See this book? It's called "100 Best Bikes:"
I haven't received my copy of "100 Best Bikes" yet, so I don't know if the 99 other bikes in it are truly the best, or if they're just kind of silly like the one on the cover is. When I do get it, I'll let you know. Either way, the publishers of this book have asked me to give away a Biomega folding bicycle, and since at least three of the six people who read this blog probably love bicycles (free ones especially, which are the best kind) I was happy to oblige. Here's the bike:
I've never actually ridden one, but it seems like it would be useful for getting around town since: A) It folds; and B) If you ever find yourself getting chased by Amazonian warriors you can use that downtube cable to fire their arrows back at them. Speaking of the downtube cable, here's the idea behind it:
The most media-recognized bike ever made, the Boston includes an integrated lock that’s a structural part of the frame (if a thief cuts the wire, the bike’s unrideable…but repairable), and quickly folds to fit wherever you need to go: on the bus, in your office, or in your apartment.
Because if a thief cuts the wire and learns the bike is unrideable, he's of course going to take the time to return it to exactly where he left it.
Nevertheless, it still seems like a handy bike--especially if it's free--and it also seems way more practical than the Biomega Brookyn, described thusly:
The Brooklyn is urban in the American sense of the word. It is designed with a free style BMX in mind with heavy duty steel pedals & frame. The wheels are smaller & the tires are extremely fat to give it a bouncing ability yet unseen. There’s nothing practical about this town hopper made for keeping it fun regardless of how harsh the terrain might be. You can take this bike from your habitual city playground to a dune or a heap of snow & maintain your thrust. The Brooklyn has eminent braking power covered by mechanical disc brakes & stays in tune with the Biomega style & elegance with its leather saddle & cool gear. Try the toughest free style grind yet - in luxury.
As a Brooklynite myself, I can assure you we do spend a lot of time riding on sand dunes here, and I'm tempted to try to ride one of these across Gerritsen Inlet.
Anyway, when you have one bike and six readers you need to figure out a way to pick which reader will get it, and that means you have to curate a contestway. And it doesn't seem fair to give it to someone who already has a bike, nor does it seem fair to give it to someone who doesn't have a bike, but only because they're too cheap and lazy to go buy one. So that leaves people who had a bike but don't anymore because their bike got stolen. Therefore, if your bike got stolen and you really need the Biomega folding archery bike because you're screwed without one, here's what to do:
Send an email to "bikesnobnyc (at) yahoo (dot) com" with the following subject line:
BIEK ME UP, WILDCAT!
Please use that subject line verbatim, and note that any variations or deviations are grounds for disqualification, which means you won't get the bike with a downtube that can make a sound like this.
Then, in the email, tell me the following as concisely yet entertainingly as possible:
--Who you are, where you live, what you do, and what your favorite TV show is;
--How your bike got stolen and what you learned from the experience;
--Why you need a folding bike (hint: because you're apparently unable to keep your regular bike from getting stolen);
--How, when you receive it, you will proceed to make the world a better place.
From these emails I'll pick a winner by means of some completely subjective and unfair process as yet to be determined.
The deadline for submissions is this Friday, September 14th, at 12:01AM my time, which is New York City time, the only time that counts. (Other cities and towns may share our time, but it's really ours.) Keep in mind that Friday at 12:01AM is what you might still consider Thursday night because you're up smoking Wednesday Weed and watching Jimmy Kimmel, but I can assure you that it's technically Friday, and that's what we're talking about here.
I think that about covers it. By the end of the week, somebody's going to have a free bike, which I'm sure you'll agree is pants-wettingly exciting. And don't worry if you miss out on the bike, either, because as soon as this contest ends another one is going to begin. I won't give you the details yet, but here's a hint: it will be a cockpit photo contest, and the winners will get Knog Blinders, just in time for the increasingly short days of fall. Actually, I guess I just gave away almost all of the details, but you do still need submission guidelines, so a tantalizingly small bit of mystery still remains.
Moving on to the exciting world of professional bike riding, a reader informs me that every single competitor in the Paris-Bruxelles bicycle race except for Tom Boonen has been killed dead:
Here's a gripping account from the race's only survivor:
"The finish here at Paris-Brussel is not so easy. The team led me perfectly until the last corner. [Nikolas] Maes literally killed everybody during the lead-out. His job permitted me to pass the train of Rabobank and have a good sprint."
This is the worst tragedy to hit competitive cycling since an entire Cat 4 field "literally exploded" on a tiny hill during a race in Prospect Park.
Meanwhile, eerily, Alberto Contador has now won seven Grand tours...in his mind (insert spooky reverb here):
Here's his reasoning:
"That other number appears on paper, it is ultimately secondary to me. What matters is my own feeling and the impressions that remain in the retina of the spectators," he said.
In a sport full of trite soundbites like "I felt super strong that day" and "I couldn't have done it without my team" it's almost shocking to read what amounts to a discourse on subjectivism versus relativism. People go to school for like 19 years and get multiple doctorates to draw conclusions like the one Contador just threw out as an afterthought after winning the Vuelta. I don't know what kind of steak he's been eating recently, but it must have been marinated in brain tonic.
Speaking of carnage and subjectivism, every single newspaper in New York City has successfully managed to completely ignore the fact that drivers are free to kill without consequence--until today, when it was finally acknowledged by the New York Times:
Not only that, but there's even an acknowledgement that drivers routinely break the law:
I conducted my own anecdotal study. This Monday morning I stood by the lamppost on Broadway and 14th Street that has become a de facto altar for Ms. Buta. In 25 minutes I watched three trucks, including an 18-wheeler, narrowly miss pedestrians walking the intersection. I counted 17 cars, trucks and a “New York Waterway” bus running red lights.
Though if he had performed his anecdotal study in my neighborhood it would have read more like this:
This morning I stood by the lamppost on the corner outside of the deli, and in 45 seconds I watched a car service driver run me down and kill me.
Anyway, people like John Del Signore at Gothamist as well as the smugness cabal over at Streetsblog have been pointing this stuff out for years, and hopefully it's a good sign that the "Old Gray Lady" has finally pulled her head out of her old gray posterior. I'm also looking forward to The Daily News's take, which I'm sure will sport a headline like this:
"Reckless Bikers and Pedestrians Who Fail To Wear Helments Face Few Penalties in New York."
It will also spell "pedal" as "peddle" fourteen times.
Fortunately for us, the News is not distracted by this murderous driver smokescreen nonsense and instead have the real enemy squarely in their cockeyed sights:
(This blog observes a strict no-direct-link-to-The-Daily-News policy.)
Not so fast, bikers.
The NYPD has stepped up its offensive against scofflaw cyclists in Central Park a month after a Daily News investigation exposed the dangers of speeding riders in the park.
Auxiliary cops fanned out across the park Saturday, handing out bicycle safety pamphlets and telling cyclists to heed Central Park’s speed limit of 25 mph.
Relieved pedestrians welcomed the new crackdown on speeding bicycle riders.
“I’ve never seen that before,” said jogger Nick Spangler, 27, who spotted cops telling Central Park bikers to slow down and follow traffic signals Saturday morning.
I only hope there's an end in sight to all this newspaper anti-cycling stuff, and I also hope it's an ironic one which involves the entire staff of The Daily News getting run over by one of the paper's own trucks.
Lastly, one of the principals of this Kickstarter project asked me to share it with all six of you:
I really have only one reservation about this project, which is that this is a guide to riding a bicycle around Portland and finding beer. I don't see how this requires a guidebook, since finding beer on a bike in Portland is about as hard as finding a duty-free shop in an airport. Portland is essentially just a city of bars, coffee shops, and bikes shops connected by bike lanes. You have a one-in-three chance of walking into any building in Portland and being able to buy beer in it. It's also almost impossible to get lost in Portland, which is about the size of Park Slope. (Sure, I've been lost in Portland, but do keep in mind I'm an idiot.) Then again, maybe there is a market for obvious books, in which case I'm going to launch a Kickstarter campaign for a guide to how to get your bike stolen in New York City.
Also, you'll notice that in the video it's a beautiful day:
Portland has exactly three-quarters of a beautiful day a year, yet between Kickstarter and "Portlandia" there are about a billion videos of people riding around Portland in the sunshine. This leads me to believe that during those few short hours the entire city must shut down and give itself over entirely to filming. (Inasmuch as a city that consists entirely of bike shops, breweries, and coffee houses can "shut down," of course.)
Other than that, I'm totally on board.