I've had a whole day to get over it, but I'm still angry at these two stupid moron idiots for saying parents shouldn't let their kids ride bikes and that cyclists are too cowardly to be soldiers.
I'd love to see this smug pair of snail tracks say that crap directly to these people. I suppose if they had played more football then they wouldn't have been wounded in battle. Stupid Wall Street Journal mediatards.
Speaking of stupid things, a sizable number of readers have informed me that Washington State wants to tax bicycles:
Why? To make drivers feel better:
There’s even a $25 sales fee on bicycles worth $500 or more that would raise $1 million over 10 years, a nod to motorists who complain that bicyclists don’t pay their fair share.
By the way, it appears that the Seattle Times actually changed the wording on the above passage, because earlier emails I received quoted it thusly:
"There’s even a $25 sales fee on bicycles worth $500 or more that raises a total $1 million over 10 years, included for largely symbolic reasons."
This makes sense, because your bike doesn't burn any gasoline and it puts almost no strain on the infrastructure--and certainly none at all on all those highways were bikes aren't even allowed. Also, it makes even more sense to tax only the more expensive bikes, since those are generally the ones used recreationally by people who already own cars anyway, which means they might as well put the tax on windsurfing boards for all it has to do with transportation. Most importantly, you can't have drivers feeling singled out, even though they're the ones burning the gas and wearing out the roads and causing gridlock and keeping the government busy by crashing into each other all the time and forcing the police to respond to their stupid emergencies. Then, after all this, they're only going to raise $1 million over 10 years, which is a joke, since these days your average hipster can probably raise that much money on Kickstarter to fund a "zine" about pickling. Yes, clearly the bicycle tax is included for "largely symbolic reasons," and that symbol is "fuck you for riding a bike."
Fortunately, there's a way around the bicycle tax, which is for the bike shop to sell you your bicycle as a bunch of individual parts that happens to have been pre-assembled. What's more likely to happen though is that people are just going to go to Portland to buy their bicycles, which should do a lot to inflame Seattle's already massive inferiority complex with regard to their hipper neighbor to the south. Then the state government will have to spend the $1 million on a campaign to try to make its flagship city relevant again:
Sadly though, Seattle's cool days are long behind it, and I don't see it ever bouncing back. Just imagine the Pacific Northwest is a bar on a Friday night. You walk in, and there's Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver BC all sitting together having a drink. Who do you think is still going to be sitting there come closing time, ranting drunkenly about how Portland's a slut, how Vancouver's "space needles" are fake, and about how it's going to die single? And don't mention "Singles" to Seattle or you'll never hear the end of it:
Anyway, if nothing else, the $25 bike tax should go great with Seattle's mandatory helment laws.
I wonder if custom bicycles would be subject to the $25 tax, since technically you're just buying some tubing and hiring someone with a beard to weld them together. And speaking of bearded framebuilders, here's a short documentary about Stephen Bilenky that was forwarded to me by the filmmaker:
Bicycling Magazine: Bilenky Cycle Works from Andrew David Watson on Vimeo.
I enjoyed this video, but what Bilenky won't tell you because he's far too modest is that he also turned down a shitload of money to be on the IFC television series "Whisker Wars," where he was going to be pitted against fantasy author George R.R. Martin:
The tagline was going to be "Two men, two hats, and one beard to rule them all."
Of course, if the Bilenky video wasn't enough custom bike porn for you, you'll be pleased to know that the North American Handmande Bicycle Show starts tomorrow in Denver and I'm going to just type random stuff now because if you're like me you fell asleep as soon as you saw the words "North American Handmade Bicycle Show" scranus nipple scranus crazy wild beard fight Don Walker scranus. This year, Gates is sponsoring NAHBS once again, so expect lots of belt drives in applications where a chain would be much better, which is to say all of them. You should also expect lots of disc brakes, and at least one bike that is slowed by a disc brake caliper that actually pinches a drive belt.
Hey, the NAHBS might feature a lot of gimmickry, but if there's at least one solid idea that Specialized can steal then it will all be worth it.
Lastly, I received the following video from a reader:
He sure says the "f-word" a lot.
He says "fuck" a lot too.