We've encountered "society" before, too. "Society" is mean and nasty, and when we want to have fun it scowls at us and says, "No, man:"
But we don't have to listen. We are cyclists. We don't need to apportion our pleasure to certain days of the week. We can ride every day, and we can find joy in our surroundings even while our friends and co-workers are trapped behind the wheel or on the bus or under the ground on trains. Yes, even though "society" is all around us we can see right through it. Our view is this:
It can be too easy to forget that there's also beauty all around us, especially when we see the same thing every day. For example, I ride over the East River (pictured above) twice a day, and while I may find myself pining for nature the truth is I need to remember that the East River is nature. Still, I tend to forget, and this is partially because the East River needs a folksy nickname. People call the Mississippi River all kinds of things: "Old Man River;" "Old Blue;" Moon River;" and so forth. This reminds them that it's full of history and beauty. Recently I've been referring to the East River as "The Big Skanky," and I'm pleased to report that this has increased threefold the inspiration factor of my daily commute. All the name needs is a good song to go with it--preferably something that sounds good if you play it on a banjo with your feet in the water.
Pending that, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right you'll know, and if you're wrong you'll see this hard-hitting report on New York City messengers from "back in the day."
Thanks for reading, ride safe, and seek inspiration in everything--even in sludge. (Just make sure you don't drink it.)
1) The owner of this bicycle calls it:
--"Blood and Milk"
--"Mad Maxi Pad: Beyond Tarckidome"
2) When it comes to bicycles, the whole is sometimes far less than the sum of its parts.
3) "Planet Bike take note!" These photos taken by a reader indicate that in the near future "filth prophylactics" may very well be:
--Sources of ad revenue
--Also usable as flotation devices
--All of the above
4) This "Fixie Inc Backspin" may not be NJS, but it is "Bike Polo Approved."
5) "Boo-ya!" Which celebrity almost got coldcocked by a guy palping flop-and-chops?
(Correct answer via none other than the Bike Shrink.)
6) Why is the Felt F1X being recalled?
--The seatpost collar can break
--The fork steerer tube can break
--The bottom bracket shell is not "beefy" enough
--An unfortunate decal misprint identifies the bike as a "Felt FUX"
7) From whence cometh this ethereal gleam?
--An untaped track bar
--A shiny Hatta Swan headset
--A distant star
--A woman's crotch
8) Eric Murphy is also known as:
--"'E' from the HBO series 'Entourage'"
9) "Straight to Hell, boy." Readers have been spotting these flyers around:
--San Francisco, CA
***Special Nonplussed Smug Portland Environmentalist Bonus Question***
Why is this woman outraged?
--A civic ordinance in Portland prohibits adults from carrying more than two children under 12 on a bicycle
--The grips on her Electra Townie are not recyclable
--She wants to go "car free" and the government will not let her apply the "cash for clunkers" credit from her VW Microbus towards a Surly Big Dummy
--She was denied service at a fast food drive-thru window