Cannot Stop The Battery

Firstly, I’d like to thank the anonymous commenter who designed a headbadge for my fledgling bike company:

It’s as classy as the bonded aluminum bikes it will adorn.

Secondly, after a long stretch of riding road bikes I slid into a bathtub full of warm mac and cheese over the weekend and boy did it feel good:

I also raided the saddle a hair, moved it back a smidge, and lowered the bars a dollop–subtle tweaks informed by my recent road bike bender that make the bike just a little more inclined to gallop…

…whilst still maintaining 100% of its comfort, dignity, and poise.

Like the maillot jaune on the penultimate stage, the Homer has this year’s Vacation Bike contest all but sewn up, and at this point it would take a true calamity for its position to be usurped…which sounds like a great way to jinx myself, and here’s me without even a wooden bike to knock on anymore:

Do me a favor, if you’re out that way knock on it for me, okay? And if the shop owner attempts to brain you with a seatpost for hitting his precious artifacts just tell him I gave you permission. I normally don’t advocate for wearing helmets, but in this case you might want to consider it.

Speaking of calamities…

As it happens, over the weekend we were riding in the local “protected” bike lane with my younger son. (I put “quotes” around “protected” since it’s a “protected” bike lane that is periodically bisected by high-speed parkway entrance and exit ramps, resulting in a thrilling pit-and-pendulum effect that really keeps you on your toes.) As we rode, we were intermittently set upon by riders on various scud-like e-contraptions. Some would beep annoyingly from behind as they overtook us–and if you’re unfamiliar with the horns the latest e-whatevers are equipped with, here’s what they sound like. Others would come at us head-on in our lane as they passed other riders, and at least one made a valiant attempt to t-bone us as he sailed through a red light at something like 20mph. Of course none of this is in any way remarkable–it’s just what bike lanes are like now in New York City–but when you’re riding with a seven-year-old who’s still mastering his machine it’s harder to ignore them, especially because he’s still too young and small of stature to employ proper e-bike encounter protocol, which is to say, “Fuck these guys” and play chicken with them.

None of this is to begrudge people their e-contraptions, or to even necessarily to say they shouldn’t be using them in the bike lane. Sure, some of these riders suck ass, but some of these bike lanes also suck ass, and arguably the buck stops with the people who design them. (Though maybe it’s more accurate to say the buck stops with the riders, but unfortunately the concept of personal responsibility is no longer in fashion.) Still, amid the current mania to champion any conveyance that’s not a car (regardless of how ridiculous it may be), it’s become unacceptable among advocates to critique the Hydra of Annoyance that is “micromobility,” which apparently some people still naively believe is going to free us from motor vehicle dependence. So while I embrace transportation evolution, and people’s freedom to get around in the manner that they choose, and their right to avail themselves of the many bizarre fruits of our current lithium ion battery obsession, I also think we need to at least embrace our own freedom to articulate what douchebags some of these people can be. I mean who knows? Maybe some good might come of it. But even Twitter is touchy about it:

And then there’s the separate matter of the delivery industry and cheap-ass batteries burning people to death:

Alas, it’s unlikely we’ll see a resolution to any of these 21st century transportation problems anytime soon, especially when we’ve solved virtually none of our 20th century transportation problems–with the possible exception of climate control on subway trains, which is a definite improvement.

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