31 August 2020

The Hole At The End Of The Day

Late today, I took Negrosa, my black Mercian Olympic, on a no-planned-destination ride.

After zigzagging through some industrial areas and blocks of brick rowhouses, I descended the long hill from Ridgewood, Queens to Cypress Hills, Brooklyn.  After some more zigging and zagging along and around the Brooklyn-Queens border, I found myself in a place I hadn't visited in a while.

"The Hole," which I've mentioned in earlier posts, is an alternative universe between Brooklyn and Queens, near the South Shore of both boroughs.  The land--and incongruously-named  streets (Ruby, Sapphire, Amber)--drop suddenly behind a shopping center and a row of doctors office-type buildings on Linden Boulevard.  Not much seems to have changed since the last time I visited:

My guess is that those who live and work--legitimately or not--in the area want to keep it that way. Why else would they stay in a place that practically forces them to live and work like Okies or folks in rural Appalachia before World War II?  I mean, it's still not hooked up to the city's sewer systems and some aren't even on the electrical grid.  Oh, and I can't think of any place else in this city where a yard can fill with junked cars or school buses without attracting the attention of the Health Department.

A couple of guys, who were working on a truck, noticed me and nodded.  As obvious an outsider as I am, I guess they didn't see me as a threat.

I am a cyclist, after all.

30 August 2020

What's Slowing You Down?

Other languages have wonderful expressions that don't quite translate into English, but are vivid nonetheless.

One, from French, is pedaler dans la choucroute.  

Pedaling through sauerkraut?  Avec ou sans la moutarde?

29 August 2020

Park At The Met

Yesterday I contrasted the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" with the speeches of the Republican National Convention, which ended the night before.

Speaking of dreams: One of mine has long been to have indoor, or at least protected, bicycle parking at museums.  Well, that dream has just come true--for a while, and at one institution, anyway.

Today the Metropolitan Museum of Art is, like the Statue of Liberty* and a few other New York City museums and landmarks, re-opening to the public.  Visitors must purchase tickets and schedule their visits in advance.  Upon arrival, their temperatures will be checked and anyone who is 38C (100.4 F) or higher will be asked to visit on another day.

Some visitors, however, will be treated like VIPs.  From today until 27 September, "the Met" is offering valet bicycle parking at its Fifth Avenue plaza, just north of the steps to its main entrance.  An initiative by Kenneth Weine, the museum's vice president of external affairs, resulted in a partnership with Transportation Alternatives that brought about the parking arrangement.

Weine, who describes himself as an "avid biker," routinely rides from his Brooklyn home to work.  The museum has tripled bike parking capacity for staff in an effort to encourage more cycling to work.  Weine lauds the city for developing more bike lanes and says that "if we can be one extra link in that chain" by "offering an additional way for people to come to the museum, we're happy to do it."

In other posts on this blog, I have said that cycling enhances my perceptions of art, and that some art should be seen only after riding a bicycle to reach it.  I wonder whether Weine, or other museum administrators or curators, feel the same way.

28 August 2020

The Morning After: The Dream

Today is the anniversary of Martin Luther King's Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech.

It's a sad irony (How many times have I used this phrase in the past three years?) that it comes the day after what seemed like a bad drug trip that lasted four nights.  I'm talking about the Republican National Convention, which featured more gaslighting than Angela Lansbury's first film.* Dreaming--more precisely, exhorting your audience to envision and follow your dream--is an invitation to a journey toward a better place.  What happened at the convention is the exact opposite:  Speakers imputed sinister motives, words and actions to their enemies and hellish conditions to places that had been doing well (or, at least, improving) until the COVID-19 epidemic.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised at the tone of the convention, given that Trump has not only vowed not to ride a bike, but has jeered cyclists.  On the other hand, MLK was known to take a spin.  And, like Einstein, he looked so happy in the saddle!

*--Like many people, I thought Gaslight was a Hitchcock film until I saw it.  George Cukor, in fact, directed it.

26 August 2020

Even If It's Not Allowed

If every nation in the world decided to ban nuclear weapons and abandon nuclear energy, would scientists continue their work on understanding and harnessing the power of the atom?

Of course they would.  They're scientists:  They want to know what's possible and knowable.

Likewise, if some ruler decided to model his or her country after Plato's Republic, poets would be banned.  But would they stop writing or chanting?

Of course not.  At least, no real poets would.

Following this thread of logic, doesn't it make sense that just because the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) won't allow road bicycles lighter than 6.8 kilograms (14.9 pounds) in sanctioned races, someone won't restrain him- or her- self from creating an even lighter bike?

Of course it does.  And that is exactly what Canyon, the largest direct-to[consumer bicycle company, has done.  Two weeks ago, it released the Canyon Factory Racing (CFR) version of its "Ultimate" road bike.  

It weighs a wispy 6.2 kilos, or 13 pounds, 11 ounces.  

Now, it may not appear in the Tour or Giro or Vuelta, whenever they resume--unless, of course, the UCI changes its rules.  But I am sure that someone out there simply must have it.  Hal Ruzal, the recently-retired maven of Bicycle Habitat, once told me that whenever the lightest bikes from Specialized (S-Works) or Cannondale or whomever came to his shop, people with  fat enough wallets (or high enough credit cards limit) bought them.  "They think those bikes are going to get them over the hill in Central Park," he quipped.

Still, though, I don't mind that someone is trying to make ever-lighter bikes, even if they're not allowed in races--or if I don't intend to buy one myself, even if I get rich.

25 August 2020

What If She Gave Hints To John?

Donald Trump has pledged to never, ever ride a bike again.

I don't think he'll break that promise, especially now that we've seen how Joe Biden could "smoke" a lot of young whippersnappers.  

To tell you the truth, I don't think I'd be too unhappy if El Cheeto Grande never mounted two wheels.  I don't feel that way about very many people.

On the other hand, I might actually like seeing Heloise on a bike.  I have absolutely no idea of what she's like as a person (or if she's even real). But at least she is trying to help people become something Trumplethinskin never is: civil.

In one of her recent "Hints" columns, she answered a letter from someone who complained about scofflaw cyclists and wondered whether we should follow the same rules of the road as drivers and other vehicle operators.


Most of Heloise's answer comes from the League of American Bicyclists' guide.  It's stuff we've all seen and heard before, and makes sense, as far as it goes.  But I don't get the sense she's on a bike since she was a kid, if she ever rode.

If she were to take to the streets, it would be interesting if she could encounter the recently-departed John Forester.   

24 August 2020

"I Won't Ride. I Promise!"

OK, I'll confess:  I'm listening to the Republican convention.

My rationale could be something like the one I offered for practically memorizing Das Kapital when I fancied myself an acolyte of Ayn Rand and St. Paul:  I was learning how and what "the other side" thinks.  Oh, I offered a similar explanation, if only to myself, when I used to go shopping with girlfriends and female friends when I was in my boy-drag.

Everyone from Kimberly Guilfoyle to Nikki Haley, when they're not accusing Trump's predecessor of leading us into an abyss to which his opponent will return us, are touting all of the wonderful things the The Orange One has supposedly done.  

I want to hear what he'll  promise next.  One of his most recent pledges, made last week, is to never, ever ride a bicycle again.  Actually, he promised not to get hurt on a bike:  a jab at John Kerry, who crashed in the French Alps, where he was negotiating with Iran's foreign minister.

He plans to avoid Kerry's mishap in the easiest way possible:  He won't ride a bike.  Ever.

Kerry took his tumble five years ago.  Trump picked on him because he couldn't throw shade on Joe Biden who, on a ride near Valley Forge, zipped past a Fox News reporter.

Trump's anti-cycling rant is ironic considering that, for two years, he sponsored what was arguably the most important bicycle race in the United States. It's fitting, I think, that one of the participating teams, Sauna Diana, was sponsored by a Dutch brothel.

Somehow I get the feeling Joe Biden, even at his age, might be too fast for them.

23 August 2020

What's He Carrying?

I try not to ride with a backpack.  When I must use one, I try not to carry more than, say, a few things from the market, a camera or smartphone and a notebook.

Of course, if I carry a backpack, I can blame it for slowing me down!

22 August 2020

Riding The Divide For The Stories

Some of my best memories from my bicycle tours are the conversations and other interactions I had with local people.  

I'm thinking now of the old couple living by the point where the Garonne bends and begins its opening to the sea.  They took great pride in knowing the exact moments, twice a day, when the tide rolled in.  I'm also recalling my ride with You Sert, a PURE guide, that took us to Cambodian farms where one woman practiced traditional healing and her kids and their cat played with me, and another where a woman guided me through weaving grass for a roof.  

These encounters might be different from the ones that await Nate Hegyi. I feel confident, however, that whomever he meets and whatever he shares with them will be interesting.

A Public Radio-affiliated reporter in Boise, Idaho, Hegyi is embarking on a 900-mile bicycle trip along the Continental Divide.  He plans to visit eastern Idaho's ranching towns; Missoula, Montana; Wyoming's oil and gas areas and  the mountainous country of northern Colorado before ending his trip in Greeley.

Along the way he plans to file radio stories, post to an online blog and, in late October, release a podcast he will produce.  

Nate Hegyi, radio reporter, preparing for his 900 mile ride

"It's been a tumultuous year," Hegyi said.  "A pandemic grips the region and the economy is in freefall. But the voices of folks in the Mountain West's small towns and rural communities are often unheard in regional and national media outlets."  One purpose of the trip, he explained, is to "learn more about the area's residents and hear their stories."  

I am sure that whatever stories he hears aren't the ones one can hear from a car, tour bus or resort hotel!

21 August 2020


Yesterday, Connecticut.  Today, Point Lookout. Sensing a pattern?

I'll bet they did

though it's not the same as mine.  How else could they time their feeding to the receding tide?

These folks, on the other hand, know only that it's a summer day:

20 August 2020

Social Distancing In The Sky

Lately, on bike rides, I've been noticing unusual cloud patterns.

Perhaps the endorphins cycling releases is causing me to see more.  Or is something unusual going in the environment?

I mean, for a moment, I thought those clouds were practicing  social distancing.

The rest of my ride was fabulous.  And, yes, I practiced social distancing. You never know who's watching.

19 August 2020

On Two Wheels To The 19th

The United States became an independent nation in 1776.  I would argue, however, that it took nearly two centuries for it to become anything like democracy, and that this evolution came in stages.

The last of those stages came with the Voting Rights Act in 1965.  Before that, the most important event in this evolution came one hundred years ago yesterday, when the 19th Amendment became part of the US Constitution.  It was written to guarantee women the right to vote.

(Interestingly, a few states, mainly in the western part of the nation, gave women the franchise while they were still territories.)

I mention the 19th because, well, it matters to me and because bicycles figure into it.  Although Susan B. Anthony didn't live to exercise the right she fought for, she did see changes, however gradual, in what was considered proper and sometimes even legal for women.  

As I've mentioned on other posts, she acknowledged the role of two wheels and two pedals in emancipating us:  

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling.  I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.  It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.  I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel...the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.

She beautifully described what kept me cycling during and since my gender transition.  I feel free and happy on my bicycle. Perhaps most important of all, I feel complete autonomy over my body and person.  If that is not a definition of becoming a woman, a full human being--or of feminism--I don't know what is.

18 August 2020

A Field Without Dreamers

This afternoon I rode, again, to and around Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. On my way back, I passed CitiField, where the New York Mets play their home games.

Though I’m seeing more vehicular traffic on the streets, I encountered an empty parking lot that, at this time of year, would normally be full.

The reason is that live fans aren’t allowed to attend games.  The players are. Instead, playing before cardboard cutout figures.

It’s hard to imagine such figures lining the route of the Tour de France or Giro d’Italia!

16 August 2020

Trigger Warning

Today's "Sunday funnies" post has nothing to do with cycling.  And I am including a "trigger warning."

More than a few times in my youth, I took chances I wouldn't take today.  Sometimes I was seeking thrills; other times, I thought I was trying to prove something to someone when I was really trying to prove it to--or run from it in--myself.

If I do say so myself, though, I don't think I did anything quite as dangerous as what, apparently, has become a fad: gun enthusiasts pointing their loaded pistols between their legs and posting the photos on Facebook.  

Well, the law of averages says that, eventually, one of them would discharge his weapon--and not the one he intended.

He posted a picture of himself in the hospital.  He was wearing a mask.  

Perhaps he'll be nominated for a Darwin Award.

15 August 2020

He Wants To Prevent "The Kiss Of Death"

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am not wholly enthusiastic about bike lanes.  In part, my attitude includes remnants of the late John Forrester's influence early in my cycling life.  I subscribed to his philosophy of "vehicular cycling" which, as the name implies, calls for cyclists to ride as if they were any other vehicle on the road.  This meant that, like him, I detested bike lanes.  He argued that bike lanes turn cyclists into second-class citizens and, worse, put them in more danger than they'd experience if they were to ride in the roadway.

These days, my lack of enthusiasm for bike lanes is rooted in something to which Forester sometimes alluded, and which I have experienced all too often:  those lanes, particularly here in the States, are, as often as not, poorly- conceived, designed and constructed.  

Dave O'Neill learned that lesson the hard way.  He has cycled across the country and "thinks nothing of" cyclng 150 miles a day.  Two weeks ago, he was cycling from the Nubbe Lighthouse in York, Maine to his home in Greenland, New Hampshire.  While pedaling through Portsmouth, a city that borders Greenland to the east, he experienced one of our worst nightmares:  He was "doored."

He was riding down the city's Middle Street bike lane, his friend ahead of him and his wife behind him.  Like too many recently-constructed bike lanes, it rims a curb and is separated from street traffic by a line of parked cars.

I avoid using such lanes whenever possible for two reasons:

  1.) Drivers often pull into, or park, illegally.  Sometimes they do so out of carelessness or disdain for others. Other times, lanes and parking spaces are not clearly delineated and drivers mistakenly park in the lane.  

2.)  In such a lanes, cyclists are riding to the right of parked cars.  Specifically, they are pedaling by the passenger side of parked cars.  In my experience, passengers are more likely than drivers to embark or disembark from vehicles--especially taxis and Ubers--without paying attention to their surroundings.

Dave O'Neill at the Middle Street Bike Lane

Dave O'Neill experienced a "perfect storm" if you will:  A passenger-side door opened on a car that was illegally parked. Worse, a utility pole abutted the street right next to where the door opened. "I had zero time to react," he recalls.  

When the car door flung into his path, it stopped his bike in its tracks and sent him airborne.  He  landed face-first. "I had gravel in my mouth," he says. "It was the kiss of death."  Still, he says, his injuries would have been "much worse" had he hit the pole instead of the door.

As a recent face-plant victim, I empathize with him.  I also recall a similar situation I faced before I started this blog.  I was taking one of my first post-surgery rides in the 34th Avenue bike lane, not far from my apartment.  That lane was configured in the same way as the one on Middle Street in Portsmouth, with the curb on the cyclists' right and a lane of parked cars on the left.  A passenger opened his door into my path.  

Fortunately for me, the door struck only my left side.  I wasn't seriously injured, but I got a pretty nasty bruise on my side.  And, for a couple of weeks, I looked like I was pregnant on my left side.

By the way:  I haven't ridden the 34th Avenue lane since that incident.  If Dave O'Neill doesn't ride the Middle Street lane, I couldn't blame him.  He believes that lane should be deconstructed and parked cars returned to the curb before someone experiences what he calls "the kiss of death."

14 August 2020

Purple Reign?

Today I took Tosca, my Mercian fixed-gear bike, for a spin.

By some strange coincidence, she took me by this garden:

And I was wearing a purple top.  Is she more of a fashionista than I realized? Or am I more of a fashionista than I was willing to admit?

13 August 2020

The Summer Of Pre-Love?

COVID-19 has claimed all manner of victims and casualties.

In the latter category are restaurants and stores that closed for good.  I hope that  Broadway Silk will not join them.  In addition to  beautiful fabrics and sewing needs--including rare and unusual buttons and zippers --they sell handcrafted scarves, pens, bracelets, purses and other items.  The sign announcing their "temporary" closure on March 18 is still attached to the door.

On the other hand, there are businesses that have become victims of their newfound prosperity.  One of the first such enterprises I heard about was a funeral home that had to turn people away. Ironically, they are in the same boat, if you will, as many bike shops.

These days, most bikes, components and accessories come from China or other Asian countries.  Those supply chains have been disrupted.  Even bikes and parts that are still made in Europe or Japan are difficult to find because international transportation has been interrupted.

As a result, many bike shops are accepting trade-ins and buying used bikes wherever they can be found.  James Moore, the owner of Moore's Bike Shop in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, says that "folks call, then text me photos."  If the bike "meets our strategy," he explains, he will "go and make an in-person photo and pay on the spot."

His shop has "a reputation for good refurbished bicycles," so he doesn't expect the new bike shortage to slow him down.  Still, he's not taking any chances:  He recently bought billboard space in town and taken out newspaper ads.

Even though there's no shame in buying a bike that isn't new, especially in times like these, it seems that nobody wants to use the word "used."  Sites like Craigslist and eBay refer to "pre-owned" bikes.  Moore likes to call them "pre-loved."

Could 2020 be The Summer Of Pre-Love?


12 August 2020

Steam And Heat

For the past five months, gyms have been closed here in New York.  That means lots of people can use, not only treadmills and exercise bikes, but also saunas and steam rooms.

During the past few days, though, it's been steamier than A Wish Upon Jasmine. (Picking on Fifty Shades of Gray is way too easy!) I mean, it's literally been steamy.  

This is what I saw from the shorline of Greenwich, Connecticut, where I rode the other day.

And this is what I saw from Point Lookout, on the South Shore of Long Island, where I rode yesterday.  That same mist filled the horizon along the Rockaways.

It was odd to see such heavy fog over the water when, only a kilometer or two inland, the sun burned through haze and on my skin.

So, as temperatures soared past 33C (92F), I pedaled 145 kilometers, with some hills, and 120 kilometers (flat) on consecutive days.  During any of the past few summers, this might not have been normal.  But this is the first time I've ridden as much in two days since my crash and hospital stay.

Oh, and I got to sweat even more than I would have in any sauna or steam room.  And I enjoyed a refreshment no gym could have provided!  

08 August 2020

Mellow Johnny Sends A Loud, Clear Message

I love food and music.  So, some of you may find it unfathomable, or even criminal, that I've never been to Austin, Texas.

Perhaps I'll get there one day.  In addition to the sounds and savory stuff, there's another reason to visit.

I mean, even if you don't care about bicycles, how can you not want to check out a place called "Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop?"

Apparently, they're part of a chain in the area, each store with its own management.  So, a policy at Mellow Johnny's in Austin might not prevail at MJ's in, for example, Fort Worth.

Actually, that scenario is not as hypothetical as I made it seem. In fact, the Austin shop has done something that the managers of the Fort Worth store aren't--and don't agree with.

Will Black, the general manager Mellow Johnny's--Austin, has announced, on social media, that the shop won't be selling any more bikes to the city's police department.  "It was a staff-wide store decision," he said, "that we discussed for a pretty good length of time to make sure we were all on the same page and doing the right thing." 

No one incident sparked the decision, he explained.  Rather, he and his employees were concerned that, during Black Lives Matter protests in the city, officers were using the bikes to block Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

On Wednesday, when Black announced the decision, Mellow Johnny's was in the second year of a five-year contract with the police department, which has more than 150 bicycle patrol officers in its downtown area police command.   The shop's action follows similar moves in the industry.  BikeCo, the North American distributor of Fuji bicycles, suspended sales to police forces in June, citing the use of bikes as weapons in protest marches.  That move is significant because Fuji had been one of the major bicycle suppliers to police forces in the United States.

"We are not anti-police," Mellow Johnny's post continued. "We believe our local police will protect us from the threats we are receiving right now" on social media.  Thankfully, there have also been messages of support--which, I suppose, isn't too surprising, given Austin's reputation as a "progressive" community--and the sense of fairness and justice I have seen in cyclists throughout my decades of riding and working in shops.

07 August 2020

The First Time Without Her

Around this time last year, I had just returned from my trip to Greece.

And it was my mother's birthday.  Little did I, or anyone, know it would be her last.

Before taking a quick ride out to Flushing Meadow Corona Park (site of the climactic Men In Black scene and the "the valley of ashes in The Great Gatsby), I called my father.  Though he is not religious, he went to church and lit a candle in honor of my mother, who was not terribly religious but attended mass and lit candles.  We agreed that it was strange--and, for him, lonely--to experience her birthday without her.

Of course, I was thinking about those rides I took along the ocean during my visits with her and Dad in Florida and my high school days in New Jersey.  She never rode with me (or anyone, as far as I know) but she never discouraged me from cycling.  She seemed to understand that it was, and always would be, part of who I am.

As she is.

06 August 2020

It Wasn't Hiroshima, But....

Seventy-five years ago today, American soldiers dropped the world's first nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

I will not try to debate whether the bombing, or the one in Nagaski three days later, was necessary or ethical.  The effect of those blasts was, I believe, best summed up two millenia earlier in a Calgacus speech, as recalled by Tacitus:  Ubi solitudenum facient, pacem appelant (They make a wasteland and call it peace.)

I have seen the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and of various natural disaster.  I cannot, however, pretend to have ever seen devastation resembling anything wrought by those weapons. 

Even what I saw yesterday pales in comparison.

On the day after a not-quite-hurricane struck this area, I went for a ride in the direction of Connecticut.  Along the Pelham Bay Park trail, I had to detour around downed limbs and other parts of trees.  Still, my ride was going relatively smoothly until I crossed into Westchester County:

Less than a mile north of the city/county line, this tree toppled onto Mount Tom Road in Pelham.  So I backed up a bit and took a right, figuring that the road would take me, if in a more roundabout way, the direction of my ride.

Didn't get very far.

On that road, a couple of guys were sitting in their car.  "Be careful out there," the driver yelled.  He explained that his friend had just been out cycling and encountered broken power lines as well as downed trees.

At his suggestion, I cut through the golf course into a residential area of Pelham Manor.  I knew that I would end up at or near Boston Post Road, a.k.a. US 1, where I could re-orient myself.  At worst, I figured, I could ride US 1 for a bit, as it has a decent shoulder--and, I thought, was less likely to contain obstacles and hazards like the ones I'd encountered and been warned about:

So much for that idea, right?  I turned down another road blocked by a tree.  For a moment, I thought perhaps the storm was some cosmic conspiracy that threw down those trees as a "wall" to keep riff-raff like me out of the upper reaches of Westchester County and Connecticut.

Of course, that thought was no more rational than any comparison between what I was seeing and what the survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki carried with them. 

05 August 2020

What My Recovery Is Telling Me.

"Recovery tells you what it needs."

Madelyn, a social worker/addiction counselor uttered those words of wisdom years ago.  I worked with her, for a time, when I was conducting writing workshops for kids whose family members were in, or recovering from, addictions.

Her words are making a lot of sense to me now. To her pearl of wisdom, I would add that a recovery tells you what you're ready to do.   I want to ride as much, and at the same pace, as I did before my accident.  If I'd crashed back when I was working with her, it might have been possible.  Actually, I believe that it will be.  It's just taking longer than it might've in my youth.

Still, Madelyn probably would have told me--even then--that I was doing well.  (She wasn't a cyclist, but I think she spent some time in a gym.)  The other day, I did another ride to Point Lookout:  120 km round-trip.  Two days before that, I took my first ride to Connecticut since my crash.

My trek to the Nutmeg State was particularly gratifying, not only because it was longer (140 km) and hillier.  When I got home, I feel as if I'd finished the trip I took the day I crashed, when my ride back from Greenwich ended in New Rochelle, about 30 kilometers from my apartment.

I was happy to have done both of those rides, but they further enhanced the meaning of my old collaborator's words:  I was more tired at the end of the Connecticut ride than I'd been the last time I completed it. Oh, and even though I slathered my skin with sunscreen, my skin took on quite the lobster hue.  Whenever my skin absorbs a lot sun, I get sleepy.

I got what I needed before, during and after I rode.   Madelyn knew what she was talking about.

04 August 2020

The Same Sky?

Today Isais blew through town.

To be fair, it wasn't quite as bad as I expected it to be.  Yes, we had a lot of rain this morning and early this afternoon. The wind broke a few twigs off trees and cardboard signs off stores.  

Worse was predicted.  The Weather Service even issued a tornado watch for this city, and a warning for Monmouth County, NJ (where I went to high school) and Suffolk County, about 50 kilometers from here.

As clouds thickened, the sky darkened, so the watch/warning was in my mind. So was this cloud formation I saw the other day:

It's hard to believe I was looking at the same sky today.

02 August 2020

The Real Uses Of Bike Tools

Do you have a Campagnolo corkscrew?

Or a Park Tool pizza cutter?

Or a Maillard Helicomatic freewheel remover with a built-in bottle opener?

Well, then, you are misguided.  A real cyclist knows you don't need food- (or drink-) specific utensils:

I mean, you can eat pizza with a bicycle fork.  Right?

Well, all right:  As a New Yorker of Italian heritage, I would never, ever use anything besides my fingers to handle  Neopolitan or Sicilian slices. (A person of my background also does not allow any sort of topping on her pizza.  Pineapples?  Barbecued beef?  They're like chocolate chips in a bagel, as far as I'm concerned.)

So what do you eat with your cone wrench?