While some might say I’m getting old, I prefer to say I’ve reached step-thru age:
Either way, you’re never too old to stop playing with your Platypus. (Sorry.) This week I changed the cheap-ill fitting rear rack for a lightly more adjustable cheap ill-fitting rack that doesn’t rattle when I ride over bumps:
I liberated said rack from my Ironic Orange Julius Bike (which I intent to finally strip down and repurpose), along with my antique frame pump:
Few cyclist accessories are more smug than the frame pump:
In fact, when it comes to eagerly proffering assistance, people who carry frame pumps are second only to people who carry Leathermans (Leathermen?) in terms of sheer smugness.
As for the Platypus, I’m trying to live with the cheap rear rack as opposed to a fancy Nitto or something, since the juxtaposition of fancy and janky seems in keeping with the funky Rivendell ethos–like lashing a digital watch to your stem with cloth tape:
Speaking of cloth tape, putting some on the bars is basically the last thing I need to do in order to consider the bike officially finished (I do use those hand positions), but who knows when I’ll actually get around to it:
Having two Rivendells is like having a bag of popcorn and a pack of Twizzlers in that you want to keep going back and forth between them, and going from the capacious Platypus to the comparatively stripped-down (by Rivendell standards) Homer is the ultimate in decadence:
But is an
old step-thru age schlub who lives a life of leisure and alternates between fop chariots as it suits him representative of the typical New York City cyclist? What is a typical New York City cyclist, anyway? Well, every year the Department of Transportation issues a “Cycling In The City” report, and while I’m not sure it answers that question, it does have some stats upon which to dork out:
Here’s what it aims to tell you:
One aspect of the report I find irksome year after year is where they do the counts:
Basically, they take them on the East River bridges, on the Pulaski Bridge, and on Prospect Park West, which is like polling people about their grocery shopping habits but only doing it outside of Whole Foods stores. It seems like the could at least set up another counter on the Willis Avenue Bridge, which is the only decent Harlem River bike crossing and connects the South Bronx and Harlem, but I guess for the time being we’ll have to make do with advocates complaining about being stuck in traffic jams on it.
Here’s how many adults in New York City ride bikes:
That’s actually a pretty sobering statistic–basically three-quarters of adult New Yorkers either can’t ride a bike or choose not to do so. No doubt at least some of them might feel differently if it didn’t seem so dangerous to them, and the increase in bicycling since the city started building infrastructure in earnest would seem to attest to that. Even so, it’s a pretty big chunk of people, and something to think about next time you’re tempted to yell at a pedestrian, since there’s almost a 75% chance they don’t ride a bike, and the way you treat them will essentially determine what they think about people who do.
As for the 26% of those who do ride, 45% of them ride several times a month, and 17% of them ride at least once a month. In other words, a little over 60% of the one-quarter of adult New Yorkers who do ride might realistically be considered regular cyclists–which certainly ain’t nothing, but is still pretty far from the ubiquity cycling has to reach before people stop making generalizations about other people who ride bikes.
Here’s New York City’s cycling growth compared to other cities:
In your bearded face, Portland!
Speaking of beards, it’s still more likely than not a rider in New York will have one, as the gender gap persists:
By the way, apparently nobody told the DOT they’re no longer females, they’re “bodies with vaginas:”
Which means it’s only a matter of time before cyclists become “bodies with helmets:”
And finally, the East River bridge that has seen the biggest cycling increase over the past five years has been the…Queensboro Bridge:
In other words, avoid the Queensboro Bridge.
As an alternate, try the 59th St. Bridge instead.