New Outside Column! And More!

In a perfect example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, Outside are still publishing my columns, and here’s the latest one:

City life and suburban life each have their relative benefits and drawbacks, but I’m eternally tickled by the Twitter urbanists who rail against the latter while never acknowledging all the benefits they reaped from their own comfortable suburban upbringings. (To be fair, not all Twitter urbanists grew up in the suburbs–the really rich ones grew up in the city.)

Speaking of the city, I rode through a great swath of it yesterday on the newly-fendered Homer, seen here in one of my discreet rest stops:

I’ve got spots like this from the Bronx to the Battery, and one day I will publish a volume entitled “The Cyclist’s Guide To Peeing in New York City.”

While didn’t rain, at east there was a tiny bit of drizzle, and I did acquire a mystery glop:

Is that a bit of plant matter? A dead frog? A rat’s spleen? A heavy smoker’s lung cheese? When you undertake a three-borough bike commute it’s anybody’s guess.

Anyway, for all my struggles yesterday, the fenders ran quietly with no rubbing–and the bike handled beautifully, even with a full bag on the return trip:

I bought some stuff during the day, you know how it goes.

Nevertheless, today I wanted to savor the sensation of unrestricted flight:

And so I headed out for a ride on an unladen swallow Kestrel:

Dressed in my finest Wabi Woolens:

Typically models get free clothes, but I’m relatively certain that after seeing that shot Wabi Woolens will not only refuse to send me any more jerseys, but will also demand this one back. (If so the joke’s on them, I still haven’t washed it!)

So free and unfettered did I feel that I flew right past all the popular Fredly watering holes west of the Hudson:

Then I hit the descent to River Road, only to reach the bottom and find out…it was closed:

This meant I could either wait until May 8th:

Or climb back up again:

Of course, there was yet another option, which was to say “Fuck it” and just keep going. However, if in fact River Road was impassible, I could not risk having to backtrack since that could cause me to be late meeting the school bus. Plus, the last time I ignored a sign like this I ended up regretting it:

So around I turned and back up I went:

As I climbed, I admired the mighty Hudson and the world famous Yonkers waterfront on the other side:

I also marveled that probably something like 75% of the people who use Palisades Interstate Park are cyclists, and yet they couldn’t post a “Road Closed” sign at the top of the fucking hill.

I mean yeah, it’s possible I missed it, and it’s also possible it just didn’t occur to them, but by far the most likely scenario is that it did occur to them and they said, “Fuck it, let ’em climb back up.”

Nevertheless, because I was feeling sprightly I didn’t necessarily mind the gratuitous climb. I did however mind having to take Route 9W the rest of the way to the George Washington Bridge, since it was a weekday and motor vehicle traffic was heavy. Along the way I noted this sign in the posh enclave of Alpine:

I don’t know what they mean by that, I think being a rich asshole from Alpine carries a tremendous stigma.

Fortunately, I survived the North Jersey Traffic Gauntlet and made it safely over the bridge and back to civilization:

Closer to home, I stopped to pick up some artisanal foodstuffs:

Getting back on the bike, I noticed my tire was going flat. I briefly considered fixing it, but changing a tube during the last mile of your ride is like washing a rental car. So I rimmed it the rest of the way, my lunch swinging pendulously.

If a bike basket with a baguette in it is quintessentially French, then a road bike with a flat tire and a plastic bag dangling from the handlebars is its American counterpart.

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