The world is filled with lovely mysteries that have been clearly created by aliens. Stonehenge, the Egyptian pyramids, these crop circles that have been briefly fashionable within the ’90s…and these swirls I seen on the street this morning:
These weren’t the work of a kid with a chunk of chalk, however they have been clearly deliberate, and so they evoked that portray by that man who reduce his ear off:
I contemplated them and concluded that they too have to be of extraterrestrial origin…till I spotted that they have been simply from the wheel of this SUV grinding all these gravel bits into the road whereas parallel parking:
I rely no less than eight swirls, which suggests the motive force backed out and in of the area no less than that many instances.
Then, a short time later, I got here throughout a determine within the highway that was somewhat extra serpentine:
It was both very chilly or very lifeless. We’ve been having unseasonably heat climate these days, although the temperature dropped steeply as of yesterday, and in line with a well-liked search engine snakes brumate when it’s chilly. This implies they go all torpid, and never that they flip into thermal mugs:
So both the snake was in a state of maximum brumation, which appears unlikely given the placement, or else it had been doing common snake stuff when the temperature abruptly dropped and it froze to demise. If the latter, certainly we will blame local weather change, wherein case the logical plan of action is to throw extra soup at that portray by the ear man.
In any case, after I got here throughout the snake I used to be driving my “What, this previous factor?” bike:
A “What, this previous factor?” bike is one that attracts consideration from different bike individuals and offers the looks of being thrown collectively haphazardly however is in reality extremely curated. Loads of individuals have multiple bike, and plenty of them even have so-called “beaters,” however solely the worst sorts of pretentious bike dorks have “What, this previous factor?” bikes. “Oh, this? It’s only a uncommon body steeped in ’80s irony with XTR, low-normal friction shifting, and a smattering of previous Suntour. It takes a skilled eye to understand what you’re and loads of the stuff on it’s truly actually costly, however I solely experience it when it’s actually, actually salty out:”
Riders like this will even typically tack gratuitous “errands” onto their rides to faux like they’re not simply parading round on their treasured bicycles, and in my case I used to be going to go to Willy Appelhans:
Awhile again I’d been perusing the Basic Cycle museum and got here throughout his bikes, and in studying extra about him I additionally realized that he lived (and presumably labored) not too removed from the place I reside, and that his life ended tragically:
For the reason that home was shut I’d been that means to swing by, in order that’s what I did, visiting some native grime on the way in which:
As I received nearer to the Appelhans residence, I encountered a real Division of Transportation masterpiece. See this intersection?
All of the lights are inexperienced and the stroll sign is in your favor. So that you’d go, proper?
Nicely that’s exactly what I did, at which level I used to be almost walloped by oncoming visitors:
“Did I simply run the sunshine with out realizing it?,” I questioned as soon as I made it throughout. No, I used to be completely sure that not solely had the sunshine been inexperienced however that I’d additionally had the stroll. So I went again and noticed the cycle. Positive sufficient, for some cause, after I had the inexperienced and the stroll, so did oncoming visitors. It was astounding, just like the DOT had timed the lights particularly to kill you. However then I scanned the world, and manner off to the proper and fully out of the way in which, I seen this, which was purple whereas the whole lot else was inexperienced (or white within the case of the pedestrian sign):
It you’re within the bike lane and searching straight forward it’s fully out of your visual field. I imply take a look at this, it’s nowhere to be seen:
OK, let’s pan proper:
Nope once more:
Oh wait, there it’s, juuust coming into view within the far proper:
Additionally, it’s a “stroll” sign, and solely the kinds of nerds who learn Streetsblog know that pedestrian alerts additionally apply to bikes. I imply are you fucking kidding me? It’s simply an beautiful instance of how they construct these bike lanes to place extra inexperienced traces on the map with out ensuring they really work–the road design equal of a motorcycle mechanic placing a crankarm on the spindle and giving it to a buyer with out tightening the bolt. Talking of which, shortly earlier than this I stumbled on a rider with precisely that drawback: he’d lately had a brand new crank put in and the store should have forgotten to tighten it as a result of the left arm was flopping round just like the flush lever on a dive bar rest room. Sadly, I didn’t have an 8mm Allen key on me, nevertheless it simply so occurred he was headed to an appointment in my neighborhood. So he took an Uber there along with his bike and I met him there afterward with the required instruments and stuck his bike for him. This made me be ok with myself, and he was very grateful. However at no level throughout both of our encounters did he ask me about my “What, this previous factor?” bike, and when you don’t get an opportunity to impress somebody along with your gear whereas serving to them is it actually value it?
After all if he’d had a mechanical in Manhattan or Brooklyn there would have been 19 retailers in simple strolling distance to tighten his crank for him, however round right here there hasn’t been a motorcycle store for the reason that days of Willy Appelhans–and right here’s his home:
I briefly thought of knocking on the door.
“Hiya, are you aware this home was as soon as owned by a well-known bike racer and builder?”
“Why no, I didn’t! However there was a ton of previous bike crap within the basement after I purchased it. You’re greater than welcome to it.”
Then I’d actually have a “What, this previous factor?” bike to faux to not be pleased with:
Alas, I didn’t knock, dropping out to my very own goals like Appelhans misplaced out to Madonna:
They are saying actual property is about location, location, location, and Appelhans’s home was as soon as virtually proper across the nook from the velodrome, which is a fairly good location for a motorcycle racer and builder:
It was known as the New York Velodrome:
And it’s now a Goal:
Aside from a few bike racks in entrance (and naturally the bikes with backwards forks they promote inside) there’s little about this Goal that evokes bikes. Nonetheless there’s an elevated parking zone:
It’s mainly a drag strip (or regardless of the drifting equal of a drag strip is) and if there was nonetheless such a factor as fixed-gear crits the previous website of the New York Velodrome looks like it could be the right place for one:
It additionally has panoramic views of the Harlem River and downtown Manhattan manner within the distance:
Nicely if anybody decides to place one on I do know the place we may get some course tape: