Share Me a River: There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

Firstly, subsequent to yesterday's post, I'd like to thank all the people who took the time to comment, Tweet, and email in order to let me know that Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal is in fact a Canadian.  I'd also like to let you know that, believe it or not, I was already well aware of this.  Indeed, attributing the wrong nationality to Hesjedal was what we semi-professional bloggers call, in our oft-inscrutable jargon, a "joke."  If that was unclear, it could be because I'm not very good at making jokes, or because Canadians have difficulty interpreting humor--or, most likely, a combination of the two.

In any case, I only hope Bradley Wiggins doesn't win the Tour de France, since I don't think cyclesport could handle three anglophonic countries who are incredibly touchy about their sole Grand Tour winners.  (Canada and Australia are more than enough, thank you.  The mildest ribbing of Cadel Evans is enough to put a snot bubble in even the toughest Bruce's nostril.)  Fortunately Bradley Wiggins is about as likely to win the Tour de France as Peta Todd is to get a breast reduction, so we should be safe there for the foreseeable future.

Secondly, speaking of "whinging" (as they say in the Land of Wiggins), nobody whinges more profusely than wealthy Brooklynites, who are now complaining that they will lose free car parking spaces to bike share stations:

That's right, parking for dozens of public bikes may mean that one less Brooklyn Heights resident can park an Audi for free:

“Parking is so scarce in Brooklyn Heights, anytime parking has been taken away it causes big concerns,” said Brooklyn Heights Association director Judy Stanton.

New York City cyclists are often stereotyped as a bunch of simpering lefty hipster transplant wussbag David Byrne disciples.  This is patently unfair, for in reality it's only true of something like two-thirds of our cycling population.  New York City drivers, on the other hand, are the real wussbags.  No other group complains more, has more, or expects even more for nothing.  Who spends all that money to live in Brooklyn Heights and then whines about the lack of free parking?  They might as well complain that the city isn't building them free swimming pools.  Just deal with it, or else hitch up your "pants yabbies," open your wallet, and pay for a space.

Then again, I suppose we should feel bad for the people of Brooklyn Heights, since they've been hit hard by the recession and the median sales price for homes is all the way down to $2.6 million:

The median sales price for homes in Brooklyn Heights for Feb 12 to Apr 12 was $2,662,500. This represents a decline of 39%, or $1,700,000, compared to the prior quarter and a decrease of 5.8% compared to the prior year. Sales prices have depreciated 19.3% over the last 5 years in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. The median sales price of $2,662,500 for Brooklyn Heights is 432.50% higher than the median sales price for Brooklyn NY. Average listing price for homes on Trulia in Brooklyn Heights was $1,283,140 for the week ending May 16, which represents a decline of 1.8%, or $23,378 compared to the prior week and an increase of 15.8%, or $174,730, compared to the week ending Apr 25. Average price per square foot for homes in Brooklyn Heights was $1,035 in the most recent quarter, which is 222.43% higher than the average price per square foot for homes in Brooklyn.

By the way, real estate in Brooklyn Heights costs $1,035 a square foot, which means that if residents had to pay market rates for the street parking they currently get for free then they'd be looking at well over $180,000 a space--and that doesn't even account for the air rights above their giant SUVs.

Speaking of perks for drivers, besides the free prime real estate the other big one is that if you kill someone while driving you're pretty much guaranteed not to get in any trouble, even if you were doing something illegal at the time.  That's why New Yorkers are outraged--about dangerous cyclists:

A reader forwarded me the above poll results from yesterday's news, and it's reassuring to know that 88% of my neighbors seem to think I'm more dangerous to them on my bike than I am in my car.  (And yes, I do have a car.  But David Byrne doesn't, so it all evens out.)

Speaking of dangerous cycling, you probably are a dangerous cyclist if you have trouble figuring out where your handlebars end, and yesterday I mentioned the following quote from "Bicycling" magazine:

"Two layers of bar tape at the end of each drop creates a tactile signal that alerts you when your hands are getting close to the end of the bar."

Well, if that's not enough of a "tactile signal" for you, you could always try something like this, which was forwarded by another reader:

19.5 inch Georgena Terry Symmetry/Shimano 12 speed road bike - $250 (Greenwich, CT)
Date: 2012-05-29, 10:30AM EDT
Reply to: [deleted]

This is a vintage 19.5 inch frame Georgena Terry Symmetry 12 speed road bike with Shimano components in very good condition for sale for $250 cash at time of pick up in person in Greenwich, CT. Please call Blake at (203)722-____. 

Is that tactile enough for you?

Not only are the levers ideally placed to "alert you when your hands are getting close to the end of the bar," but they're also perfectly positioned for the ensuing panic stop--that is, if you can manage to squeeze them.  As it is, you'd have to do a push-up to actuate the brakes, and it's doubtful that anybody who would ride a bike like this has the upper body mass necessary to pull that off.

[Also, this bike is in Greenwhich, CT, so if you're a Brooklyn Heights resident who's enraged by the threat of bike share stations encroaching on your parking, you should really think about moving there.  It's a bargain compared to Brooklyn Heights with median home sales at just over a million dollars, it's an easy commute, and you'll even get your very own driveway.]

Or, if you want something with more of a professional pedigree and don't need the "tactile signal," you could go with this bike, forwarded by yet another reader:

giant pedigree road bike - $100 (lake saint louis)
Date: 2012-05-29, 6:47PM CDT
Reply to: [deleted]

For sale sale 1 very fast Giant pedigree road bike. It is the model Wayne Gretsky rode in tje 1998 Tour De Spain. Both tires are flat and if you touch the chain you will get grease on you. The brakes squeeked. So I oiled them they dont seem to work very good. May need adjustment. Bike has unlimited speed, the faster you move your legs the faster the bike goes! Never been on any ramps or popped wheelies. Would be perfect for some hipster to ride around on while listening to an ipod. Price is firm, seeing how I havent seen one like this for sale before. 

I'm fairly sure Wayne Gretzky never even rode in the Vuelta.  Someone should really send the seller an email.

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