John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Hurricane Sandy left behind untold destruction, painful memories and a wicked new environment for bicycling.
Hurricane Sandy transformed New York's coastal neighborhoods into watery wastelands, but a couple of super-bikers took this change of affairs as a personal challenge.
First, here's Casey Neistat's crazy trip through lower Manhattan as the tidal surge was rushing through the streets. Neistat, a filmmaker who you might remember from that bike-stealing experiment, must've been wearing a full-body condom to avoid catching something nasty in that garbage-water. But it was worth it (I say because he didn't die this time), because the street-level footage he obtained is eye-opening and terrifying. Skip to 1:00 for the action:
I'm also pretty sure this is him photo-bombing a CNN reporter:
And if you want a sneak peek at the winner of the 2013 Tour De France, here he is: hardcode dude in Rockaway cutting wake in a flooded street like it was a sunny day in Central Park. He must've had one hell of an errand to pedal through this road-river, not to mention calves as thick as fire hydrants (kudos to Scott at Urban Velo for posting this footage):
Biking through Sandy's moist leavings might not be the smartest thing. But it worked better than motor-scootering through it, as this urban explorer proved during a brief journey through Red Hook Swamp. "I didn't think it was going to be this deep" would make great final words: