I know I shouldn’t publish salacious images or videos on this blog, but sometimes I can’t help it:
Yes, with the Five Boro Bike Tour coming this weekend I figured it was time to wash the Vengeance Bike, and I even wiped it down with some of that fancy-schmancy bike cleaner Dumonde sent me awhile back:
A white bicycle with a big chunky aero frame poses a considerable challenge to a slob like me since the filth has absolutely nowhere to hide. The hoods are generally dirty, the underside is crusty, and there’s usually a bunch of grimy fingerprints around the shifters from when I grope around for them with my grubby mitts when I can’t be bothered to glance down first. Unfortunately I was kind of in an hurry so I didn’t have nearly enough time to do a proper detailing, but from a distance anyway it’s looking pretty good after a quick schpritz-and-wipe:
Caressing its curves also reminded me how fond of it I am, and made me once again wonder if I can bear saying farewell to it after the Tour and committing to the Normcore Bike as my primary vintage road bike:
There’s just no denying it doesn’t quite have whatever it is that the Vengeance Bike has–and I’m not just talking about vintage Fred cred, either:
Could it be that I should be listening to Bicycling more than I do? After all, if they were right about the Vengeance Bike all those years ago, maybe I should also be sure to get my hands on whichever road bike is currently on the cover in 36 years, and then break my hip in the process of trying to straddle it.
Meanwhile, in local news, New York City wants us to tell them where to put loading zones:
The DOT has over 3,000 vehicles that travel all over the city, many of them often blocking bike lanes themselves, yet for some reason they need you to figure this whole thing out for them:
Unsurprisingly, the website already has over a thousand comments from frustrated road users, many of whom are no doubt bicyclists:
Also unsurprisingly, the map is an uncannily accurate map of gentrification:
If there’s a pin on your street then your rent is about to go up.
Finding double-parking hotspots in New York City is only difficult if you’re the sort of person who has trouble finding your own rear end when you’re on the toilet. So why does the DOT need so much help wiping its own ass?
Well, it starts to make sense when you consider this is all part of the new Vision Zero…Work On the Part Of The City initiative. See, the idea of paying cyclists in New York to report people is becoming increasingly popular:
It’s based on our anti-idling law, which also involves people who report violations…and of course we have an anti-idling advocate because this is New York City, we have an advocate for everything:
The anti-idling one, it’s an amazing success. I mean the city’s raised about $3 million, citizens have gotten about a million, so how can you complain?
I can complain because there’s been no meaningful reduction in idling vehicles, at least as far as I can tell. I can also complain because the city’s finances are a mess and at best maybe the $3 million covers whatever they spent on that stupid “Billy Never Idles” campaign in the first place:
As for enterprising people making money, that sounds good until you consider what it means in practice:
Who the hell wants to live like that? (Apart from attorneys, of course. They love being annoying, and if he gets assaulted he also gets to sue, it’s a win-win.)
He won’t get to sue the city though, because naturally they’re not responsible:
When you consider that the city already funds multiple agencies and thousands of employees to enforce these laws and write these tickets and figure out where these loading zones should be and all the rest of it, you realize you shouldn’t be pleased that they’re going to cut you in; rather, you should be insulted. They have no interest in solving the problem. They’re only interested in turning you into another revenue stream, and making it seem like they’re doing something while they’re effectively paying you to accept the situation. The city expects commercial drivers to park illegally, which is why they get a wholesale deal on tickets through the “Stipulated Fine” program–though interestingly there’s no longer a discount on bike lane tickets:
Maybe that does mean they’re serious about keeping the bike lanes clear. Or maybe it’s only because they know they’re eventually gonna have to cut you in. Either way, no doubt they’ve identified us as a willing army of whiners who are already documenting every inconvenience we encounter regardless of how minor, and who are uniquely and bizarrely willing to put ourselves at risk by confronting strangers and shoving our phones in their face on a regular basis, even without getting paid for it.
With so many cyclists in New York City, why would someone from a city agency even bother to get out of the car?