Further to last week’s thrilling fender content (is there any other kind?)…
…perhaps I tempted the Rain Gods, for on Friday evening it stared raining, and it did not stop until the wee hours of this morning. Of course, I only care about the weather insomuch as it impacts my own cycling, and as I wasn’t going to be able to ride during the weekend anyway owing to the two or three remaining familial responsibilities I haven’t yet managed to shirk, I wasn’t bothered by the relentless precipitation. Indeed, if anything I was happy about all the rain, since it meant I wouldn’t be missing out–no offense meant to any of the riders who rode anyway and received a soaking, some of whom I saw and even met firsthand over the weekend. Sorry!
However, I did have occasion to use The Car The Bank No Longer Owns Because I Finished Paying Them Back, and in the process I got to experience some dramatic roadway flash-flooding. Then on today’s ride I surveyed the aftermath;
See how the mighty Saw Mill River has burst its banks:
Its rich and fertile bottomland now inundated with several inches of water, much to the delight of all the waterfowl I predicably failed to photograph:
They say April showers bring May flowers, so presumably April realized it was running behind and figured it would dump all its rain on us before the end of the month like a cop with a quota. Given this, it was not surprising that the bike path was flooded in spots…
…that is, unless you were a member of the Smugerati, in which case it was a direct affront:
The tweet would hardly be noteworthy if it wasn’t for the imperious “submarine” bit, which instantly takes it into tantrum-at-the-Starbucks territory. I mean, I shouldn’t care, but I’ve invested too much energy into countering the pervasive notion that cyclists are “entitled,” only for Streetsblog to roll in and complain (to the wrong agency, mind you) that when it rains things get wet and generally act like a dowager dressing down a recalcitrant doorman. It’s not the first time, either; in fact, the idea that cyclists should somehow be exempt from the inconveniences of puddling is a recurring theme with them:
I mean sure, it would be great if the storm drains worked properly, but in the meantime it’s not like people on bikes are inconvenienced by standing water more than anyone else. Not to be “Just go around it” guy or anything, but if there’s a big puddle in the bike lane and you’re not comfortable riding through it, maybe…just go around it? You don’t even have to go into the SCARY STREET, you can just get off the bike and walk it on the sidewalk for five seconds. Your bike may not be a submarine, but what aren’t your feet that’s preventing you from simply sashaying around the thing? And again, this wasn’t regular rain, this was some serious three-day-long contemplate-building-an-ark-type chubby rain:
Like, people sometimes have to abandon their cars in these conditions:
I’d venture that in the context of water and infrastructure in this city, nobody has it better than cyclists. A pedestrian might find it impossible to cross, a transit rider could get stuck on the subway, and a driver could have to consign a late-model Nissan Rogue to Davey Jones’s locker. But I’ve never heard of anyone having to shoulder their bike and swim to safety…at least not in New York, anyway:
So whether I’m going out on foot or in a car or on a bike or even staying inside I can expect that certain rain-related inconveniences may arise, which is why when I encounter stuff like this afterwards I don’t get my mink stole in a twist and tweet about how someone should come clean this up for me right now because my bike’s not a buzz saw:
I just, you know, get off and walk around it. And yes, you may feel free to leave your “What a woosie, that’s totally rideable!” comment below–or you can always submit your feedback on paper, that’s also acceptable:
Calls will be returned in the order they are received.