It is also an auspicious time for cyclists in New York City, because apparently the NYPD is finally going to start treating us equally:
Though this just means they're now going to fill out actual accident reports when we collide with pedestrians:
“This reporting process will allow the department to track bicycle accidents like typical car accidents,’’ said Inspector Kim Royster, an NYPD spokeswoman.
Given that the NYPD allows drivers to run down pedestrians with impunity, I take this to mean that cyclists will now be free to do the same, and that the following excuses for running into people on your bike will now be sufficient for complete exoneration:
--"I didn't see him."
--"He came out of nowhere."
--"I was overwhelmed by my Serotta's new bike smell."
Don't get too excited about your new powers, though, since of course drivers are still allowed to hit cyclists. If you find all this confusing and you'd like to know exactly where you currently stand in New York City as a driver, cyclist, or pedestrian, the NYPD has issued this handy diagram to show you how it all breaks down:
The drivers are the ghosts. They get to move erratically and change direction at will, and nobody can hurt them. Cyclists have now been promoted to Pac-Man status, which means they can plow through pedestrians too but are still at the mercy of the drivers. As for pedestrians, they're merely the little "pac-dots." Oh, and there's also a "power pellet" that grants cyclists temporary top-tier status, and it's called the "Five Boro Bike Tour:"
However, like a "power pellet," it only lasts for a short amount of time, and as soon as they reopen the route to motor vehicle traffic the cyclists become fair game again and the cars resume their relentless pursuit.
Speaking of treating bikes like cars, Paul Budnitz continues his quest to transform bicycles into overpriced machines sold to clueless people who have no idea how they work, and he's now unveiled two new models that are ever so slightly different from the original ones:
In so doing, Budnitz has also displayed his economic prowess:
"The idea here is an utterly beautiful bicycle for daily use, that’s super functional, fun to ride, and there’s an environmental component to the whole thing — I believe that if you make things really great, that last a really, really, really long time; it’s better to buy one bike for $3,000 than buying six bikes for $500 over the same period of time.”
I realize he's trying to make a statement about quality here, but in this particular instance it doesn't really ring true, since a $500 bike will probably last just as long as a $3,000 Budnitz. So if the argument is an economic one, isn't it better to buy one bike for $500 instead of a $3,000 Budnitz? Where is he getting the whole six bikes thing anyway? Plus, if you do buy six $500 bikes you could get a bunch of different kinds for different types of riding, whereas if you buy one Budnitz all you have is a single bike that's poorly suited to pretty much everything. It's like saying instead of buying a smartphone, a computer, and a tablet, you should just get a really elegant looking device that costs more than all of them put together but only has a single function, which is to give you directions to the nearest artisanal mayo shop.
Of course, you could always deliver mail on your Budnitz to offset the cost, and a reader informs me that a man in England is doing just that on his pennyfarthing:
Only I was disgusted to learn that his so-called "pennyfarthing" is actually a unicycle conversion:
Mr Eccles said his bike was not a true penny-farthing and had been adapted from a unicycle.
For shame, Mr. Eccles. For shame.
Now, I'd like to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see Keanu Reeves in a hairnet.
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and ride happy.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
1) The Great Trek Bicycle Making Company's latest shock absorbing frame technology is called:
2) Specialized's latest shock absorbing frame technology is called:
3) Rivendell's latest shock absorbing frame technology is called:
(200,000 years ago, "Eddy" became the first biped to win the Tour de Pangaea.)
4) Homo Velocipedus, pictured above, is the common ancestor of all modern-day Freds.
5) What is this?
--Rapha's new Roubaix athletic support, designed to cradle and stabilize your "cobbles" when you ride on the cobbles
6) Why is she nonplussed?
--Because at 28 years of age her boyfriend is still unable to grow a full, luxurious, Tom Selleck-caliber mustache
7) This is somehow meant to promote:
***Special Retro-Themed Bonus Question***
The hottest "retro" bike now is the: