Disappointing Bicycle Shop Experiences
Today in disappointing bicycle shop experiences, I was told that yes my right pedal resists turning—not a good quality, for a pedal!—but sadly nothing can be done about its condition. Such is the state of Western technology.
Also maybe I keep the bicycle outside, which is Bad? No, I have not done this. It is probably why this bicycle is an impeccably clean and obviously babied toy—whose pedals I would like to turn freely. So that I can get my toes into the silly clips, if you must know.
Later I will go to another bicycle shop and repeat the exercise.
Have I told you about my plan to open a bicycle shop that simply carries out and charges for the work requested, instead of sending half their customers away and acting to the other half like they are doing a great personal favor?
Actually my plan is for someone else to do this, because it should be someone who knows how to repair bicycles. You can charge a lot more at such a shop. Put a sign outside that no repair jobs will be turned away, all will simply be given a price, take it or leave it. Everybody who’s been scoffed at in a bicycle shop (which is everybody who’s been in one) will flock to try this crazy experiment, credit cards in hand.
Dear NYC Transit
Riding downhill on the 9th Street bicycle lane in Brooklyn today around 12:30, I was traveling about the same speed as the B61, about a block ahead of it. I noticed that the bus driver was honking, over and over, once or twice a block all the way down the hill. Eventually I understood that the driver was blowing the horn each time he or she passed, and passed again, the same cyclists in the same bicycle lane. Finally, the bus driver passed and honked at me. Oh look, a bus! It was bus 5686.
While I’m sure your driver’s intentions are good, it is not helpful or safety-enhancing to “warn” cyclists with a horn honk when passing safely—quite the opposite. A seasoned cyclist will shrug off the piercing noise and do nothing, and that is the best case scenario. An inexperienced cyclist may be startled and look left—inadvertently moving into the vehicle’s path. Or they may retreat to the right—directly into an opening car door, which throws them left into the path of the bus. That’s what happened in Queens to Tskaka Cooke in June of this year, as I’m sure you’ll recall.
Please ask your drivers not to honk at cyclists and anyone else just going about their business on the street. Blasting the horn in routine situations makes them tense and dangerous, renders the horn useless as a signal of unusual danger, and surely isn’t appreciated by anyone who lives along your bus routes.
The next person to ask where “my” bicycle helmet is had better be wearing a hockey mask.
Backhoes making the light
On the way home, while I was maneuvering around a private car stopped in the bicycle lane, I was passed unnervingly closely. By a backhoe. It’s scary because you don’t know where a big tractor ends. It’s all lumpy. You just hear that there is a large diesel engine right behind you and realize that its driver is going to “make that light” even if it means crushing you. With a backhoe.
I chose not to “make the light” myself.
If you’re walking on the sidewalk in New York City, curb-jumping motorists pose a greater threat than scofflaw cyclists. Last month, UPS worker Mike Rogalle was killed by the driver of an SUV while performing his rounds on a Lower Manhattan sidewalk. Motorists plow into sidewalks and injure pedestrians with shocking regularity in New York City.
I know, right? I saw James Vacca on NY1 news this morning talking about how these bikes are on the sidewalk getting in the way of pedestrians, and SOMEONE COULD GET KILLED! No mention of any initiatives to do anything about the mode of transportation that actually DOES kill pedestrians on a regular basis.
So when the convoy arrived — on time — they were greeted by Principal Katie Pennington, who promptly sent some 64 participating students home and informed them that not only would they be suspended for the last day of school, but they would also be prohibited from walking in the school’s graduation ceremonies.