When I’m heading out for a ride I typically peruse my many velocipedes before making a decision, like Thurston Howell III picking out an ascot:
However, when it’s genuinely frigid outside, I stop being finicky and go right for the Jones:
The abundant tire volume allows me to remain in the woods where I’m safe from the wind, and to float over all the frozen ruts left by less scrupulous riders. The wide-range, winch-like gearing means that when it comes to ascending steep pitches of rough terrain the only limitation is my considerable lack of skill. And the upright position means I stay comfortable even when wearing lots of layers and don’t fall victim to a chapped lower back.
On Saturday I had enough time to head up to the dark and forbidding Trails Behind The Mall:
However, on Sunday I only had a little bit of time in the early morning, and so I stuck to the wooded areas in the immediate vicinity of my home.
Strictly speaking, you’re not supposed to ride a bike on some of these trails. However, in my defense, not too many people are out walking at sunrise on Sunday morning when it’s like 19 American Freedom Degrees out, so it was highly unlikely I’d be bothering anybody. Furthermore, the ground was frozen solid, so I wouldn’t be leaving behind any ruts (see above). Most importantly, while I’m worried about noodling around in the park on my bicycle like the “woosie” I am, everyone else is pitching mattresses and tires into it, so I hardly think I’m the problem:
Yes, I know that smacks of “whataboutism,” but if you don’t like it whatabout you kiss my ass, how does that sound?
Sorry, that was a bit defensive.
Regardless, few sights are more beautiful than that of the sun rising over a pile of soiled mattresses and worn-out tires:
If you’re one of those “I don’t know how you live in New York City!” types, just imagine how hard it would be for me to leave all this natural beauty behind. Also, this particular trash pile is technically beyond the New York City limits, suggesting to me this is what awaits me should I attempt to flee.
Or maybe that’s just what the curators of my “Truman Show”-esque reality want me to think…
Anyway, as I rode, I continued to find reasons to feel good about myself, such as the fact that, in addition to not engaging in illegal dumping, I also refrain from ditching Citi Bikes deep in the woods:
I will admit, however, that as I look at the photo I do find myself wondering if I should return in order scavenge some of those parts. Those tires, for example, are pretty decent. Also, adapting that rear fender to my Rivendell would be worth at least eleventy million irony points. (By the way, only after taking inventory of the bike did it occur to me that maybe I should have called Citi Bike to let them know I found their property. So maybe I am a bad person after all.)
The photo itself is rather poignant, if I do say so. In looking at the bike, consider that it lies just a few feet from the New York City line, and that Yonkers is just over my shoulder. Now imagine someone trying to flee the city by Citi Bike, braving the runaway buses:
And the car service drivers:
Only to be gored by one of the Killer Deer of Van Cortlandt Park, redolent of musk and hyper-territorial due to seasonal mammalian horniness:
Forced to abandon the bike, the wounded victim then crawls past the mattresses and tires, further and further into Westchester, where he is stunned to find people dining inside restaurants. Eventually, the Citi Bike Secret Police will trace him to an Uno Pizzeria & Grill, where they’ll find him deep into his third Chicago Meat Market pie. The thick crust, the non-artisanal ingredients, the ample parking…all this will be antithetical to the values of the place from whence he has come–and yet he will scream “It was worth it!,” his sauce-smeared face contorted in ecstasy, as they drag him back to Brooklyn for reprogramming.
Or some kids just found the bike and left it there, I suppose that’s also possible. I never said I was a detective.