Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Riders

I haven't been on my bike since the 5-boro due to an injury, so even though the weather looked a little questionable, I hauled my out-of-shape self onto my bike and headed out for a spin.
Like any good urbanite, I try to avoid certain key, congested areas when I travel from place to place. These are dependent on weather, season, day of the week, time of day, and like a London Cabbie, 'the knowledge' is a source of pride amongst those of us who make this city our home.
So today, I decided to bike to Harlem for brunch with a friend - and promptly regretted it.
Why? Well, my schedule has been a bit bizarre recently so I forgot one very important fact.

Today was Sunday.

And Sundays are for Sunday Riders.

Sunday Riders in NYC fall into three distinct categories:

1. The Date or Family outing.
Riding hybrids or cruisers, these cyclists will do anything to avoid riding in traffic including riding on sidewalks and going the wrong way in bike lanes. They ALWAYS ride abreast, never in line and are impossible to pass.

2. The Tourist.
Riding rental bikes, these daring adrenaline junkies are found only on the West Side Bike Path doing no more than 8 mph and can most often be seen stopped in clumps checking to make sure that they aren't lost. (Hint - It's a bike path, not a bike maze, it goes in a straight line.)

3. The Weekend Warrior.
These lycra bedecked athletes are out in force once the weather warms up, time trialling up the Hudson with their heart rate monitors and handlebar mounted GPS.
I don't actually have a problem with most of these guys. Hey, we all gotta pay our bills, and for most of us, that means no play time during the week.
The ones I have a problem with are the headphone wearers.
I get that music makes a work out easier. It's motivating. But given the crowds on the path on the weekend, cyclists wearing headphones make me homicidal.
We've already got the power walkers, joggers, and roller bladers wearing headphones. As cyclists, you've got to have experienced the insanity of trying to pass someone on a crowded path who's meandering all over the place and can't hear you behind them. Add deaf cyclists doing anywhere from 10 to 20 mph into the mix, and it's just hair raising.

Now, I'm not advocating something like this:


It's called a "CyFi" and quite frankly, I hope if you get one of these, you ride where I don't. But at least you might hear me when I tell you that I'm going to pass.

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