Of course, part of the problem is that many of us identify too strongly with our vehicles, and we all feel as though everybody else should like them as much as we do, no matter whether that vehicle is a car, or a truck, or a bicycle, or some sort of bathyscape. Consequently, we're often enraged when we don't get that approval--even when our vehicle is kind of goofy. For example, it would appear that last Thursday's post has enraged a group of Mini owners. I have to admit that I didn't see this coming, much like I didn't see the tree that toppled me from my mountain bike some time ago. But I also have to admit that I was pretty stupid not to have expected it--just like I was pretty stupid not to have expected the tree, especially since it has probably been standing in the exact same spot since back when Minis were Austins. Because when Mini drivers order up their rally-inspired sticker kits and strap themselves into their little fun boxes, they feel good about themselves, and they think the rest of the world should feel good about them too.
But that's not how it works. You should respect everything, but you don't have to like anything. When someone sees me out there in my moisture-wicking chicken suit pedaling the ironic Orange Julius bike down to the Jamba Juice store in order to throw rocks through the front window, they don't have to like me, they just have to respect me as a road user. (And trust me, nothing commands respect like a chicken suit.) Nobody's as cool as they think they are, and no matter what, you look ridiculous to somebody.
So the point is: a) don't expect everybody to like your mode of transport, no matter how many wheels it has; and b) if you see someone in a chicken suit surrounded by a bunch of irate Mini drivers, like a scene out of "Maximum Overdrive" by way of Pixar, please stop and say hello. And please also feel free to save me.
That said, I'd like to explore what happens when people use their two-wheeled vehicles as a pretense for social interaction by checking in on the Craigslist Missed Connections:
you were riding your bike with no hands while eating a bagel - w4m - 24 (greenpoint)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2008-08-08, 8:57PM EDT
i saw you on my way to work this morning riding down manhattan ave towards williamsburg on your bike. i think you were riding a fixed and had dark hair with plugs in your ears? anyways, i was getting on my bike by peter pan bakery when you came barreling down the street right passed me. i was sooo in awe by the sight of it all, i just really want to meet you. it takes skills to ride with no hands and eat a bagel at the same time! i want to learn some tricks too!
Speaking of the driver vs. cyclist debate, this should dispel anybody's misconceptions that cyclists are behaving at all irresponsibly. I like to imagine that the rider was eating an everything bagel with cream cheese and lox, and that as he passed he took a bite of the bagel and a piece of cream cheese-covered lox slipped out of the sandwich and hung there flopping against his chin in the wind. I also like to think that the plugs in his ears were not headphones or jewelry, but were in fact rubber stoppers which he was keeping handy in order to seal his bottle of Cel-Rey. Like the poster, I too want to learn fixed-gear noshing tricks like this. However, I have sense enough to start small, so I've been practicing with bialys.
Obsessed with tacos, coffee; greenish eyes. - w4m - 27 (Williamsburg)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2008-08-09, 12:59AM EDT
I see you in Williamsburg a lot, eating tacos on the street. Sometimes drinking coffee, maybe it's tea, I don't know. You 're skinny-ish, have longish brownish hair and greeny-blue-y eyes. Once I heard you talking to your friends about Entourage. You have a bike, I think, and I saw you reading Nabakov once, too. I think. Not that I noticed, or anything.
Anyway, you're completely my type.
You looked at me once in a way that made me think, maybe I was your type too.
Obviously, eating ethnic foods is the new bar-spinning, because it's certainly getting the attention of the ladies. Of course, the real question is whether he can consume that taco while riding a fixed-gear, preferably with a couple of corks in his ear for his Jarritos.
Cycler passes up chance to meet Runner (Riverside Dr. & 158th) - w4m (Upper West Side)
Reply to: [deleted]
Me: in white shirt, black shorts, sun glasses riding a red Trek mountain bike listening to IPod. You: tall, handsome, with a great smile. I was having such a great workout in the lovely weather today (Saturday, August 9th), I passed up the chance to actually say hello, versus just smile hello. Hope I get a second chance....
Life presents second chances so seldom that I figured I'd help by re-posting this here. Also, I wanted to keep going with the food theme, since we've already seen the whimsical consumption of bagels and tacos, and this person's photos include one of her eating a piece of pizza in a charmingly irreverent fashion. It's a photo that says, "If I can have this much fun just eating pizza, imagine what a blast I am while doing other stuff! Brushing the cat, microwaving popcorn, and purchasing toilet paper are just a few more things I do with wide-eyed abandon and uninhibited joie de vivre." It also complements the other photos, one of which says, "I had a boyfriend until recently," and another of which says, "I have blonde friends for your friends too." But most importantly, I posted this for Amir, since this may very well have been the woman he's been pining for.
Reply to: [deleted]
Like I said, life seldom offers you second chances, especially when it comes to random sex acts from strangers. An offer like this is not the sort of thing you mull over for awhile, decide a few hours later you want to act on, and then reply via Craigslist. Not only is the spontaneity gone, but so are whatever intoxicants that were compelling her to make the offer in the first place. In short, you missed your chance. But don't worry, you're probably better off. Life can be Sisyphian enough without also being syphilitic.