Busy…

So busy lately. Wanted to take the time to follow up on the bike Fandango 2010 but, as usual, I am immersed with doing other things. here’s a link from my trip to keep my vast readership occupied: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg8F1VS1UDA
I recently saw the writer William Gibson at Barnes and Noble promoting his book Zero History. I’m hoping to post something about Mr. Gibson’s work soon. In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about the open road.

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Landed in glacier Park

Wonder of wonders! Just about the first thing i saw when i entered glacier Park was a bear! I’m pretty sure it was a black bear, and, being the elusive creatures that they are, the picture I got(which I’m afraid that you won’t see now because once again the library computer that I’m writing from does not upload pics!) that I got was pretty indistinct. I know that he either saw, heard or smelled me because he jumped up and then scrambled further into the bush where he continued to frolic and rummage for grubs or whatever it is that bears rummage for.
I don’t want to mention tea party again, okay, I will: Tea party! There is something comically and diametrically opposite in the American character that can accommodate the kind of people who identify so closely with whatever it is that they stand for (I don”t think even they know what it stands for because many of the issues that some of the members support are the exact opposite of what I would construe as being libertarian…

I met a very interesting biker on the road to Glacier near Libby Montana. Doug Charleston was riding along route two when he spotted me. He had a friend driving with as a support vehicle and claimed to be riding 150 to 200 miles a day. He insisted on giving me his mirror(worn on glasses), which I never use, but accepted out of politeness and then, after ensuring there wasn’t anything else I needed, including gator aide and inner tubes, he went off on a tirade about being forced to submit to security screenings at airports and being “profiled”. Then in the very next breath complained that Mexicans should be profiled and screened at random during highway stops. Now Doug seemed to be a generous and charismatic man, deeply religious, who failed to see the essential contradiction in what he was saying. I think we should either all be profiled or none of us, but i have a problem with profiling one segment of the population because of their racial or ethnic profile.

Meanwhile, back at Glacier On Monday night, August 2nd I saw the wonderful singer Jack Gladstone at the amphitheater at McDonald Lake. Jack is part German and part Blackfoot Indian, and is full of amazing folklore about Indians and very wry and astute observations about the history of America. You can check him out at: http://www.jackgladstone.com/Oki,_Welcome.html

Transit Strike

Okay, let’s back it up.  No, I mean way back.  Before the internet.  Before cell phones.  Let’s travel back thirty years ago to the year 1980 and see what crazyflybikeguy was doing and what the world looked like.  Check out the dude in the background with the funky lid.  You don’t see people wearing those kinds of lids anymore.  This picture was taken during the transit strike of 1980, when the entire city had to resort to other means to get to work.  This was the event that put bicycling on the map for New Yorker’s. It made the city seem more proletarian, as if it were some kind of Bolshevik plot(thank you Barack Obama), seeing the streets filled with bicycles like Amsterdam or Peking.  Hundreds of bikes everywhere you looked.  It was also the year that I became a messenger, quitting my job at Simon and Schuster, to go out on these streets to wait for the apocalypse.  I gotta say that the apocalypse never came(unless you consider 9/11 apocalyptic), but the new millennium did and with that the beginning of a new age in transportation.  In the coming weeks and months I’ll try to expand upon my thesis about the transit strike and the evolution of bicycle culture in New York.  Stay tuned.

Don’t hold me to this…but

At this point I’ve got to put in a plug for Mayor Bloomberg and his transportation commissioner Janett Sadik-Kahn.  OK–I know the guy pretty much bought the election and is mostly on the side of big business(well–maybe completely on the side of big business!) but I like the stance he has taken in terms of the pedestrian mall in Times Square and I respect that he tried to enact the bridge and tunnel fee for cars coming into Manhattan.  When will these idiotic drivers ever think about anyone else but themselves?  Oh, and by the way, as an aside, I think they should keep raising the taxes on cigarettes, booze and sugary soda.  One of the reasons I stopped smoking and drinking is because of these taxes and I’m glad that I did.  And don’t believe that baloney from all those pathetic barfly’s and rummy”s who are singing the blues about “Unfair taxes” and the like.  They are drinking, eating and smoking themselves into an early grave and it is the tax payers who will most likely end up subsidizing their health care when their collective livers, lungs and hearts give.  With these taxes they are just paying for their health care in advance.

Anyway, getting back to the drivers who put my life in jeopardy every time I get on my bicycle.  What the mayor has done, and I really respect him for it, is that he has taken a principled stance with respect to urban space and has made a statement about the future of automobiles in the city.  If people insist on taking their gas belching vehicles  into the city they should have to pay for it.  Tax them.  Tax them.  Tax them.  Let them buy bicycles or take the subway.  And that goes for all those drinkers, smokers and over eaters who are whining about having to pay for their future health care problems.  Let them ride bikes!