Sign of the Times

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in New York, and I was fortunate enough to spend it on my bike. More specifically, I spent it doing a little bike-themed video project downtown. The video should eventually be on the Internet for public consumption and subsequent ridicule, and I will of course share more details when that happens, because Lob knows that after spending years making fun of other people’s cinematic endeavors I’ve got it coming.

As for whether it will live up to my own past efforts, I dunno, it’s a pretty high bar:

But hey, we’ll see what happens.

Busy as I was, I didn’t manage to take many photos, but you’ll have to accept my assertion that yesterday was delightful if not downright spectacular. Not only was the city experiencing a literal thaw after weeks of snow and bitter cold, but one could also palp a metaphorical thaw as people embraced life and took to the streets, dressed in all their finery and riding upon all manner of wheeled contraptions, from crabon gravel bikes to electric one-wheel rolling-pin thingies with Bluetooth speakers taped to them. As I rode home in the evening, cutting a lengthwise swath across the island of Manhattan, I felt elated and marveled at the staggering variety of ways in which we all express our exuberance.

Also, on the way downtown, I passed through Times Square, where I was stunned to find a gigantic Cannondale ad:

While it’s tempting to see this as proof that bikes are experiencing an unprecedented moment, it probably just means that with the theaters still closed they’re practically giving away ad space:

Nevertheless, you can add this to the list of things I never thought I’d see, right under “pie plate on a fixed-gear.”

It will be interesting to see if Specialized follows suit, but for now they seem to be sticking to their current strategy of attempting to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.

Speaking of bicycles and commerce, awhile back I mentioned a new bell Osloh is selling, and yesterday I finally had an opportunity to try it:

Basically, it works like a trigger shifter, and you can mount it in a variety of ways depending upon the manner in which your cockpit is configured:

As for me, I put it on my Midlife Crisis Fixie, which is the bike I rode yesterday. I certainly don’t object to the aesthetic of bells, but if you want yours out of sight for some reason this will allow that:

Though of course if you look underneath you’ll find it hanging there like a cow’s udder:

The bell does have a bit of a plasticky feel, and it doesn’t quite have the trance-inducing sonorous timbre of some of those fancy, expensive ones, but, you know, it sounds like a bell. And I really did appreciate how easy it is to use with your thumb, which allows you to sort of flick it repeatedly along those busy stretches of Manhattan bike path where people tend to step out in front of you every two seconds while still covering the brakes. (No, I’m not the sort of person who throws a fit because people walk in the bike lane, but obviously sometimes a genteel heads-up is warranted, and this bell was well-suited to the task.) Plus, you can modulate how loud the bell is depending on how hard you flick it, which is not the case with all bells–and sometimes you do want to ring your bell quietly, depending on the circumstances.

Overall, it’s nothing to thumb your nose at.

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