Wednesday, May 9, 2018

New Outside Column!

Happy Wednesday, everybody!

As you may or may not know, Central Park is officially going car-free forever this summer, and this week's Outside column is all about how people started driving through it in the first place:


Writing this column was easy, as it's a verbatim reproduction of the spiel I give tourists when I take them through the park in my pedicab.  (Though I left out the part about how the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man shot John Lennon to death in front of the Dakota, which is why there's now a part of the park called Marshmallow Fields.)

Anyway, you'll excuse me if I seem testy today, but yesterday was a difficult one.  Firstly, I awoke and drew back the curtain only to be greeted by perfect weather, which meant I was going to have to take a bike ride.

Goddamn it.

The soggy, kugel-like trails of spring have been keeping me on the road in recent months, and my Midlife Fredding Crisis in particular has kept me bent over the drop bars, but now that the sun has arrived to stay I figured a casual dirt ride was long overdue.  So I hopped on Ol' Piney for a t-shirt-and-jorts ride:


During which I had to cope with bursts of color like this:


And excellent trail conditions like this:


If I were ever to curate a Dirt Fondon't this is pretty much the route I'd use.

And if having to ride a bicycle on a beautiful day weren't onerous enough, during my ride I stopped to check my email, only to find one from my neighbor on the subject of Yankees tickets.  Evidently he had some for that very evening and wondered if I wanted to go.

I looked at the cloudless sky and imagined myself drinking beer under it with some solid mileage in my legs as dusk fell and professional athletes scurried around for my amusement.

"Yes," I replied.  "I will go to the baseball game."

I'm not exactly the biggest sports fanatic in the world, so only after accepting this extremely generous offer did it even occur to me to look up who the Yankees were playing.  Of course it turned out to be the Red Sox, which even a bike-riding non-ball-sports-playing "woosie" like me knows is a hot ticket.  Anyway, it was all just as enjoyable as I imagined it would be, even if the beers did cost like $75 each.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm a lucky bastard.

Suckers!

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

Podai?

Scooter R. said...

So Wildcat, do you know the final score of the baseball game you watched? Just wondering...

Fraser Millar said...

Podilly dodilly?

HDEB said...

Yes please to a dirt Fondon't : )

BikeSnobNYC said...

Scooter R.,

30-love?

--Wildcat Etc.

JLRB said...

Yankees are punk?

Thanks for the "So you had a bad day" themed post.

MattC said...

Ahh Snobby...in the big scheme of things we (that's a pretty generous WE, as in anybody who is here at your site most likely) are all lucky bastards. Every once in a while I get all introspective (such as this morning) and take a pause to realize that having/riding bikes, having a good job and a house and a death-mobile (old as it may be), an amazing wife with an absolutely fabulous life in general here in this amazing place we live...dang am I one lucky guy! The vast majority of the world population should be half so lucky! My problems are quite trivial in that big scheme.

Sorry to get all serious for a moment on your site...I'll try to be more snarky and such later.

Take me out to the ol' ball game, please!

Zoppo said...

Top ten!
Also, whatever happened to the Eroica recap? The strava picture from the ride showed a pretty interesting single speed.

Caron Croteau said...

Another Olmstead park will be closed to thru traffic this summer, Mont-Royal park in Montreal.

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/plante-stands-firm-on-closing-camillien-houde

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/plante-mount-royal-traffic-pilot-project-1.4638335

paulb said...

You rode the Yonkers traverse on the OCA. That is adventure.

:k said...

Go Red Sox!

FLO VOX said...

Celebrated landscapers. Hmm.

Did you deliberately understate Olmstead's and Vaux's achievements because they are dead and you don't have to have a nasty fight with them in Central Park at dawn?
I mean you didn't call them assholes (although they very well may have been).

Or you misstate their occupations because it seems humorous?

Or were you overstating their positions because I bet they didn't pick up a shovel or spade or wheelbarrow to actually do the landscaping grunt work?


"All parks should be closed to them or none at all."
Yes, Buzby Esq.!
They should have banned autos from all the parks.

I mean the Bois de Boulogne needed automobile access for all those wealthy automobilists to fetch their prostitutes.

Why couldn't mounted police use poorly trained horses which would get frightened and THEN arrest the automobilists?

It's really just wealth and power gets what it wants, or puts up such a fuss that nobody wants anything to do with them except make it easier for them to speed away.

You should try hauling people in a pedicab (I assume you were pretending you actually did that).
On flat ground it can be very enjoyable, once conversation is started.
I mean, maybe not with you, but with other pedicab operators.

You do quite well with portaging child electronics assemblers to work, I'm sure.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

...I'm ready for the dirty fondont.
...I just want to know if jorts are going to be de rigueur. I want to make sure I order mine from Rapha right away.

Anonymous said...

FONN DIRT

blunchbelly said...

Good for you! I had to wait for retirement for such care free bicycle enjoyment but fortunately have all but forgotten the bad old days.

Clay said...

Maybe it's just me, but Ol' Piney looks pretty damn good there.

McFly said...

I feel ya. I'm not a fan of the hockey but howboutdemPreds.

Drock said...

Cycling and baseball, dope all around.

dancesonpedals said...

Bike trails in Macy park? who knew..

sTONEdEADLAND said...

Well, we may not have Yanks/Sox, but out here in the upper-left we do have our Mariners, who picked up their sixth ever no-hitter yesterday! Big day for both you and "Big Maple"

(Lemme guess, baseball comments will be banned going forward, starting tomorrow)

Anonymous said...

For the baseball fans, just remember in BMX no one sits on the bench!

Damn Yankees said...

And "unfortunately" is was a "poor game", in which the Yankees hero Aaron Judge knocked in the game winning run in the bottom of the seventh to win 3-2; and tie the Bosox for 1st. Oh the suffering.

A Very Nice Central Park Win-Lose Situation said...

Win: Runners, cyclists, and pedestrians told us they looking forward to the fresher air and a safer environment.


Losers: Already facing record congestion, drivers say the change will make traffic congestion around the park even worse. (hahahahahaha, suck it.)

bad boy of the south said...

What's a baseball fred?go yanks.lucky stiff,snob.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:58... Hear, hear! I did one year of little league in the 80s. Came back for year two and noticed the only kids getting much play time were the one's whose dads also coached, which wasn't me. Screw that. Fortunately I had been riding my bike the couple miles to the school fields for practice, a couple miles with some pretty cool dirt trails through yet to be developed woodlots. Quickly realized abandoning baseball for ripping it on my bike was one of the best decisions I ever made. (While not getting the thumbs up from Eddie Borysewicz at training camp might have been the other best pieces of sporting luck to befall me.)

Anonymous said...

"...in the big scheme of things we (that's a pretty generous WE, as in anybody who is here at your site most likely) are all lucky bastards. "

I got to write another check to a juvenile criminal defense attorney today, how's that for luck?

Some guy from upstate said...

See? You forgot all about Californy. http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2018/04/you-may-ask-yourself-how-did-i-get-here.html

Yes, I just linked to your blog in a comment on your blog. If you click on it a singularity forms and the world implodes.

Enjoyed a little off-road bicycling myself this evening, now that most of the snow is gone and it hasn't rained for over 48 hours. I suppose I should wash the mud off my legs before I go to bed.

Gordonkx250 said...

The park will become uncycleable as the roads get filled with walkers staring at phones, toddlers on scooters and mums with prams. We'll wish the cars come back to keep the road clear.

leroy said...

My dog insists he’s found an alternative to Central Park.

https://twitter.com/leroys_dog/status/994419795926888448

BikeSnobNYC said...

Gordonkx250,

"Mums with prams"? You sound like you're from around here.

Marshals keep the road clear during the races that happen most weekends through the spring and summer.

--Wildcat Etc.

janinedm said...

Looking for opinions. So, I just upgraded my front dynamo light on my Oma to the Busch + Muller IQX. It has been installed at the fork as Peter White tells you to. Now, about an hour after this installation was competed, I was admiring the handiwork and realize that with this light placement, I block access to the mounting hardware for my front rack. I haven't used it often. Maybe once a year, sometimes less than that and I leave it uninstalled until I put it to use. But when I have used it it's been a HUGE help in carrying things on my bike that would otherwise be impossible or at lest very annoying. It's great for loads that would be too wide to balance on the rear racks and too big to fit into the panniers. Bags of laundry. Trays of pulled pork. Picnics for 4. The Oma has a light mount on the fork positioned to accommodate the front light. It would take a little bit of rigging though, since the B+M light's mount really wants to be forward rather than sideways, but this is doable. So my question is this, should i leave the light alone since I don't regularly use to rack or should I move the light to that fork mount because utility bikes should retain all available options of use?

Lucky Bastards Anonymous said...

J N Edm, might one (1) devise a second (2nd) mount location on the front rack whereby, upon rack installation, said light would be relocated from its fork mount position to its new front rack mount position?

janinedm said...

@LBA, no can do. Mount the light at the back of the rack and whatever I'm carrying would block the light. Mount at the front of the rack would make the front rack a permanent part of the set-up (not to mention that I would have to go through the pain of rewiring with longer wires so as to reach). This is undesirable for the regular day to day setup because, however useful the rack is, when it's installed it makes locking up more difficult. So the options are left fork light mount/rack option or top of the fork light mount/no rack ever.

1904 Cadardi said...

@janinedm,

How many times have you needed a front rack and a front light? Could the light come off when the rack goes on and stay off till the rack comes off?



Robo test included the sign "Ciclista use a Ciclovia" which the internet tells me is Portuguese for "Cyclists use the bikepath". I now feel linguistically prepared to ride in Portugal, Brazil or possibly Macau.

JLRB said...

janinedm - don't use the rack at night?

grog said...

MORE BABE

Dooth said...

So looking forward to cycling laps around the Park again... haven’t done five laps since 1988. Thirty years later I’m under the delusion that my 55 year old self is faster than I was at 25.
In my opinion, portaging trays of pulled pork is what makes cycling special.

N/A said...

Looks like you need another bike, Janine. Ain't nobody got time for moving lights around.

Dave said...

Hi Janine,
I would move the light, to be permanently on the left fork mount, so you can add/remove said rack without the fuss...
I do second that you may need another bike...

dancesonpedals said...

Janine-

Retain, everything.

Pist Off said...

Janine- I’m aware of two options that might work to offset the light to the side while still being fork-mounted. Thorn sells a cantilever boss light mount that could swing it over to the side. If you don’t have cantilever brakes, dammit, then Origin 8 sells an eyelet-mount stub that might do the trick if you have rack eyelets on the fork. Also, Harris Cyclery knows a lot about dynamo lights, give em a call. That’s Sheldon Brown’s old shop I think.

Beck the Biker said...

I'd have to check the timeline, but the year the ACA bust into Central Park might have been during the tenure of Teddy Roosevelt as police commissioner and his bicycle squad. Teddy could have chased those errant motorists down on his safety bicycle and wrassled the pompous miscreants out of their velocipides single handedly.

The tale of how BIKES were permitted into Central Park followed a similar trajectory as the motorists. Bikes were prohibited, but Colonel Pope and his wheelmen began some civil disobedience, a court fight ensured, and bikes were eventually allowed in the park, PROVIDED they followed a 15mph speed limit. Promenading at slow speeds, en echelon. Imagine if today's Cat 6 pelotons were expected to adhere to that 15mph speed, or they'd face ticketing or banning from the park.

The 15 MPH speed limit the motorists had to adhere to, back in the day, was established to reign in the scorchers from terrorizing the promenaders AND the horses.

The times have not really changed that much in a little over a century.

babble on said...

sTONEdEADLAND" Wasn't that no-hitter a Canadian boy's first no hitter, and wasn't it played here in Vancouver against dem Jays on Canadian soil? That made it a good night for everyone, all round. Pretty sure everyone in the stadium (rink?) was applauding for the local lad when all was said and done, Jays and their fans included...

BikeSnobNYC said...

Beck the Biker,

The NYPD has ticketed cyclists for speeding in CP in recent years.

--Wildcat Etc.

BamaPhred said...

15 mph speed limit? No problem. That’s my “scorcher” pace.

Anonymous said...

Dad was a good man

janinedm said...

Thanks, all. I think I will go ahead and move the light. I'll check out those mount options, Pist Off. I have 4 bikes and with love I have to say that "buy a new bike" is a crazy answer to the question "where should I mount my new generator light on my utility bike?" "Hey guys, my chain's a bit rusty." "Well, you should lube it more often...and buy a new bike." "My brake pads have worn down, does any one have any favorite brands?" "Kool-stops, but seriously, you should buy a new bike."

Seattle lone wolf said...

I for one enjoyed the Simpsons reference at the end of the TA bike forecast.

Skidmark said...

@pistoff 9:15pm, the Oma has a light-mount bracket on the left fork blade(see exhibit #marked “accomadates”. This in the same post outlining a bracket conversion as “doable”. Now start paying attention. You’re welcome.

Beck the Biker said...

Yar - the NYPD has always had it out for the bicyclists! Without fail, scotching the scorchers on our evil wheels.

sTONEdEADLAND said...

Babs, been a while...
Yeah Paxton's a BC boy, but game took place in Roger's Centre, Toronto. Only the second no-no by a Canadian, I think.

1904 Cadardi said...

Janine

So what sort of a bike are you buying?

N/A said...

If you're asking bike questions to crazy people, you're going to get crazy answers, lady.

The best answer is always "get another bike". It doesn't even matter what the question was.

janinedm said...

Skidmark, To be fair when I move the light from the fork to the left fork bracket, the light will have to go from being pointed straight ahead to being perpendicular to the mount holes, so Pist Off's recommendations are potentially helpful.

You know, you buy a conversion kit for a project like this, you only use one part of it and keep the remaining pieces because of course you do, and then when you move you find random bits of plastic and metal in a box that you continue to save along with stock pedals and saddles you'll never install on any bike ever. It is known.

Kay said...

Wow, I hadn't realized it even was baseball season. I guess I really do stay out of the loop when it comes to team sports. I'm thrilled at the news that a park of all places is officially going to be car free- who in their right minds lets cars into a park in the first place?!- and it also helps me have the brag factor of knowing that my city doesn't have the problem of allowing motor vehicles into parks at all except I think the memorial to police allows police cars. And also, I'm glad to experience some of the loveliness of cycling in great weather this year as well because I finally pulled myself together and went to an adult learn-to-ride class.

Slow and Fat said...

Fuck this shit.

Pist Off said...

@ Skidmark, suggesting light mount options to janinedm does not mean I missed the bike’s aforementioned fork mount. The options I suggested give a bit more side offset to dodge the rack for a light mount option. Now, pay more attention to logic and turning spellcheck on, and maybe you won’t seem like such a puerile idiot.

Some german bikestore slave said...

@Janinedm

- the IQ-X works best when positioned as high as possible, that´s how you get max advantage of the 100 lux
- the few times you need your rack at night, why not simply use a removable battery-run light, on the rack or on a helmet?
- was about a light trailer?

MattC said...

Anonymous @ May 9, 2018 at 9:13 PM...

"...in the big scheme of things we (that's a pretty generous WE, as in anybody who is here at your site most likely) are all lucky bastards. "

" I got to write another check to a juvenile criminal defense attorney today, how's that for luck?"

Well...I DID say "most likely". Somebody's gotta be at the bottom end of the bell curve. This time it's you. But from the rest of us, thanks for lifting us up!

rjaysquirl said...


Well, is this a babble on invention: stilleto heeled Sidis?
https://www.flickr.com/photos/bacchetta_aero/

dop said...

Conversion kit? Was the light Jewish?

JLRB said...

Skidmark and Pistoff in a keyboard throwdown - reminds me of that video of two cyclists fighting while wearing clipity bike shoes

not these: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9sXHq8ZSC78

maybe this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eArlm3ukbVs

ps - these unexcused absences are starting to add up

Unknown said...

Wait wait wait.

I just checked the Strava, (Now you see what happens when you don't post enough!) and I don't normally say this, but you are doing it wrong. The paved, ok, once-paved road that runs down the middle of the park is for climbing, not descending. You're wasting precious altitude! Do you know what kind of bodily fluids you expended to gain that altitude, only to lose it on some paved nonsense!?! At least hit otter ramble!

Please note that I am illiterate, lack basic understanding of Strava and cartography, and only recently gained a sense of object permanence, so I could be reading all this stuff wrong.

Anonymous said...

In case no one else has inundated you with this open toed ode. https://www.bikeradar.com/us/gear/article/shimano-spd-sandals-52190/

BikeSnobNYC said...

Unknown 6:07pm,

Don't really understand most of what you're saying, I just popped in to do the new section on the south end of the park as it was all I had time for.

--Wildcat Etc.