Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bikepocalypse Now!

I'm going to cliche hell for that post title. But I worked six days this week and I'm having terrible allergies from breathing in tree sperm, so I've run out of damns to give, not that I had that many to begin with.

Today I saw what Mad Max would look like if the apocalypse happened and left behind only jocks and hippies. One whole side of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway was blocked off for the Five Borough Bike Tour, a 30,000-strong mass of bicycles that goes up Manhattan, u-turns in the Bronx, goes down through Queens, Brooklyn and Staten, and then--if I'm reading the route map correctly--cycles over the very waters of the harbor itself to its starting point in Battery City. Apparently riding a bike does give you the god-like powers professed by cycling enthusiasts.

I had no idea this was going on until I crossed the pedestrian bridge over the BQE on my way to the laundrymat and beheld a freeway full of bicycles. At first I was certain that it was a protest of some kind, like Critical Mass, because it was such a radical and subversive sight, like art or political cartoons come to life--mesmerizing, uplifting, and thought-provoking all at once. There could be nothing but bikes on the freeway! Why do we need cars? Why do we need gas and insurance and tolls? Why do we need authority, man?!

Dangerous stuff, New York. You're giving people ideas.

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