The Mini Cooper is the Felt Curbside of automobiles in that it's a neutered version of something that was once authentic, it evokes racing for people who will never race, and it's "cute" in a completely derivative and studied way. As a cyclist, I find Minis particularly annoying, because the trendier neighborhoods of Brooklyn are filled with them, and they're generally driven by the sorts of people who text their friends to ask them what kind of wine they should pick up for the party as they roll through stopsigns into busy intersections. It's only fitting then that these rolling graduation presents would be sold as a way to " go green." The people "going green" these days are the same people who did graffiti or experimented with homosexuality at their liberal arts college--they enjoy flirting with a lifestyle they don't understand in an environment where it's looked upon favorably, but as soon as it becomes difficult, unsafe or embarrassing they conveniently abandon it. Fortunately for them, you don't have to give up your car to "go green." Instead, you just need to buy a new one with marginally better gas mileage. And fortunately, "going green" also allows you to measure just how pretentious you are by calculating your "carbon footprint." Or, in the case of the Mini, your "carfun footprint." Hey, if people want to "go green" by buying a car, or they want to go vegan by ordering a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger, who am I to complain? But I still think a much better ad would have been: "Mini: It's Fun-tarded."
Having already sufficiently irritated myself, I figured I'd check in on the local PistaDex, which was a stunning 700 with this lone entry:
Reply to: [deleted]
This is a new, size 55cm Pista in the Chrome! this is a stock model. Here is the link to Bianchi's site for all the spec info and geometry:http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_pista.....the bike is comeing from Orange, CA, United States.it's comeing in 5 weeks so feel free to e-mail me ok.thanks.
My irritation turned quickly to fear. A $700 chrome Pista, coming from California in five weeks? This smacked of the supernatural. I knew there had been an earthquake in California, and it was entirely possible that it had freed some demonic harbingers from the molten recesses beneath the Earth's crust. These harbingers could only be harbinging one thing: the Fixed Gear Apocalypse. Was this it? Was the end nigh? Like five weeks nigh? Was it also chrome-plated, 100% chick designed, made in Taiwan, and being sold for well over the full retail price?
Then I had a more horrific thought. Increasingly, I'd been having the feeling something strange is going on. For one thing, recently I made an attempt to get over my fear of Williamsburg by having a drink there with one of the few people who will spend any time with me. As we sat at an outdoor table, I noticed a young man emerge from one of those fancy new condos nearby with a pristine vintage Italian track bike, which he mounted and rode slowly away. I didn't think anything of it--until he passed again a few minutes later. And again. And again. Could it be? Was he simply riding the bike slowly around and around the block? I then noticed a rider on a lime green track bike with lime green rims was doing the same thing--prowling the streets slowly like an ironic dayglo shark in search of equally detached and disinterested bait. It passed by again. And again. And again.
Suddenly I felt as though I was in the "Truman Show," surrounded by extras who were pretending to go somewhere on their bicycles but in reality had no destination. Similarly, I've also been experiencing increased vehicular interference lately. Anybody who rides (or drives for that matter) in New York City knows that drivers love to pull out of parking spaces without warning and make u-turns in front of you--u-turns they are unable to complete due to the narrow streets. Consequently they simply sit there perpendicular to the curb, obstructing traffic in both directions. If you watched it from above, it would look like a marlin leaping from the water only to get his spear caught in a really low drop ceiling. At any rate, this has been happening to me way more than usual lately. Sometimes three or four times on a single block.
Could it be the Apocalypse has already happened? Could it be that some Ed Harris on high is directing all these cars to turn in front of me in an effort to prevent me from going somewhere? Could this same Ed Harris be directing artfully tattooed people on stylized bikes to ride slowly around Brooklyn in order to distract me from some greater truth? Should I probe deeper, or should I simply surrender--perhaps by "going green," purchasing a Mini Cooper, and consequently feeling much better about myself and all I've done for the world by burning vastly more gas than I would on a bike but marginally less than I would in a larger automobile? If I didn't, was I doomed to simply wander the Earth on a bike forever like some sort of Ancient Mariner?
I've done many group rides and races before. Never though have I experienced the sense of true belonging I felt riding among the geese. I felt like that kid in "Whale Rider," only with water fowl instead of whales. It was truly magical.
I then proceeded to drop their feathery, waddling asses like they were standing still--which, being geese and all, they essentially were.
After I finished gloating, though, I reflected on the experience. I had been made irritable by a car, and I had been made content by a gaggle of geese. And isn't that what "going green" is really all about?
Well, I don't know, but I do know that geese are truly inspiring creatures. Especially when they're nibbling at their undercarriages in front of iconic landmarks.