Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I believe a bicycle to be one of the simplest pleasures a woman or man might encounter.

It's an odd thing when you sit down and think about it. Something you loved so much as a child, replete with countless memories and scars and tales. Something you held dear to your teenage heart while you scorned so many countless others. Years pass, and suddenly there you are: An adult. Occupied with a career, offspring, wars, family, debt, whatever. But you still love your bicycle just as much.

Don't take my word for all this, just ask Freddie Mercury.

Bike lanes are bike lanes, and I really like that cities are installing more bicycling infrastructure. But what I really love is the way old railways are being re-purposed. Like this place in British Columbia. I biked here once with some friends. Good guys, good memories. We biked in grizzly country past streams so full of salmon it almost seemed you could walk across them.

Also, my first and only encounter with police brutality happened on my bike. A bicycle officer (irony) whacked the hell out of my head/shoulder at a Critical Mass protest during the 2004 Republican National Convention in NYC.
This Is How They Roll In NYC.
Apparently I didn't move fast enough for him. No one could move anywhere, since it was so crowded, so he just started hitting people. He just kept yelling "F*cking move!" and went at it. People started moving after that. It frightened me, but didn't hurt that much. I kind of feel like I should have at least mouthed off in order to deserve that treatment. It's unlike me to hold my tongue after the fact, but I really just wanted to get out of there.

On a less serious note, please enjoy these three videos while you ponder how much you want to ride your bike. The first has Band of Horses, but the second two are far prettier. Especially if you love the UK. They are all just amazing, and the music in each suits them perfectly. If you are a musician, understand this guy would the cycling version of Mozart. Just pure creative genius and technical perfection.

You should theoretically be able to "hop" your bike as high as you can jump while holding it. For instance, riding pretty fast straight into a curb, you should be able to hop and clear it. But I can just manage a curb. And even then I am a little wary.

And wheelies. I really need to work on wheelies.

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