Additional to my final put up, on Monday morning I took the Pink Meh-strosity out for a correct trip:
The bike felt fast and full of life, although I’m sorry to report that I’ve already damaged my decision and spent some cash on it. Particularly, the braking floor on that rear wheel is worn to a level that makes me uncomfortable, and I’ve obtained the matching rear wheel to that entrance, which is in respectable form aside from the truth that the freehub is seized. So I’ve now obtained a substitute freehub on order, and assuming the transplant is profitable, the bike will sport matching wheels.
I’m additionally sorry to report I incurred two (2) flat tires, one on the entrance early within the trip, and one on the rear on the finish of my trip. I attribute the flats to: A) moist roads filled with particles; B) the aforementioned decision to not spend cash on the bike and my subsequent use of outdated tires. I used to be so near house I didn’t even trouble fixing the rear, particularly since I’ll quickly want to change the rear wheel anyway. As for the entrance, I did cease to repair that…
…and whereas I did a person appeared, strolling what at first I took to be a really small canine:
Nevertheless, as he obtained nearer I spotted it wasn’t a canine in any respect:
It was a ferret:
Now I ought to level out that I like each creature on this Earth. Nonetheless, there are some that I don’t need wherever close to me, and these disgusting little weasels are close to the highest of that checklist. It’s onerous to adequately convey the sense of visceral disgust I felt after I caught what seemed to be a teacup poodle or one thing equally lovely in my peripheral imaginative and prescient, after which turned, solely to search out it was a bushy dwelling drain snake. Certainly, my coronary heart leapt into my mouth in exactly the identical method it will have had the person been unzipped and letting his “pants ferret” flap about unfettered. I averted my eyes instantly and cursed myself for not carrying a body pump, for not solely may I’ve inflated the tire extra rapidly and restricted my publicity to the creature, however I additionally may have used the pump in self protection ought to the little muskrat try and scamper up the within of my pant leg. (This can be an unlikely state of affairs, however after I have a look at this stuff each nerve in my physique tells me that’s what it desires to do.)
Alas, all I had was my mini-pump, which requires a number of hundred strokes to adequately inflate a highway tire, although fortunately I used to be in a position to prime it off at a public workstation later within the trip:
Apart from that, the shifters are as clean as a ferret in olive oil, particularly together with a Hyperglide cassette:
And whereas I most likely wouldn’t need to trip these bars for greater than a pair hours at a time owing to the dearth of hand positions, they go well with the bike’s nature and improve its playful demeanor:
In the meantime, faculty was closed on Monday and Tuesday for the Jewish New Yr, and after we watched the matzoh ball drop in Instances Sq. the youngsters and I rode to the Bronx Zoo:
My older son is 12, and my youthful son is seven. When my older son was seven, driving to the zoo along with him on his personal bike actually wasn’t a viable proposition, as a result of despite the fact that it’s solely 4 miles away, there weren’t sufficient bike paths appropriate for a kid and the quantity of sidewalk driving it required was irritating and inconvenient. So I’d take him on my bike, or, extra usually, we’d simply say “fuck it” and drive.
However now these sections that will have required sidewalk driving have been duly bike-laned:
The bike lanes are removed from excellent. For instance, you wouldn’t need to enhance life for bicyclists and bus passengers, so as a substitute they put the bus stops proper within the bike lane so the passengers can expertise what it’s prefer to be human bowling pins:
Moreover, you must have a complicated diploma in civil engineering to barter New York Metropolis’s bike lane community. The baffling indicators, the ambiguous avenue markings, the thrillingly unpredictable means by which the bike lane will immediately transfer throughout to the opposite facet of the road, or route you onto the sidewalk, or vanish altogether… Oftentimes driving in a motorcycle lane right here appears like being a bloodhound on the path of a fugitive prisoner. Certain, the hardcore transportation nerds are intimately acquainted with all of the methods the DOT pulls from its “traffic-calming toolkit” and know learn these things, however it’s removed from intuitive, particularly for teenagers, in order a dad or mum you wind up doing plenty of marshalling and pointing. Little question that is largely a operate of the contortionist method by which the DOT designs streets to include bikes whereas taking away as little area as doable for automobiles, irritating drivers and bicyclists alike within the course of.
Nonetheless, for all of the annoyances, these Inexperienced Strips of Compromise have made one thing doable–certainly greater than doable, if nonetheless not precisely handy–that basically wasn’t only a few years in the past:
At this price, in 20 or 30 years, driving a bicycle to the zoo with the youngsters may even be an interesting proposition for a traditional one who isn’t a semi-professional bike blogger.
…although I wouldn’t put an cash on it.