The bike I was riding is made by the None Of Your Business Folding Bike Company, the model is the "Who Fucking Cares?," and the color is "Off-Dork." It rides surprisingly well for a clown bike, though the front wheel does want to pop up a bit on hard acceleration, which I kind of like because it accentuates the cartooniness of the whole endeavor. It also folds up and breaks down in about two seconds, and as a bonus I have yet to get my genitals caught in it while doing so, which is one of my deepest fears. Best of all, I easily can get on and off trains with this glorified beach chair, yet not be dependent on said trains. It takes up little room on the subway, and I don't need to worry about peak or off-peak trains should I be inclined to take the commuter railroad.
In short, as I observed on the Twitter, it has twice the practicality of a regular bike with absolutely none of the cumbersome dignity.
Oh, and in case you're not already thoroughly horrified, you should know I was also wearing my Inspector Gadget-esque Criterion Cycling Jacket:
(Mine's tan though.)
It's oddly liberating when you break on through to the other side of dorkiness as I finally have. There you are pedaling away on a bar stool with a chain drive, sitting in that comfortably upright begging dog position, your tan flasher jacket fluttering in the breeze, and you've got a great big smile plastered on your face because you know your absurd appearance is giving other people the gift of laughter.
I should also disclose that the folding bike is equipped with a pie plate, and I have no intention of removing it, because really what's the point? Taking the pie plate off a folding bike because it's dorky is like removing a hair from your shit sandwich because it's unsanitary.
Anyway, I was glad to have the folding bike because I needed to spend the entire day in Brooklyn where I no longer have a home, I knew it was going to be a late night, and with a storm bearing down on us I wanted to be able to resort to the rails at the first sign of foul weather. (Another important part of relinquishing your youth is realizing it's stupid to ride almost 20 miles home in a blizzard at 1am.) Still, I wanted a bike to get around Brooklyn while I was there, because getting around Brooklyn without a bike sucks. I had business in Brooklyn all afternoon (I can't tell you what that business was, so let's just say I was selling drugs to schoolkids) and then after that I had to go to the Knitting Factory in (ugh) Williamsburg to be the master of ceremonies at this thing that happened.
To get from my drug dealing spot to the Knitting Factory I took the Great Hipster Silk Route, where I fought valiantly against a powerful headwind. (Or at least as valiantly as one can fight on a folding bike.) Along the way, I passed this chilling reminder of the recent death of a young couple and their child due to a speeding driver:
Note the shrewd placement of the sign so that it encroaches on the bike lane.
By the way, many New Yorkers complain that cyclists don't follow traffic laws. This is true. Cyclists flout the law far more egregiously than drivers. I mean, you'd never see a driver going the wrong way on a one-way street in a bike lane...or would you?
I did my best to photograph the car so it could be used as evidence after the hit-and-run, but this was the best I could manage:
Which doesn't really matter anyway since the police don't investigate hittings and runnings when the victim is on a bicycle--and while you may not consider a folding bike a bicycle, it's all the same crap as far as the NYPD is concerned.
When you arrive in Williamsburg from the south via the Great Hipster Silk Route you first pass through the Jewey part, and then you enter the douchey part. Upon making douchefall, I was appalled to discover that these douchebags now have a great big fancy movie theater:
I guess that's what happens when the Smart car demographic prices out the fixie demographic.
Next, I had a lonely person's dinner, supping on burrito and margarita at a restaurant that used to be one of those new hipster places but is now an old neighborhood place where yuppies bring their kids:
I hate it when they put salt on my margarita. Is it possible to order a margarita with no salt and actually get one that way, or do I have to be one of those assholes who says they're "allergic?"
("Yah, and could you leave out the fennel? Because I'm like totally allergic.")
I suppose it works though, if only because when the server puts in the drink order he says something like, "No salt on the margarita, the asshole on the clown bike says he's 'allergic.'" [Makes wanking gesture.] Then, he comes back with your salt-free drink and says in an overly polite fashion, "Here's your margarita, Mr. Gadget."
Whatever works, I guess.
And one from Horse Cycles:
And one from King Kog:
And one from 718 Cyclery:
When it's on the Internet I'll let you know, assuming anybody tells me.
Now, I don't want to brag, but when you're a semi-professional bike blogger whose best blogging days are a good four years behind him, you get treated pretty well when you're invited to emcee an event. I mean, check out this lavish "green room:"
I didn't even have it all to myself either, because every time I walked back in there was a couple sitting on the sofa who looked like they were about to start making out.
Also, the mini-fridge was stocked with the finest in canned beers, and even though the evening was sponsored by Jack Daniel's I chose to stick to the Rolling Rock in order to increase my chances of remaining standing:
There was a time where pretty much any bar in the East Village would serve you a Rolling Rock as long as you looked older than six, and you'll be amazed to know that until I turned 21 I actually thought this was what beer was supposed to taste like.
Meanwhile, as I quaffed beer-infused water, a crowd began to amass outside:
(Today's Brooklynites just look like colder Portlanders.)
Then they spilled into the anteroom:
And finally amassed in front of the stage, where I stood in the wings looking for possible troublemakers:
Something about the cardigan on the guy in the front row screamed "trouble," so I had the bouncer eject him immediately.
Next, I proceeded to botch my hosting duties in a series of flubs and miscues that culminated with my hitting an audience member in the face with a Knog Blinder when I threw it into the crowd during a giveaway. Speaking of Knog, I'm quite fond of the Blinders, and I've just received samples of the new Blinder Road lights, which I gather allow you to see in addition to being seen:
I'll report to you once I've had the chance to try them out (I'm going to attach them to the feral cats on my street and see how far I can track them), but in the meantime I get all teary-eyed with pride when I think of how Knog has gone from making little "hipster cysts" to equipping cyclists with the sort of serious illumination that will blast drivers' eyeballs right out of their fucking skulls.
Anyway, after nailing an innocent woman in the face with the pointy corner of a Knog light box, there was rock music:
And then we raffled off the bikes, and then there was more rock music, and then I headed over the Williamsburg Bridge towards my distant home. While there was no precipitation it was violently windy, though as it turns out folding bikes are actually excellent in crosswinds for the same reason that they're so dorky--they have teeny tiny wheels. Safely in Manhattan, I turned back for a final look at the Hipster Funnel:
("Abandon self-respect all ye who enter here.")
And while it would have been faster for me to take a subway I instead boarded a midnight Metro North train bound for the Great North Side, because I'm a sucker for the romance of railroad travel:
I may ride a folding bike, but I draw the line at urinating from between the subway cars.