I'm Doug Moe, an Actor/Comedian at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre where I also teach improv.

I blog about the absurdity of parenting at Man Vs Child and I tweet here: @dougmoe.

#writing

manvchild:

FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE
This Father’s Day, find the perfect gift for YOUR dad with my perfect gift guide!  What kind of dad do you have?  There’s a perfect gift for every dad!
GADGET DAD
Is your dad a tech-whiz who always has to have the latest gadget?  Does he have a Roku?  He does?  What about a Universal Remote?  Yeah, those are tricky.  Uh huh, mine doesn’t work that well either.  A Grill Light?  A Roomba?  A Kindle?  I’d probably get him a Gift Card then.
KITCHEN DAD
Does your dad love to cook?  Well then, he’ll love this Meat Thermometer!  Too cheap?  Try this Cook Set.  He has that?  That exact one?  You think so, but aren’t sure.  Maybe a Gift Card.
SPORTS DAD
For the sporty dad who likes to get his sport on, why not try these Golf Balls?  What kind of sports is he into then?  Does he run?  Because if he does, he would probably love this Heart Rate Monitor.  You’re not sure?  How many times do you talk to your dad?  You should call him more often.  But for now, how about a Gift Card?
BOOKWORM DAD
This one looks good.  Or does he like history?  What DO you know about him?  Is he into business?  Okay, good!  He goes to an office.  That’s super helpful.  What does he do there?  Uh huh.  He’s a “manager of something?”  This book is about management.  I know, it’s kind of a risk.  Yeah, I’d probably go with a Gift Card.
A Gift Card is truly a wonderful gift for any kind of wonderful dad!
manvchild:

FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE
This Father’s Day, find the perfect gift for YOUR dad with my perfect gift guide!  What kind of dad do you have?  There’s a perfect gift for every dad!
GADGET DAD
Is your dad a tech-whiz who always has to have the latest gadget?  Does he have a Roku?  He does?  What about a Universal Remote?  Yeah, those are tricky.  Uh huh, mine doesn’t work that well either.  A Grill Light?  A Roomba?  A Kindle?  I’d probably get him a Gift Card then.
KITCHEN DAD
Does your dad love to cook?  Well then, he’ll love this Meat Thermometer!  Too cheap?  Try this Cook Set.  He has that?  That exact one?  You think so, but aren’t sure.  Maybe a Gift Card.
SPORTS DAD
For the sporty dad who likes to get his sport on, why not try these Golf Balls?  What kind of sports is he into then?  Does he run?  Because if he does, he would probably love this Heart Rate Monitor.  You’re not sure?  How many times do you talk to your dad?  You should call him more often.  But for now, how about a Gift Card?
BOOKWORM DAD
This one looks good.  Or does he like history?  What DO you know about him?  Is he into business?  Okay, good!  He goes to an office.  That’s super helpful.  What does he do there?  Uh huh.  He’s a “manager of something?”  This book is about management.  I know, it’s kind of a risk.  Yeah, I’d probably go with a Gift Card.
A Gift Card is truly a wonderful gift for any kind of wonderful dad!

manvchild:

FATHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

This Father’s Day, find the perfect gift for YOUR dad with my perfect gift guide!  What kind of dad do you have?  There’s a perfect gift for every dad!

GADGET DAD

Is your dad a tech-whiz who always has to have the latest gadget?  Does he have a Roku?  He does?  What about a Universal Remote?  Yeah, those are tricky.  Uh huh, mine doesn’t work that well either.  A Grill Light?  A Roomba?  A Kindle?  I’d probably get him a Gift Card then.

KITCHEN DAD

Does your dad love to cook?  Well then, he’ll love this Meat Thermometer!  Too cheap?  Try this Cook Set.  He has that?  That exact one?  You think so, but aren’t sure.  Maybe a Gift Card.

SPORTS DAD

For the sporty dad who likes to get his sport on, why not try these Golf Balls?  What kind of sports is he into then?  Does he run?  Because if he does, he would probably love this Heart Rate Monitor.  You’re not sure?  How many times do you talk to your dad?  You should call him more often.  But for now, how about a Gift Card?

BOOKWORM DAD

This one looks good.  Or does he like history?  What DO you know about him?  Is he into business?  Okay, good!  He goes to an office.  That’s super helpful.  What does he do there?  Uh huh.  He’s a “manager of something?”  This book is about management.  I know, it’s kind of a risk.  Yeah, I’d probably go with a Gift Card.

A Gift Card is truly a wonderful gift for any kind of wonderful dad!

manvchild:

OMG
My daughter has started saying “OMG.”  As she informed me, “It means ‘Oh My Gosh’ but then I don’t have to say all the words.”  This comes directly from her terrible TV show Jessie that she likes to watch now.  Or Lab Rats.  Or Kickin It.  Or A.N.T. Farm or Crash & Bernstein or Three Kings.  
She’s in a cycle of horrible Disney tween shows.  I have a hard time stomaching them, though they’re no worse than the crap I used to love like Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch.  They’re light, silly and dumb.  She calls them the “laugh-y” shows because of the laugh track.  
It’s fair to say that we’ve lost control over what she watches.  Netflix really has its recommendation algorithms worked out and is feeding her a steady diet of Laughies.  And I don’t have the heart to ban them.  I just wish Netflix had better *taste*.
What I want is a Parental Control feature with more nuance:
Explicit Content:  No
Explicit Language:  No
Nudity:  No
Main characters are Dummies:  No
"Funny":  No
Actually funny:  Yes
High schoolers dressed like they are in a porno:  No
Puppet:  Sure
Dumb, annoying puppet:  No thanks
Punctuate every scene change with a wailing guitar riff:  NO, GOD NO
Or, hold up - is this my job?
manvchild:

OMG
My daughter has started saying “OMG.”  As she informed me, “It means ‘Oh My Gosh’ but then I don’t have to say all the words.”  This comes directly from her terrible TV show Jessie that she likes to watch now.  Or Lab Rats.  Or Kickin It.  Or A.N.T. Farm or Crash & Bernstein or Three Kings.  
She’s in a cycle of horrible Disney tween shows.  I have a hard time stomaching them, though they’re no worse than the crap I used to love like Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch.  They’re light, silly and dumb.  She calls them the “laugh-y” shows because of the laugh track.  
It’s fair to say that we’ve lost control over what she watches.  Netflix really has its recommendation algorithms worked out and is feeding her a steady diet of Laughies.  And I don’t have the heart to ban them.  I just wish Netflix had better *taste*.
What I want is a Parental Control feature with more nuance:
Explicit Content:  No
Explicit Language:  No
Nudity:  No
Main characters are Dummies:  No
"Funny":  No
Actually funny:  Yes
High schoolers dressed like they are in a porno:  No
Puppet:  Sure
Dumb, annoying puppet:  No thanks
Punctuate every scene change with a wailing guitar riff:  NO, GOD NO
Or, hold up - is this my job?

manvchild:

OMG

My daughter has started saying “OMG.”  As she informed me, “It means ‘Oh My Gosh’ but then I don’t have to say all the words.”  This comes directly from her terrible TV show Jessie that she likes to watch now.  Or Lab Rats.  Or Kickin It.  Or A.N.T. Farm or Crash & Bernstein or Three Kings.  

She’s in a cycle of horrible Disney tween shows.  I have a hard time stomaching them, though they’re no worse than the crap I used to love like Gilligan’s Island or The Brady Bunch.  They’re light, silly and dumb.  She calls them the “laugh-y” shows because of the laugh track.  

It’s fair to say that we’ve lost control over what she watches.  Netflix really has its recommendation algorithms worked out and is feeding her a steady diet of Laughies.  And I don’t have the heart to ban them.  I just wish Netflix had better *taste*.

What I want is a Parental Control feature with more nuance:

  • Explicit Content:  No
  • Explicit Language:  No
  • Nudity:  No
  • Main characters are Dummies:  No
  • "Funny":  No
  • Actually funny:  Yes
  • High schoolers dressed like they are in a porno:  No
  • Puppet:  Sure
  • Dumb, annoying puppet:  No thanks
  • Punctuate every scene change with a wailing guitar riff:  NO, GOD NO

Or, hold up - is this my job?

manvchild:

SAVOR THE MOMENT
Savor the moment.  Savor every precious moment!  They grow up so fast.  Savor the hugs, savor the kisses, even savor the tears.
Savor the diapers.  Soon they’ll be walking, so savor the crawling.  Savor the tantrums, savor the screaming!
Savor the complaining, savor the broken toy, bought a week ago.  I hope you didn’t get ANGRY!  Try SAVORING instead.  
Savor.  Savor.  Savor!  Savor every goddamned moment, you ungrateful lout.  Were you hoping to put them to bed early instead of savoring them?  I’m not sure you’re getting this savoring thing.
Maybe someone else should be savoring, since you’re so bad at it!  No?  Okay, then make with the SAVORING.  Bad parents are bad at savoring.  Good parents are good at savoring.  You’re not a bad parent, right?
Savor it all!  Slather yourself in savoring, pour that hot soup of savoring in your lap and slosh it around in your pants.  Smile, you POS non-savorer! Let the savoring wash over like you’re a pig on a platter being basted in your own savory sauces.
Savor the moment.
manvchild:

SAVOR THE MOMENT
Savor the moment.  Savor every precious moment!  They grow up so fast.  Savor the hugs, savor the kisses, even savor the tears.
Savor the diapers.  Soon they’ll be walking, so savor the crawling.  Savor the tantrums, savor the screaming!
Savor the complaining, savor the broken toy, bought a week ago.  I hope you didn’t get ANGRY!  Try SAVORING instead.  
Savor.  Savor.  Savor!  Savor every goddamned moment, you ungrateful lout.  Were you hoping to put them to bed early instead of savoring them?  I’m not sure you’re getting this savoring thing.
Maybe someone else should be savoring, since you’re so bad at it!  No?  Okay, then make with the SAVORING.  Bad parents are bad at savoring.  Good parents are good at savoring.  You’re not a bad parent, right?
Savor it all!  Slather yourself in savoring, pour that hot soup of savoring in your lap and slosh it around in your pants.  Smile, you POS non-savorer! Let the savoring wash over like you’re a pig on a platter being basted in your own savory sauces.
Savor the moment.
manvchild:

SAVOR THE MOMENT
Savor the moment.  Savor every precious moment!  They grow up so fast.  Savor the hugs, savor the kisses, even savor the tears.
Savor the diapers.  Soon they’ll be walking, so savor the crawling.  Savor the tantrums, savor the screaming!
Savor the complaining, savor the broken toy, bought a week ago.  I hope you didn’t get ANGRY!  Try SAVORING instead.  
Savor.  Savor.  Savor!  Savor every goddamned moment, you ungrateful lout.  Were you hoping to put them to bed early instead of savoring them?  I’m not sure you’re getting this savoring thing.
Maybe someone else should be savoring, since you’re so bad at it!  No?  Okay, then make with the SAVORING.  Bad parents are bad at savoring.  Good parents are good at savoring.  You’re not a bad parent, right?
Savor it all!  Slather yourself in savoring, pour that hot soup of savoring in your lap and slosh it around in your pants.  Smile, you POS non-savorer! Let the savoring wash over like you’re a pig on a platter being basted in your own savory sauces.
Savor the moment.

manvchild:

SAVOR THE MOMENT

Savor the moment.  Savor every precious moment!  They grow up so fast.  Savor the hugs, savor the kisses, even savor the tears.

Savor the diapers.  Soon they’ll be walking, so savor the crawling.  Savor the tantrums, savor the screaming!

Savor the complaining, savor the broken toy, bought a week ago.  I hope you didn’t get ANGRY!  Try SAVORING instead.  

Savor.  Savor.  Savor!  Savor every goddamned moment, you ungrateful lout.  Were you hoping to put them to bed early instead of savoring them?  I’m not sure you’re getting this savoring thing.

Maybe someone else should be savoring, since you’re so bad at it!  No?  Okay, then make with the SAVORING.  Bad parents are bad at savoring.  Good parents are good at savoring.  You’re not a bad parent, right?

Savor it all!  Slather yourself in savoring, pour that hot soup of savoring in your lap and slosh it around in your pants.  Smile, you POS non-savorer! Let the savoring wash over like you’re a pig on a platter being basted in your own savory sauces.

Savor the moment.

manvchild:

The Dilly Dally
An under appreciated horror of parenting is the constant dillydallying.  So much emphasis is placed on dirty diapers, crying, whining and tantrums, but the slow Chinese Water Torture of the Dilly-Dally is worse.
It turns the most basic activity into a drawn-out exercise in frustration.  Take “putting on pajamas:”  nothing to it, right?  The steps are clear:
Take off current clothing.
Put on pajamas.
But in your kids dillydally-addled mind, these are the steps:
Take off the shirt.
Throw the shirt!
I can definitely catch this shirt if only I throw it 18 times!
Uh oh, the shirt is stuck on a high shelf.  Who woulda thunk it?
Pull the shirt, knock my dragon off the shelf.  Oh no!!!!  Lily!!!  Lily, I am sorry!  I’m so sorry, Lily!  Are you okay Lily?!?  I will give you snuggles, Lily…
Markers!  There are markers here on the floor where I have left them for several weeks.  I will draw something.
Is there paper, dad?
Dad just said something.  Oh.  ”Put on your pajamas.”  Right.
Take pants off.  Could I get my underwear off without taking my pants off?  Probably!!!
Pants are stuck on my feet.
Shuffle dance, shuffle dance.  Ice-skate, ice-skate around the house.
Ouch!  I fell over!  How did this happen?
Pants off.
I’m NAKED. Run, run, RUN!  Naked run, naked run around the house.
Underwear back on.  Pajama bottoms on.  This is starting to suck.
Pajama top stuck on head.  I can’t see, I can’t see!  My arm is stuck and now I am a zombie.  Muuuuuhhhh….zombie walk.
Pajamas fully on.  HOW IS IT BEDTIME?  THIS IS SOME BS.
Imagine having that much fun doing something routine.  Maybe I should try it.  Maybe I should make myself laugh every time I put my clothes or try a novel way of spitting out my toothpaste each time I brush my teeth.  Maybe I should make all my routines a new adventure and drive everyone totally nuts.
Torture.  The dillydally is the worst.
manvchild:

The Dilly Dally
An under appreciated horror of parenting is the constant dillydallying.  So much emphasis is placed on dirty diapers, crying, whining and tantrums, but the slow Chinese Water Torture of the Dilly-Dally is worse.
It turns the most basic activity into a drawn-out exercise in frustration.  Take “putting on pajamas:”  nothing to it, right?  The steps are clear:
Take off current clothing.
Put on pajamas.
But in your kids dillydally-addled mind, these are the steps:
Take off the shirt.
Throw the shirt!
I can definitely catch this shirt if only I throw it 18 times!
Uh oh, the shirt is stuck on a high shelf.  Who woulda thunk it?
Pull the shirt, knock my dragon off the shelf.  Oh no!!!!  Lily!!!  Lily, I am sorry!  I’m so sorry, Lily!  Are you okay Lily?!?  I will give you snuggles, Lily…
Markers!  There are markers here on the floor where I have left them for several weeks.  I will draw something.
Is there paper, dad?
Dad just said something.  Oh.  ”Put on your pajamas.”  Right.
Take pants off.  Could I get my underwear off without taking my pants off?  Probably!!!
Pants are stuck on my feet.
Shuffle dance, shuffle dance.  Ice-skate, ice-skate around the house.
Ouch!  I fell over!  How did this happen?
Pants off.
I’m NAKED. Run, run, RUN!  Naked run, naked run around the house.
Underwear back on.  Pajama bottoms on.  This is starting to suck.
Pajama top stuck on head.  I can’t see, I can’t see!  My arm is stuck and now I am a zombie.  Muuuuuhhhh….zombie walk.
Pajamas fully on.  HOW IS IT BEDTIME?  THIS IS SOME BS.
Imagine having that much fun doing something routine.  Maybe I should try it.  Maybe I should make myself laugh every time I put my clothes or try a novel way of spitting out my toothpaste each time I brush my teeth.  Maybe I should make all my routines a new adventure and drive everyone totally nuts.
Torture.  The dillydally is the worst.

manvchild:

The Dilly Dally

An under appreciated horror of parenting is the constant dillydallying.  So much emphasis is placed on dirty diapers, crying, whining and tantrums, but the slow Chinese Water Torture of the Dilly-Dally is worse.

It turns the most basic activity into a drawn-out exercise in frustration.  Take “putting on pajamas:”  nothing to it, right?  The steps are clear:

  1. Take off current clothing.
  2. Put on pajamas.

But in your kids dillydally-addled mind, these are the steps:

  1. Take off the shirt.
  2. Throw the shirt!
  3. I can definitely catch this shirt if only I throw it 18 times!
  4. Uh oh, the shirt is stuck on a high shelf.  Who woulda thunk it?
  5. Pull the shirt, knock my dragon off the shelf.  Oh no!!!!  Lily!!!  Lily, I am sorry!  I’m so sorry, Lily!  Are you okay Lily?!?  I will give you snuggles, Lily…
  6. Markers!  There are markers here on the floor where I have left them for several weeks.  I will draw something.
  7. Is there paper, dad?
  8. Dad just said something.  Oh.  ”Put on your pajamas.”  Right.
  9. Take pants off.  Could I get my underwear off without taking my pants off?  Probably!!!
  10. Pants are stuck on my feet.
  11. Shuffle dance, shuffle dance.  Ice-skate, ice-skate around the house.
  12. Ouch!  I fell over!  How did this happen?
  13. Pants off.
  14. I’m NAKED. Run, run, RUN!  Naked run, naked run around the house.
  15. Underwear back on.  Pajama bottoms on.  This is starting to suck.
  16. Pajama top stuck on head.  I can’t see, I can’t see!  My arm is stuck and now I am a zombie.  Muuuuuhhhh….zombie walk.
  17. Pajamas fully on.  HOW IS IT BEDTIME?  THIS IS SOME BS.

Imagine having that much fun doing something routine.  Maybe I should try it.  Maybe I should make myself laugh every time I put my clothes or try a novel way of spitting out my toothpaste each time I brush my teeth.  Maybe I should make all my routines a new adventure and drive everyone totally nuts.

Torture.  The dillydally is the worst.

The quality is terrible here, but this clip gives you a little bit of the idea of the show.

I Can’t Enjoy Valentines Day

Video 3 of a 3 part series with James Eason

I Feel Bad About the Baby Jesus

Video 2 of 3 with James Eason

I Feel Horrible About the Indians - video 1 of 3 in a series I wrote and acted in from a few years ago.  With best pal James Eason.

SLOW BIKING TIPS FOR SCAREDY CATS AND OLD PEOPLE
Maybe you’ve thought:  "Hey, I should ride a bike in NYC but I am scared to."  Maybe you’re newly tempted by the beginning of Citibike Bike Share.  Or maybe you’re unsure of the rules and want some tips.  I’m here to help.
I’ve been riding for a few years now and I am not a daredevil.  I prefer to get where I am going and enjoy the ride.  So here’s some tips from an admitted slow biker:
Big tips:
You are a grown-up.  Don’t be a hero.  Be careful, go slowly and be a grownup about it.
You are not special.  If you were special, you would be able to ride with no helmet with a baguette in your basket the wrong way down the sidewalk while listening to your iPhone.  But you’re not special, so don’t do those things.
Namaste.  Anger makes you a bad biker and there will be much bad behavior from cars, pedestrians and other bikers.  So, whenever possible, deep breathe and “namaste.”
Specific tips:
1.  What kind of stuff do I need?
A bike.  
Get one with gears.  Don’t let your hipster pal or your bike expert friend tell you you want a fixed gear bike.  You are a grownup and grownups need gears to help them get up and down hills and stuff.  
Get one that won’t fall apart.  Maybe you can get a cheap, weird old bike somewhere, but get one that you can ride on.
2.  What should I wear?
A helmet!  And then you have to wear it.  And when wearing, you have to put the straps on.  A helmet in your basket or a helmet with the straps dangling around are both helmets that are not helmet-ing.
Clothes:  wear whatever!  I recommend bringing a change of shirt in case you get sweaty.  But if you like to accessorize, you’ll love biking.
3.  How do I get there?
Pick up a bike map!  Really, really do this.  They are free and at any bike shop.  They update them a lot, so get a new one when it comes out.
Go the safe way!  I don’t know what kind of a g-damned superhero is riding their fixed-gear bike sans helmet with headphones on down Flatbush Avenue, but it ain’t me!  Follow the bike lanes. Use the bike paths.  Go out of your way to have cars know you are there and expect you.
Use Ride the City.  Ride the City is an excellent website (the app, not so much).  It can tell you a “safest,” “safe” or most direct route to go.  Plan your route here and then adjust.
4.  In what manner should I be “riding safely?”
Read up on it!  Bicycle Safety:  How to Not Get Hit by Cars  is awesome for safe riding tips.  It looks like a madman wrote it, so you know it’s the shit.  It goes beyond the “follow all traffic rules” advice that you get elsewhere and tells you practical strategies, such as taking the whole lane if you think you are going to get squished.
Biking Pet Peeves and How to Avoid Peeving
Stop before the crosswalk.  We’ve already decided that you are not going to cross before the light changes, so stop before the crosswalk so you don’t piss off pedestrians.
Ride with the flow of traffic.  1st Avenue goes one way.  2nd Avenue goes another way.  It’s not hard to go one block over so as not to be a dick to everyone.  You will see plenty of these dicks, so do not be one of them.
Don’t keep passing me if you are slower than me.  Nothing is more annoying than having a really slow biker on a big chunky POS classic crappy bike get in front of me at every intersection just so I have to pass them again a block up.  This is not a big bike race.
Lock your bike up the right way!  Look this up.  Always always lock your bike up.  Read and work it out.  Seeing sloppily locked bikes makes ME want to steal them, and I already have a bike.  You will learn this lesson the hard way like me:  I had my bike stolen from my backyard because it was behind a gate, but otherwise unlocked.  Then I used a crappy lock to lock up my wife’s bike temporarily and they came back and stole that.
Don’t dip in and out like you’re tracing the contours of the parked cars.
Don’t wear headphones.  Your sweet jams are gonna get you fucking killed.
Ring your bell a lot to let people know you are coming.
Get lights for front and back if you are going to be out at night.  Back lights for cars to see you, front lights for pedestrians to see you coming.
Be nice, be polite!  Don’t yell at old ladies:  ”Bike lane!  Bike lane!”  That’s someone’s grandma, you lout!  Be a model biker.  Thank people for moving.  Ding your bell and say thanks.  Spread generosity and love around.  Treat your politeness as a deeply sarcastic manifestation of your hatred for all the dummies out there.
What did I miss?
SLOW BIKING TIPS FOR SCAREDY CATS AND OLD PEOPLE
Maybe you’ve thought:  "Hey, I should ride a bike in NYC but I am scared to."  Maybe you’re newly tempted by the beginning of Citibike Bike Share.  Or maybe you’re unsure of the rules and want some tips.  I’m here to help.
I’ve been riding for a few years now and I am not a daredevil.  I prefer to get where I am going and enjoy the ride.  So here’s some tips from an admitted slow biker:
Big tips:
You are a grown-up.  Don’t be a hero.  Be careful, go slowly and be a grownup about it.
You are not special.  If you were special, you would be able to ride with no helmet with a baguette in your basket the wrong way down the sidewalk while listening to your iPhone.  But you’re not special, so don’t do those things.
Namaste.  Anger makes you a bad biker and there will be much bad behavior from cars, pedestrians and other bikers.  So, whenever possible, deep breathe and “namaste.”
Specific tips:
1.  What kind of stuff do I need?
A bike.  
Get one with gears.  Don’t let your hipster pal or your bike expert friend tell you you want a fixed gear bike.  You are a grownup and grownups need gears to help them get up and down hills and stuff.  
Get one that won’t fall apart.  Maybe you can get a cheap, weird old bike somewhere, but get one that you can ride on.
2.  What should I wear?
A helmet!  And then you have to wear it.  And when wearing, you have to put the straps on.  A helmet in your basket or a helmet with the straps dangling around are both helmets that are not helmet-ing.
Clothes:  wear whatever!  I recommend bringing a change of shirt in case you get sweaty.  But if you like to accessorize, you’ll love biking.
3.  How do I get there?
Pick up a bike map!  Really, really do this.  They are free and at any bike shop.  They update them a lot, so get a new one when it comes out.
Go the safe way!  I don’t know what kind of a g-damned superhero is riding their fixed-gear bike sans helmet with headphones on down Flatbush Avenue, but it ain’t me!  Follow the bike lanes. Use the bike paths.  Go out of your way to have cars know you are there and expect you.
Use Ride the City.  Ride the City is an excellent website (the app, not so much).  It can tell you a “safest,” “safe” or most direct route to go.  Plan your route here and then adjust.
4.  In what manner should I be “riding safely?”
Read up on it!  Bicycle Safety:  How to Not Get Hit by Cars  is awesome for safe riding tips.  It looks like a madman wrote it, so you know it’s the shit.  It goes beyond the “follow all traffic rules” advice that you get elsewhere and tells you practical strategies, such as taking the whole lane if you think you are going to get squished.
Biking Pet Peeves and How to Avoid Peeving
Stop before the crosswalk.  We’ve already decided that you are not going to cross before the light changes, so stop before the crosswalk so you don’t piss off pedestrians.
Ride with the flow of traffic.  1st Avenue goes one way.  2nd Avenue goes another way.  It’s not hard to go one block over so as not to be a dick to everyone.  You will see plenty of these dicks, so do not be one of them.
Don’t keep passing me if you are slower than me.  Nothing is more annoying than having a really slow biker on a big chunky POS classic crappy bike get in front of me at every intersection just so I have to pass them again a block up.  This is not a big bike race.
Lock your bike up the right way!  Look this up.  Always always lock your bike up.  Read and work it out.  Seeing sloppily locked bikes makes ME want to steal them, and I already have a bike.  You will learn this lesson the hard way like me:  I had my bike stolen from my backyard because it was behind a gate, but otherwise unlocked.  Then I used a crappy lock to lock up my wife’s bike temporarily and they came back and stole that.
Don’t dip in and out like you’re tracing the contours of the parked cars.
Don’t wear headphones.  Your sweet jams are gonna get you fucking killed.
Ring your bell a lot to let people know you are coming.
Get lights for front and back if you are going to be out at night.  Back lights for cars to see you, front lights for pedestrians to see you coming.
Be nice, be polite!  Don’t yell at old ladies:  ”Bike lane!  Bike lane!”  That’s someone’s grandma, you lout!  Be a model biker.  Thank people for moving.  Ding your bell and say thanks.  Spread generosity and love around.  Treat your politeness as a deeply sarcastic manifestation of your hatred for all the dummies out there.
What did I miss?

SLOW BIKING TIPS FOR SCAREDY CATS AND OLD PEOPLE

Maybe you’ve thought:  "Hey, I should ride a bike in NYC but I am scared to."  Maybe you’re newly tempted by the beginning of Citibike Bike Share.  Or maybe you’re unsure of the rules and want some tips.  I’m here to help.

I’ve been riding for a few years now and I am not a daredevil.  I prefer to get where I am going and enjoy the ride.  So here’s some tips from an admitted slow biker:

Big tips:

  • You are a grown-up.  Don’t be a hero.  Be careful, go slowly and be a grownup about it.
  • You are not special.  If you were special, you would be able to ride with no helmet with a baguette in your basket the wrong way down the sidewalk while listening to your iPhone.  But you’re not special, so don’t do those things.
  • Namaste.  Anger makes you a bad biker and there will be much bad behavior from cars, pedestrians and other bikers.  So, whenever possible, deep breathe and “namaste.”

Specific tips:

1.  What kind of stuff do I need?

A bike.  

Get one with gears.  Don’t let your hipster pal or your bike expert friend tell you you want a fixed gear bike.  You are a grownup and grownups need gears to help them get up and down hills and stuff.  

Get one that won’t fall apart.  Maybe you can get a cheap, weird old bike somewhere, but get one that you can ride on.

2.  What should I wear?

A helmet!  And then you have to wear it.  And when wearing, you have to put the straps on.  A helmet in your basket or a helmet with the straps dangling around are both helmets that are not helmet-ing.

Clothes:  wear whatever!  I recommend bringing a change of shirt in case you get sweaty.  But if you like to accessorize, you’ll love biking.

3.  How do I get there?

Pick up a bike map!  Really, really do this.  They are free and at any bike shop.  They update them a lot, so get a new one when it comes out.

Go the safe way!  I don’t know what kind of a g-damned superhero is riding their fixed-gear bike sans helmet with headphones on down Flatbush Avenue, but it ain’t me!  Follow the bike lanes. Use the bike paths.  Go out of your way to have cars know you are there and expect you.

Use Ride the City.  Ride the City is an excellent website (the app, not so much).  It can tell you a “safest,” “safe” or most direct route to go.  Plan your route here and then adjust.

4.  In what manner should I be “riding safely?”

Read up on it!  Bicycle Safety:  How to Not Get Hit by Cars  is awesome for safe riding tips.  It looks like a madman wrote it, so you know it’s the shit.  It goes beyond the “follow all traffic rules” advice that you get elsewhere and tells you practical strategies, such as taking the whole lane if you think you are going to get squished.

Biking Pet Peeves and How to Avoid Peeving

  • Stop before the crosswalk.  We’ve already decided that you are not going to cross before the light changes, so stop before the crosswalk so you don’t piss off pedestrians.
  • Ride with the flow of traffic.  1st Avenue goes one way.  2nd Avenue goes another way.  It’s not hard to go one block over so as not to be a dick to everyone.  You will see plenty of these dicks, so do not be one of them.
  • Don’t keep passing me if you are slower than me.  Nothing is more annoying than having a really slow biker on a big chunky POS classic crappy bike get in front of me at every intersection just so I have to pass them again a block up.  This is not a big bike race.
  • Lock your bike up the right way!  Look this up.  Always always lock your bike up.  Read and work it out.  Seeing sloppily locked bikes makes ME want to steal them, and I already have a bike.  You will learn this lesson the hard way like me:  I had my bike stolen from my backyard because it was behind a gate, but otherwise unlocked.  Then I used a crappy lock to lock up my wife’s bike temporarily and they came back and stole that.
  • Don’t dip in and out like you’re tracing the contours of the parked cars.
  • Don’t wear headphones.  Your sweet jams are gonna get you fucking killed.
  • Ring your bell a lot to let people know you are coming.
  • Get lights for front and back if you are going to be out at night.  Back lights for cars to see you, front lights for pedestrians to see you coming.
  • Be nice, be polite!  Don’t yell at old ladies:  ”Bike lane!  Bike lane!”  That’s someone’s grandma, you lout!  Be a model biker.  Thank people for moving.  Ding your bell and say thanks.  Spread generosity and love around.  Treat your politeness as a deeply sarcastic manifestation of your hatred for all the dummies out there.

What did I miss?

Download

manvchild:

My story from the excellent How I Learned Series is on their podcast (iTunes)!  You can listen to it here or get the details on subscribing to the podcast from their website.

Let me just say that you really ought to subscribe to the podcast and go see the live show.  Blaise gets excellent guests and the stories are top-notch.  It was a real privilege to do the show.

Enjoy!

Of crossover interest for my comedy pals!  Also, don’t forget to check out my dad blog and follow me there!