like eagles, like vampires, like velociraptors.
Motorized scooters and e-bikes have taken over the streets here, as well as plain old scooters, the type on which you stand to move forward. Good balance required for that. And of course the old-fashioned kind of bicycle.
Scooters tear up the Grand Concourse, on the service roads, but most especially on the sidewalks, swerving around pedestrians, going every which way.
Bike lanes? Nah. They’re for squares.
Storefronts are clogged with locked bikes (with serious chains) awaiting their owners to emerge.
The bike-less nod, zoned out on who knows what.
Scooters course around them.
Junk collectors collect bike wheels.
It’s absolutely bonkers.
Pretty soon it will be like Bangkok around here.
The fabulous Leon Bridges came out with his song Motorbike this year:
On the back of my motorbike? Switch lanes twenty-nine, ooh
It’s whatever you like, ooh
On the back of my motorbike, write your name in the sky, ooh
It’s whatever you like, we can ride, ride, ride
Romantic song and video that makes a person crave riding behind her beau in the open country. That “29” baffles me; his age maybe.
Not only boys take the reins.
I saw a mom on a scooter, one small child in front of her and two behind, holding on tight as she aced the curve from the side street to the avenue.
Motorbikes cost a lot less than a car. $1,000, $2000 bucks. E-Bikes go for around $5000. They’re hot. You can get a food delivery job riding one.
Don’t you dare bring your bike inside!
There is a cool pop-up bike repair place in the street next to a produce vendor. It’s private, mainly hidden by a tarp like a canopy, and a bunch of gear heads huddle there every afternoon, their tools all over the pavement, fixing scooters. When I stopped there to investigate I was not especially welcome because a. I don’t speak Spanish, b. I am an alien in a hard hat and c. I possess a vagina. No pictures, I was told firmly. In my experience, when someone declines having their photo taken they are hiding something.
But… but… let’s not talk about the buts, shall we? No, let’s. I pitched off an e-bike this summer and was lucky to come away tumbled like a rock in a rock polisher, with a temporary concussion. So I am somewhat biased as to the dangers of these machines. Especially in New York City! Which is filled with white ghost bikes memorializing cyclists’ deaths.
Also, I came across the detritus of a wrecked bike under the light pole it had smashed into. Shards of plastic and metal everywhere. And a very unnerving single glove.
That’s not flying. It is possibly dying.