Daily Bike Forecast — by Bike Snob NYC

April 6th, 2018: Your Weekend Forecast

Well, it is what it is I guess:

Friday Weather

Friday Rain likely, mainly between 9am and noon. Cloudy, with a high near 55. South wind 8 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.
Friday Night A chance of showers before 3am, then a chance of rain after 3am. Cloudy, with a low around 37. Southwest wind around 9 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%

Sunrise: 6:31am

Sunset: 7:26pm

If you do ride today just set your jaw and keep telling yourself that it's spring.

Maybe you'll even start to believe it.

Then Saturday you'll be delighted to see we may get snow, and on Sunday we'll finally see the sun again:

Weekend Weather

Don't forget the sunscreen!

As for the Brooklyn Brewery Weekend Beer Forecast, the official recommendation is the Bel Air Sour:

Bel Air Sour

With the weather all over the map, we’re going with the tried-and-true tropical notes of Bel Air Sour. It’s bright, tart, and breezy, which makes it more than capable of enhancing early spring sunshine or cutting through unnecessary snow showers. We’ll also be pouring Bel Air Sour next weekend at Beer Mansion Brooklyn at Weylin, and we’d love to have you check it out. Head to brooklynbrewery.presents.com/beermansion and use code BB5OFF and take $5 off your ticket, just for being a loyal reader, biker, and drinker.

Beer Mansion

See that?  You saved $5 just by reading the Bike Forecast!

You're welcome.

Moving on, this Sunday there's a ride and rally for bike lanes on Skillman and 43rd Avenues in Queens:

And you've still got a chance to help push for better bike conditions on the new Tappan Zee Bridge:

Originally the state was going to put gates on the bike path that you've have to dismount in order to open (!), but now they've apparently moved on to the only slightly less inconvenient chicanes.  So keep pushing and hopefully they'll come to the revolutionary conclusion that people should be able to simply ride bicycles over the bridge in a linear fashion.  Anything less is a missed opportunity.

Speaking of missed opportunities, did you know that people who use bike and pedestrian paths spend money?

Trails

Designated, off-road trails for hikers and bikers can attract millions of dollars to state and local economies for relatively little up-front investment. The outdoor recreation economy, in 2017, generated around $887 billion in consumer spending, and created 7.6 million new jobs. Developing and prioritizing bike and pedestrian routes in less densely populated areas encourages people to move slower, and to spend more money in diverse ways along routes.

All the more reason to make the Tappan Zee as bike-friendly as possible.

Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, people are fretting over whether kids are riding enough:

Dutch Kids Riding Bikes

Children in the Netherlands increasingly grow up without learning to ride the bicycle, instead walking or being driven to school, according to traffic safety association VVN. Parents often find it too dangerous to send their kids to school on a bicycle, but not being able to cycle could be detrimental to children's development, VVN warns, RTL Nieuws reports.

Not being able to ride the bicycle means that children can sometimes not join school outings and are less likely to explore their neighborhood independently, according to VVN. This means that kids can't broaden their own horizons, the association said.

My advice to the Dutch is to take that very seriously, because otherwise this could happen to you:

Happiness

When your culture forsakes bikes, first you slide down the World Happiness Index, then you frame absolutely everything in terms of parking:

 

So it’s good news, at least temporarily, when one of Charlie’s dreams comes true: He has finally secured that most precious of Manhattan commodities, off-street parking. There’s a brownstone-size gap between two of the buildings on the cul-de-sac. Long ago, fire gutted a home on the site and the owner never redeveloped it. Instead, the lot has been divided into six parking spaces. When Charlie finally scores one, Nora hopes he’ll stop talking about selling the house.

This scenario sounded eerily familiar to me:

This factors into the story when her handyman, Ricky, inadvertently blocks access to the parking lot and a neighbor with well-established anger management issues takes a 3- iron to his van, shattering the handyman’s leg when he intervenes.

Charlie witnesses the incident; Nora happens upon it, returning from a jog. And when Charlie sides with the neighbor, a crack develops in the neighborhood’s facade, affecting everyone, but none more than the Nolans.

Then I realized the character must be based on Ben Bowman, the Deranged Alternate Side Parking Avenger of the Upper West Side:

Ben Bowman

With space at a premium, things can get ugly, such as the time another driver snuck into a spot Bowman had been waiting to take. 

"I went to my truck and pulled out my tire iron and stood by his door, and I said 'You can have this spot, but you're taking a beating when you get out."

I hope someone's reached out to him and he's gotten the help that he needs.

Or at least started a GoFundMe for him so he can get a spot in a garage.

Finally, from the crazy neighborhood newspaper editorial department, here's one that claims a ban on plastic bags would punish people who don't own cars:

Here's why:

Reusable bags are a great option to plastic bags. They aren’t thrown away. They’re sturdy. They have handles. 

But they’re also not easy to carry around if you don’t have a car. 

That seems to be one of the key variables left out of the plastic bag conversation. If you have to walk a good distance, or hop the train or bus, non-handled paper bags won’t do you any good, nor will carrying around several reusable bags — where are you supposed to put them?

Where are you supposed to put light, foldable, reusable bags, really?  Oh, I dunno, maybe in the bag you're already carrying because you don't drive everywhere?  I've even tucked one under my arm and walked to the store, and incredibly I didn't keel over.  Reading this you'd think the personal item back hadn't been invented yet and people just rode the buses and subways while clutching their phones and wallets in their hands.  And why would someone be unable to carry some empty reusable bags yet somehow perfectly capable of schlepping home a bunch of full plastic sacks?  

Most vexingly, I'm used to editorials rejecting sensible policies because they inconvenience people who do own cars, so this one really made my brain hurt.