Tuesday, November 13, 2007

bike antics continued

Usually, I'm fastidious about detailling my myriad biking-in-NYC-related gripes and gaffs; but I've been lax of late.

Incident 1:

last week I had plans to meet Larry for post-performance, post-yoga tea and dessert. I parked my bike on West 4th between 6th and Washington Square West and grabbed some food from what, it must be said, was definitely the wrong choice of two veggie Asian restaurants on that block (I went into Vegetarian Paradise, rather than Red Bamboo, and I think Vegetarian Paradise should probably be renamed Rastafarian San Antonio (as opposed to, say, Dallas) Seitan BBQ). When I emerged half an hour later and six tons worth of gelatinous sauce-covered wheat gluten heavier I discovered that someone had locked his or her bike TO mine. This offending bicycle had been parked at the same post when I arrived, but somehow in the duration it took me to suck down the hideous chow, the proprietor of said bike had thought it was a good idea (or, more likely, not thought at all) to take their chain lock and pass it through my frame rather than around the post. I went into every business on the block to see if it belonged to a delivery person, but, alas, it did not. It was too flash to be a delivery bike - a silver Mongoose with suspension. So I called the police. I waited two and a half hours during which time the folks who worked at the nearby dry cleaners emerged periodically with miscellaneous keys, hammers, and other devices in an effort to break the lock (not one passerby especially cared or noticed a white girl with pigtails with two very short, hammer-wielding Latino men, and a supervising Asian man smoking a cigarette and looking on skeptically as we bashed away fruitlessly at this padlock). The police eventually turned up, not having any idea why I'd requested their presence and, naturally, totally unequipped to deal with the problem.

I then learned that

a) there are only two patrol cars for the entire West Village on an average Monday night
b) 911 dispatchers do not provide any information to the officers on duty regarding the nature of the dispatch (which leads me to wonder what would have happened if I'd actually had a real emergency)

The police officers were very kind, but utterly useless so I then had to wait another 30 minutes for some emergency services folks to arrive with various lock-picking implements. Eventually, they unlocked the parasitic bike and I left a note that said:

Watch where you lock your bike, genius. It took the police and 2 1/2 hours to get your bike UNLOCKED FROM MINE. You're lucky I didn't trash the fuckin' thing.

Incident 2:

Moments after I left the house this morning my rack basically deconstructed itself on (and eventually off) my frame. It fell off with my panniers attached to it near 50th and 1st Ave. I need to buy a new one. Any recommendations? I have some research to do.


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