Top 20 Posts and Pages

Milo just went over the 200,000 hit mark, which is pretty cool. By far the most popular section of this sprawling mess is the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire, which, if you’re a runner, is worth checking out. But in this post, I thought I’d highlight the 20 most popular posts on that aren’t related to the Boston Marathon.

Its an odd mix. Here they are in reverse order:

20 —  Book Nerds: Richard Prince — A look at the astounding book collection of one of the most important contemporary arts alive.

19 — Our Pre-term Baby — The story of my daughter Anna’s rather dramatic entrance into the world.

18 — How I Read 52 Books A Year — With illustrations from the Wire!

17 — Classical Sources of the Milo Stories — Just what it says it is, a resource page for some of the myths about our man Milo

16 —  Phil Coppess: Hero to Working Stiff Runners — Some thoughts on running legend Phil Coppess, who ran some incredibly fast times while also raising two kids on his own and working in a factory.

15 — Alex Honnold and the Viewers Guilt — My thoughts on watching the incredibly talented climber risk his life

14 — Weight and the Marathon– A look at the role weight plays in marathon success

13 — Some Thoughts On the Early Days of Strength Training — Just what the title says.

12 — The Hero Brought Low: Representations of Milo of Croton in Art – Some thoughts on the way our favorite Greek wrestler has been depicted in art through the ages.

11 — Running Heroes: The Women of the 1972 New York City Marathon — A brief peice about the women who staged a protest at the New York City Marathon and changed running forever.

10 — 2014 – My Year In Books — A round up of all the books I read in 2014.

9 — Divine Madness – A resource page collecting information on a now largely forgotten running “cult”

8 — 2015 My Year In Books – A round-up of all the books I read in 2015, the first year I start really paying attention to the diversity of voices in the books I read.

7 — Milo of Croton — A resource page for information about the Greek wrestler for who this website is named.

6 — The Egoist and the Fixed Gear A Polemic against a certain type of New York City Bike Rider

5 — S Town’s John B. Mclemore: A Reading List — A collection of the books reference by John B. Mclemore in the excellent podcast S-Town

4 — David Goggins Inspired Bodyweight Workouts — A collection of body weight workouts inspired by David Goggins training of Jesse Itzler in the hilarious Living With A Seal

3 — The Runnable Bridges of New York City — Just what the title says this is an interactive map of all the bridges you can run over in New York City.

2 — 2016 My Year in Books — My recap of my reading int he eyar 2016 when I tried to have my reading reflect the diversity of America.

1 — Fitness Habits of Disgraced Generals — And finally, number 1. A light hearted post about the fitness habits of Generals McChrystal and Petraeus that has now inexplicably become my most popular piece of writing. Go figure.

The Egoist on the Fixed Gear

Good friend and fellow cyclist Joe over at movement movement wrote a great post about his love for breaking the law on his bicycle.  The article wonderfully captures the romance of fixed gear bike culture in a specific place (New York) and a specific time (the early 2000s) but its conclusion that cyclists in New York should “fuck the law” is dead wrong.

There was a time when riding a bike through New York streets was a death defying act.  People really were out to get you.  I’ve had a cabbie throw a cup at me; I’ve  kicked an SUV after it swerved to hit my girlfriend, and I’ve gotten into more screaming matches than I can remember.  It used to be rough out there. I couldn’t blame cyclists, especially those who made their living on their bikes, for worrying more about getting home alive than the rules of the road.

I am going to give this gentleman the benefit of the doubt and hope this road was closed to traffic.

But New York has changed.  Now there are thousands of people cycling in New York every day and the city has accommodated those cyclists by building hundreds of miles of bike lanes, encouraging employers to support bike riding, and making the whole experience a hell of a lot safer and more pleasant.  Cyclists owe their fellow residents of the city a little civility in return.

The average New York Cyclists of today

When cyclists blow through an intersection, they’re not just endangering themselves.  They’re endangering the people in the cars around them and the pedestrians who have to dodge them.  They’re undermining the idea that cyclists are part of the fabric of New York and reinforcing the idea that all cyclists are dangerous, egomaniacal assholes who are not to be trusted.

Put simply –they are undermining the social contract that keeps this mess of a city from exploding.

This place holds together because, for the most part, New Yorkers treat each other with respect and obey certain social conventions.  We let people get off the train before we get on, we try not the block the doors when others are exiting, we treat each other with dignity – if not always politness.*  When a cyclist screams through an intersection, or hops up on the sidewalk, or speeds  her way through pedestrians crossing the street, she is not just breaking the law, she is disrespecting, and endangering, her fellow New Yorkers.  She’s putting her personal expression of “freedom” above her responsibility to her neighbors.

It drives me nuts.  And it drives me even crazier when this culture of rule breaking is associated with progressive politics.  As I have said before, how can I trust an Occupy Wall Street activist to create a better world when I cannot even trust them to treat an old lady crossing the street with respect?  Our behavior has consequences. Our personal freedoms are not without limits.  Our traffic lights are there for a reason.  Pay attention to them.

And get over yourself, dude, This isn’t 1987, and you’re not Kevin Bacon.

*And woe unto you who breaks these rules.  I hate you even more than I hate asshats on fixed gear bikes.