Saturday, November 11, 2006

New Yorker bike piece

There’s an article in the current New Yorker about bike culture in New York City. I was afraid to read it for a few days because I just knew it would piss me off. I read it. I didn’t piss me off in an angry way. It just pissed me off because it’s a pretty lame article. Especially by New Yorker standards. It was just obviously very lazily written. (see Bike Blog more comments)

Didn’t really capture the gestalt at all. And it featured an anti-noise anti-bike crazy man far too much. What was his deal? I really didn’t get it. Nor did I care.

The New Yorker piece mentioned the various biker tribe in New York (I wonder where I fall on that typology?). But it omitted the most commonly seen biker in New York: the delivery men bringing you bike haters dinner. I guess the illegal immigrants just don’t count. Except when they bike on the sidewalk. A shame. Because they’re the ones most in danger, forced to bike against traffic on Manhattan’s Avenues, and too poor to afford lights, helmets, bells, and all the other accoutrements of T.A.-like yuppie-bike-dom.

And this lame piece got too caught up in the spectacle-side of Critical Mass and ignores the greater lack of will to help bikers. Like “no room for bike lanes” on roads 12-lanes wide not counting the cars illegally parked. 250 feet of pavement exist at the entrance the Queensboro bridge. Really. And yet bikes have to ride against traffic because they can’t find 4 feet for a bike lane (that 4 inches per traffic lane). Lack of will, plain and simple.

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