your senses can really come alive at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden http://zoeryder.blogspot.com/2012/04/peak-lilac-season-at-bbg.html
Seaton again with the win -
Seaton again with the win
Speaker Quinn loves bike share! ‘I find it slimming!’
View from the cockpit
Your new bicycle is Citibank blue
To make my Mongoose “SuperGoose” BMX bike sound like a motorcycle, I used to tape a playing card to my chainstay, so that the card stuck halfway through my rear wheel and into the path of the spokes. At slow speeds it sounded like popcorn popping, but as I went faster it sounded like the rattling of a little two-stroke engine— maybe a weed whacker, maybe a lawn mower, maybe, if you listened just right, a muffled Evil Knievel— and that made me step on the pedals and go.
I remember riding with five or six of my buddies spread wide across Huffman Boulevard. We were a tough biker gang that owned the street; the sound of our fake motors adding up to something real and rugged. That was, of course, until our cards started to sag: despite their name, not even Bicycle brand can hold up to a few hours of battering in a wheel, so you’d adjust them, turn them, maybe replace them. I always used the aces first, then when those wore out, the kings. No doubt: I was a fourth-grade badass, the type of kid who’d reach back on the fly to adjust the card to improve the motor sound. It was a good trick, right up until I caught my hand in the spokes and crashed. The back of my fingers were bloodied and sore but not broken. Lesson learned: I would never stick my hand into a whirring wheel again. Up until last Sunday’s Prospect Park race, I managed that quite well.
Like all bike race crashes, mine happened unexpectedly, and like most, it happened just before the finish. In the final stretch the leader accelerated, and I followed, noticing that on each downstroke, he would rise out of the saddle just a little bit and stand on his pedal. He was pushing a big gear, but his cadence was slow and uneven which told me he was tired. He was small so to get in his slipstream, I bent my head and torso down until my pumping legs started gently hitting my chest. I was spinning smoothly, and I felt strong, but because we were still 300 yards from the finish, I waited. I looked sideways to see who was going to come around.
To my surprise the small leader accelerated, again approaching sprinting speed. I didn’t think he had it in him. I followed again, and the finish line came into sight. I could win this race, I thought. I’d won the day before by 20 seconds, and I had gas left and my legs felt great. Suddenly another rider, a mustachioed young guy named Eli Fuld who tried to break early and didn’t have the juice to finish, came into view on our right. We were passing him fast. He made a quick lateral move towards me in a desperate bid to latch on to our acceleration. It was a hasty decision. Later, I would read Eli’s account of the crash on his blog They felt that way too.which makes clear that he didn’t see me in my tuck until the last second, but also includes a scolding lesson from a commenter. Anyway, he hit my right thigh, pushing me to the left. We were hooked together somehow. The next few moments sounded like being inside a bed sheet of corrugated aluminum that was being crumpled and tossed by a giant’s hand.
I hit the road on my right side. Not bad. My left hip—the bad one, the titanium one—was spared the impact of my fall to the pavement. I sat up and took a breath. OK. OK. Road rash, but maybe I’m OK. Then I looked down at the back of my right hand: my index finger is bloody and bent sideways. Its top half is crooked over to the right, parallel to my wrist, behind and across my other fingers, so that the tip of it now touches the middle knuckle of my pinkie. At the apex of my index finger’s new corner, just below my first knuckle, blood is gushing out over some white that I can only imagine is bone. It’s sticking out like splintered wood from a bent young tree branch. Fuck.
On my way down my hand had gotten caught in the spokes of a spinning wheel. Mine? His? Someone else? It didn’t matter. A dozen thoughts rushed in: I knew I needed to go to the hospital. I knew I would not be flying to Chicago that evening to meet my wife Zoe and our daughter Anna. I knew that I had wrecked my delicately engineered balance of family life and bike racing. How long would that take to repair? Longer than my hand, probably.
“Come on, get up out of the road,” I heard someone say. Without really thinking about it, I made a fist around my broken finger with my good left hand. I felt the finger straighten as some blood oozed through my clenched fingers and dripped onto the blacktop. I hobbled over to the grass and stood there in a daze. A nice guy in a Sid’s jersey grabbed my bike for me. I knew I had more important things to figure out, but I couldn’t help myself: How did that happen? Who bumped into me? Who won?
I couldn’t help but think this was karmic payback for being too greedy. I wanted to make it my second victory in two days. Saturday morning’s race was perfect. Bruce and I broke away on the last lap, and I won with enough room for a self-indulgent flourish: Before crossing the line, I sat up in the saddle and did a “Flecha,” a sort of end-zone dance for cyclists named after Juan Antonio Flecha, a Spanish pro who’d pretend to fire an arrow while crossing the line. Was I was being punished for acting the fool? For tweaking my playing card so it sounded even tougher?
The next 24 hours were a painful journey through our two-tiered healthcare system. My bone was set by a second-year resident at the Kings County Hospital Trauma Center (famous for letting a patient die in one of its waiting rooms), who yanked and pulled my finger and hand like a drunken Scotsman in a bagpipe trance. Then he advised me, illegally, to seek care elsewhere. That is, if I could find a good hand surgeon who would take me. Even though I had insurance, he said, it might be two weeks before I could see a doc who could fix me up right. The next morning, I showed up at the Hospital for Special Surgery on 72nd street like a medical refugee. My friend and consigliore, Noah Budnick, said that would be better than spending the entire day on the phone trying to find a decent doctor that would take me. When I got to the front desk, they directed me to a phone. After 30 minutes of calling the best I got was an appointment for 10 days hence.
Out of other ideas, I headed for the office of Dr. Andrew Weiland, the surgeon that the resident at King’s County said was the best of the best. It was worth a shot, and I couldn’t do much else. As I approached the lobby of his building, I saw a guy enter with a nice road bike. It was Efrain Molina, who rides for Foundation. We had done a short ride together last summer.
“Are you here to see Dr. Weiland?” he asked.
“I hope so,” I replied. “I don’t have an appointment.”
“I’ll talk to him right now.” Efrain, it turns out, is the top IT expert for the Hospital for Special Surgery. Upstairs, Dr. Weiland welcomed me as a friend. We talked about bikes and long rides. He had two nice rigs right in his office: a Pinarello Dogma and a Colnago, both with Shimano Di2.
A few hours later, I went into surgery. As I was being put under, he asked me how my bike fared in the crash. I told him my frame was cracked and asked would he mind lending me one of his when I was ready to get back in the saddle? He chuckled nervously and said, “I think it’s too small for you,” and then I was in the dreamless sleep of anesthesia.
Coming to, I swear I could hear a playing card in my spokes. Then, a few nights later in Chicago with Zoe the sound is gone. I remember my Wordsworth. He wasn’t writing about riding bikes when he wrote ‘Song of the Spinning Wheel’, but he wasn’t really writing about making textiles either:
SWIFTLY turn the murmuring wheel!
Night has brought the welcome hour,
When the weary fingers feel
Help, as if from faery power;
Dewy night o’ershades the ground;
Turn the swift wheel round and round!
Now, beneath the starry sky,
Couch the widely-scattered sheep;—
Ply the pleasant labour, ply!
For the spindle, while they sleep,
Runs with speed more smooth and fine,
Gathering up a trustier line.
Short-lived likings may be bred
By a glance from fickle eyes;
But true love is like the thread
Which the kindly wool supplies,
When the flocks are all at rest
Sleeping on the mountain’s breast.
Wow. Evelyn Stevens now on duty at bikenyc.org
Initial Details About Bike Share Start to Emerge | Brooklyn Spoke
Who knew? Lex Luthor hearts bicycle paintings!
Siggi himself (!) is out and about handing out free Siggi’s yogurt coupons
to followers of Biking Rules