes you’ll see are e-bikes, and I can only assume they all come from the Sexy Store:
I wonder if they sell those rubber ducky bike lights…