BSNYC Friday Kosher Wine-Tasting Festival!

Every 75-ish years, Halley's Comet travels close enough to the Earth to be visible to the naked eye, which causes astro-dorks all over the world to rejoice--until July 28th, 2061, when astronomers predict that it will almost certainly smash into Dayton, OH, wreaking chaos and devastation and bringing an immediate and fiery end to all life on this planet.

Similarly, once a year, cyclocross "Cyclocross 2.0" comes close enough to New York City that agoraphobic urbanites can observe or participate in it without overnight stays or having to post impassioned "Can I get a ride?" pleas on cycling forums. Not only will there be a race on Staten Island tomorrow (of which I reminded you last Friday), but the following weekend the Super Cross Cup moves from its usual Southampton venue to the considerably-much-more-closer-to-the-city Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, LI:

It's at times like these that I pause to reflect on what a great place for recreational cycling the New York City metropolitan area actually is. For all the congestion, the truth is that there's enough going on here to make Portland, OR hang its dreadlocked head in shame. During the season, you can race a road bike as often as two or three times a week without getting in a car. There is a velodrome in Queens. There are mountain bike trails within the city limits and others easily accessible by commuter rail. There are year-round group rides north, east, and west of the city all year round, and there are racing and general riding clubs all over the region that are too numerous to mention. And on top of this recreational cycling bounty, New York City has also made tremendous improvements for bicycle commuters, so if you have no interest in going fast or clearing obstacles and just want to ride to work or the store, you can now do that more easily than ever before.

All of which makes the goings-on in this article, to which I was alerted by fixed-gear freestyle impresario and streetwear enthusiast Prolly's blog, completely ridiculous:

This is just more evidence that everyday practical cycling in New York City is still stuck in early puberty. Sure, people on bikes race each-other everywhere now and again, but nowhere else does it happen like it does here, and it's become impossible to cross the Manhattan Bridge without some Nü-Fred coming at you head-on because he's out of the saddle and stomping past a "peloton" consisting of a 35 year-old man on a department store BMX, a "Beautiful Godzilla" on a Dutch bike, and some guy who looks like Napoleon Dynamite.

How do you know you are being challenged into a commuter’s race? "You just sense it, or the other person is making it obvious,” says Johnny Hsu, a graphic designer who lives in Greenpoint. “There's no formula.”

Yes, there's nothing as suspenseful as that pregnant moment in which one "hipster" with a boutique nylon U-lock holster and a 12 year-old entry-level GT track bike he paid $2,500 for on eBay meets another "hipster" in a corduroy jacket riding a keirin bike with Nitto Albatross bars and they both lock eyes, each suddenly realizing that "it's on."

There's also nothing sadder than a guy old enough to know better who clearly doesn't:

“Competition among cyclists is a reality,” says David, a self-employed 47-year-old who rides over New York's Manhattan Bridge every day on his way home to Brooklyn. “[For me,] it starts before the bridge. Once you start jumping to the wrong side of the street you know you’re in a commuter’s race. Everyone wants to go faster. I get smoked sometimes and it’s embarrassing if you’re challenging the person. Once I know I can’t [win], I let them go.”

Embarrassing indeed. When commuter races commuter, the only winner is disgrace. Commuters who race other commuters in New York City are like the people who live around the corner from a pizzeria yet continue to order from Domino's--there's just no excuse for it. There's so much organized competitive cycling in New York City that we even have bike polo for chrissake. I mean, I'm not the biggest bike polo fan in the world, but while I've been "raced" a million times on my commute I have never, ever had anybody roll up and start playing unsolicited bike polo against me, so for that reason alone the poloists have my respect.

In any event, if you're feeling the need to satisfy that competitive urge, I now invite you to participate in 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 how awesome people are.

Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and if someone tries to race you on the way home I suggest you let them "win."


("Good for you.")

1) After your Cat 6 hipster commuter race victory over the forces of dignity, why not reward yourself with the smooth, refreshing taste of a:

(Riccardo Riccò: A Terminator-like warrior sent back in time from a cheesy future to assassinate good taste.)

2) According to Riccardo Riccò, "The Cobra" is:

--In his pants

(If even he doesn't know then how are we supposed to?)

3) According to framebuilder Dario Pegoretti, steel smells exactly like:

4) The best way to complement your Frank Vandenbroucke rim "memorial" is with a:

5) Why are these cyclists riding bamboo bikes "from the Arctic to the Antarctic?"

6) Influential pop musician and cycling advocate David Byrne has a car.

7) "Married to the Mob" guy and aspiring cycling advocate Matthew Modine has a car.

***Special Paradoxical Craigslist Negotiating Tactic-Themed Bonus Question***

With regard to price, the seller of this bicycle is:

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