I’ve been thinking a lot about bikes lately. Partly this is because I am riding my own more.
I have two. Which may be one too many, but I can explain. The one shown above — leaning against the clavichord, which occupies the only sunny spot in my apartment — is my dear old fixie, inherited from a pal who traded up. Note the way-cool Brooks leather saddle, and the desperately dorky fender. When it comes to coolth, I cover the waterfront.
Lately however I have been covering the waterfront on this little item:
I got this bike last summer, mainly with the boat in mind. (Note the aluminum frame.) I have had the experience, in the past, of sailing up and down the coast, and finding myself in a marina or at an anchorage which is an inconvenient distance from the nearest grocery store. So having a little bike on board seemed like a good idea. Then the boat sank, leaving me with a boat bike and no boat to put it on.
However the bike has come in handy. I have a day job again, which requires me to cross the Hudson River twice a day. Now I could do this cheaply, by riding the bike down to the World Trade Center and then taking the brutish PATH train over to Joisey. But like Bartleby, I prefer not to. Instead I take the pleasanter (though more expensive) option of riding down to 39th Street and taking the ferry across the river.
Now the ferry people charge you a buck extra to take a full-size bike on board. But not a folding bike! So I can sorta economize, in an overall context of extravagant self-indulgence.
Folding bikes, by the way, have become very popular. Used to be, you hardly ever saw one. Now they’re probably a third or more of the rides I see on my commute.
I’ve also been participating more in my local cyclists’ mailing list. Again, this is partly because I’ve been riding more, and also, partly, because the list has been discussing the Five Borough Bike Tour’s anti-terrorist bag ban, discussed here earlier.
It’s been a lot of fun. There are two or three huffy wet hens with much-ruffled feathers, eager to leap to the defense of the volunteer Gestapo schtick the Tour’s managers have taken on. I’m lazy enough to like an easy target, and boy, do they provide one.
There was, of course, a certain shark — you can probably see this coming — which was bound to be jumped sooner or later. Here’s Comrade Adamantinus, jumping it:
Speaking as a Jew, I find repeated references to the actions of Bike New York being likened to actions taken by Nazis or their Vichy collaborators to be offensive in this “conversation”.
This locution has always puzzled me. Presumably Adamantinus is a Member Of The Tribe, so how else could he speak? I mean, he could hardly speak as a Gentile, could he? Or even as a Gentile does? To be sure, impersonating a Gentile is not a crime, but why would he want to do it?
Rosie O’Donnell, I believe, had a funny line about this: Speaking as a Lesbian, I’d just like to say… pass the salt.
There’s another perplexity. Presumably nobody, Gentile or Jew, likes being compared to a Nazi, or a Vichyssois for that matter. So why Adamantinus seems to think that a Gentile should be happier about it than a Jew baffles the goyische kop of this particular shaygetz.