TimeOut magazine, more often than not, has some quirky things, including this bit on cycling in the city.
They’re all pretty accurate, but I wanted highlight some of my favorites, as well as add some of my own thoughts.
2. “I am moving so fast, right now. Why do I walk so much? That’s dumb.”
This happens pretty much every time I get on a bike. Especially on days when I go to regularly frequented places like campus. Despite the fact that the overall commute from Bushwick to Union Square via the L train takes less time than biking, there’s the thing about perception.
Walking, and waiting for the train, and stopping at the stations seem like they take much longer than when you’re in constant motion.
Hence my thought when I walk, and take the train: Why the fuck am I not biking right now?
4. “Must stay vigilant for sudden obstacles in all directions. Even from above. The city wants me to fail.” AND 8. “Oh god, I’m on an avenue without a designated bike lane. I didn’t tell my boyfriend I loved him this morning.”
No. 4 and 8 go together here. When I lived in Flatbush, I took advantage of the massive network of bike lanes that created a visual signal of distinct “lanes.” In Bushwick, there is no such thing. 😓
So my bike trips, ever since returning to good ol’ Bushwick, have included moments of dread and fear over the most efficient routes to get to the bridge, and predicting how bad that route will be for the day. It’s like a game of chicken, except no one is standing still waiting for the opponent to come at you and veer away at the last second. Everyone is moving. It’s just a matter of who makes the inopportune “swerve.”
Which leads me briefly to thoughts about the last conversations I had with select people. Oh, gawd. Why didn’t we hang out more?! Or I can’t believe that’s the last thing I said to them.
I’ve read stories of people getting pulled over on the 9th and 2nd avenue bike lanes as well as others, but I have not had this privilege yet. And it’s not because I vigilantly stop at every light, stop sign, and unmarked intersection. I just pick and choose which lights to “Idaho Stop” based on risk evaluation. I also check to see if any cops are around, but I noticed that even when there are they only selectively choose which cyclists to stop.
And this has the unfortunate effect of leading me to falsely believe that I’ll never get pulled over. eek!