We can argue all day long about whether we’re living in the best of times or the worst of times, but there’s absolutely no doubt whatsoever that we are all lucky enough to be alive during the Golden Age of Shaming:
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Like the time I got mask-shamed, I almost couldn’t believe it was happening. In fact I was tempted to turn around, chase him down, and ask him if he’s really just helmet-shamed me, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that you don’t answer psychotic behavior with psychotic behavior. Anyway, I subsequently had two (2) positive cyclist encounters and one (1) reverse-shaming that more than made up for it. The first positive cyclist encounter was when a passing rider called out, “Hey, Bike Snob!,” which made me feel like the Assman, which was awesome:
Though had I been on my Platypus step-through it might have gone more like this:
Then later I saw someone on a Soma, and he saw I was on a Soma, so he called out “Soma!,” and we were like totally Soma twinsies, which was also awesome. That was the second Positive Cyclist Encounter, which I should probably just abbreviate as “PCE,” though it doesn’t even matter anymore since I won’t be mentioning PCEs again in this post.
As for the Reverse-Shaming (or “R-S”), while riding around Central Park I yielded to someone who was trying to use the crosswalk. As I waited, two other riders rode across it at high speed, preventing her from crossing. I, however, held my ground, which earned me high praise from the frustrated pedestrian. Speed-Freds will no doubt disagree, but I believe riding fast in Central Park any later than 7:00am on a beautiful day is borderline moronic given how busy it is. Riding at a considerate pace doesn’t even preclude working out since you can do still do hill repeats on the top loop until you fall over until you’re so inclined, but try to tell that to the two Freds alternating pulls like they’re trying to smell each-other’s asses.
Anyway, since I was more or less duplicating my ride from the other day, the woman who suffered a fatal crash in Van Cortlandt Park was very much on my mind, so I paid close attention as I rode the section of path where the crash occurred. Here’s where the descent begins:
About halfway down the hill were some flowers, which I took to be a memorial:
I have no idea if the flowers mark the actual place where she crashed, if so but the buckled section of pavement I mentioned is further along and wouldn’t have been a factor. In fact the path even begins to climb a bit before you get to it, and while you can still carry plenty of momentum as you approach it the gentle ascent would at least scrub off a little bit of speed. Here’s an arrow, which I assume someone put there as a warning:
It’s hard to tell due to the fact that: A) I’m a poor photographer; and B) I’m using my son’s tablet while my phone is in the shop getting an oil change; but the buckling is actually pretty treacherous. There are also three sets of buckles–here:
Which is why people just ride around the rough section, as you can see from the bare patch alongside it:
The buckles are also painted, but the paint has faded considerably.
But again, the memorial was further up the hill, so the cause of her fall could have been anything at all.