Feeling Those Good Friday Vibes

Firstly, congratulations on this Good Friday (or at least decent Friday) to Andrew, who has received one of the two pairs of Arclight pedals I recently gave away and mounted them on his “poor man’s Platypus” (his words not mine):

As far as I’m concerned, anyone riding a bike like this is filthy rich–at least in spirit.

Secondly, if you hate being beeped at and overtaken in the bike lane by impatient e-whatever riders like I do…

…you may be pleased to learn that the Department of Transportation is widening them (the bike lanes I mean):

I do think this is worth a try, but if the Smuggies are always telling us not to add car lanes because “induced demand” only makes traffic worse, doesn’t it stand to reason that widening the bike lanes will just bring in more and bigger e-whatevers and make them even less hospitable to people on regular bikes?

Sadly I suspect there will be more gasoline scooters without license plates than bicycles in this bike lane, but I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and it would be great if it worked out.

Speaking of cycling in New York City, you may have miles and miles gravel roads where you live, but we have street resurfacing season, which is even more exciting:

Yes, come springtime you never know when you’ll turn a corner and find yourself on a five-star sector of pavé. Of course street resurfacing is good and necessary, but here in New York City we go the extra vibration-inducing mile of leaving the road milled sometimes for weeks or even months at a time This gives you ample opportunity to not only savor it day after day, but also to beat your best time.

By the way, as I was taking that photo, the driver of a minivan with TLC plates (so a car service or Uber-type vehicle for you out-of-towners) passed and commented wryly that I was texting and riding (I mean technically I wasn’t but he was close enough), and at the next red light we got to talking.

Now, normally when a motorist starts talking to me about cyclist behavior I have no patience for it. In this case however he was a young, affable fellow and his manner wasn’t chiding and condescending; rather, he was simply being candid and personable and seemed to have a sense of humor. He expressed his frustration in a general sense over what he saw as cyclist “entitlement,” specifically not stopping at red lights or for pedestrians, and flying off the handle when the bike lane is blocked. I allowed him that all of this was true of plenty of cyclists, while at the same time noting that people on bikes by no means had a monopoly on such behavior, a sentiment with which he agreed. As the light changed, we continued talking, riding and driving side-by-side on the rugged roadway, mostly finding common ground in our views on vehicular comportment and life in general, and at the end of Bleecker Street we exchanged heartfelt well-wishings and went our separate ways. If nothing else, it was a welcome reminder that actual communication is better than Internet communications, and that most of us agree more than we disagree.

And yes, obviously the idea that cyclists are somehow more entitled than all the people I see running red lights in cars at full speed with fake or obscured license plates is absurd, and clearly cyclist entitlement is mostly just annoying whereas motorist entitlement is demonstrably deadly–and yet, you’ve got to admit, we can be really, really annoying:

Sure, they shouldn’t be putting their truck in the bike lane, and it’s crazy that the city is overridden with giant trucks, but what are you accomplishing here really except exposing yourself to even more danger?

Finally, as a semi-professional bike blogger I get weird PR emails all the time. Mostly I just ignore them if they’re not about bikes, but this one caught my eye because it seemed particularly inane, even for a PR email:

Earth Day is coming up this month and the rising alternative wellness trend of going on a magic mushroom retreat is the sure fire way to connect with the planet and universe

Rob Grover and Gary Logan are the founders of The Journeymen Collective, the company creating luxury guided magic mushroom retreats in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. They’ve hosted everyone from performers and athletes to entrepreneurs, CEOs, couples and groups invested in the highest level of self-discovery and personal development.  

What amazing individuals. I wondered why I’d never heard of them, but then I realized I do my very best to avoid every one of the publications they’ve been featured in to date:

Featured in Forbes, Bloomberg, Condé Nast Traveler, Marie Claire, and TZR, The Journeymen Collective are having a profound effect on the lives of those enrolling in their retreats

Please let me know if we can discuss scheduling Rob and Gary for an interview.

For the record, I am not interested in scheduling Rob and Gary for an interview. However, I did watch the promotional video on their website:

Imagine looking at that while you’re on mushrooms. No thank you.

Anyway, the video featured footage of businesspeople…who I guess we don’t want to be like?

There was also stock footage of people balancing on one foot near the ocean, who presumably we do want to be like:

I don’t know if it’s Rob or Gary doing the narration. However, it might as well have been Bob or Doug McKenzie. I admit I don’t know from Canadian accents, so I don’t know which particular type the narrator has, but whatever it is it’s thick as maple syrup and incredibly distracting. If you’re going to say utterly meaningless stuff like “Disconnect from our inner power is the primary cause of stress and discontent in so many people’s lives” then at least adopt some kind of fake accent that makes you sound wise or soothing. I would never, ever give money to someone with an accent like this in exchange for any type of advice, unless the advice I was looking for happened to be how best to milk the prostate of a moose.

Then they show you scary pictures and tell you “Humanity is at a nexus point, and it’s never been more apparent than today:”

You should be wary of anybody who tells you the state of humanity or the planet Earth is more dire or worse off than it ever has been, or that we in this particular time are somehow uniquely challenged or doomed. It is to cults as “laterally stiff and vertically compliant” is to bike reviews, and it simultaneously appeals to your ego and inflames the anxiety they claim they’re going to rid you of by taking your money. Nevertheless, I do admit that there is one sign our society is in very deep trouble, and it’s that there’s such a thing as “luxury magic mushroom retreats,” during which you can take “intensive plant medicine journeys,” which is a commendably pretentious way of saying “tripping balls.”

Anyway, presumably if all goes well you can be like this guy:

See? His life is in balance. He’s got a sport jacket and an Apple computer, which means he’s rich, but he’s also got a beard and his hair is kinda long, which means he’s at peace. He also microdoses and is not self-conscious about his vibrator use, and he’s off toilet paper ever since he installed a bidet.

Of course no quasi-spiritual endeavor is complete without wanton cultural appropriation and random bits of clashing cultural bric-a-brac, and Bob and Doug call themselves “shamans” while showing you pictures of Buddha and candles:

Sure, unlike Bob and Doug the Dalai Lama himself recommends against using hallucenogens in this way, but what the hell does he know?

But sure, you want to take mushrooms, but in order to do it you need to pretend it’s part of some spiritual journey. You’re also willing to pay someone to tell you all the things you want to hear while it’s happening. So how much will it cost you? Well, Bob and Doug don’t like to use numbers. They measure money in non-refundable vibrations:

They certainly know their market:

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