So remember I was going to go on a "family adventure" to Grise Fiord, Canadia, but I couldn't find the directions on the G--gle Maps? (If you don't, just to bring you up to date, I was going to go on a "family adventure" to Grise Fiord, Canadia, but I couldn't find the directions on the G--gle Maps.) Well, I kept dragging the pin around, and the northernmost location to which I seem to be able to get bike directions is some place called "Chemin Laforge 1:"
If my high school French is still serving me well (and I believe that it is), "Chemin Laforge 1" means "Oven Shirt 1," and since it's only 1,434 miles from my manse I've decided that's where we're going to go:
Here's the cue sheet, which is pretty long:
Though it's still shorter than the one from the Rapha Gentlemen's Race.
Anyway, here's the expedition vehicle we'll be using, and I figure we'll head out tomorrow at about one-ish:
I'm packing a bag of pretzels, some juice boxes, a bottle of vodka, and an iPad.
Oh, and my axe, in case I have a hard time getting the pretzels open.
I also plan to get some health care while I'm up that way, since I've had a nagging bullet wound for awhile now but the treatment is prohibitively expensive.
One last question, though--do you actually need a passport at the Canadian border, or will they still accept a library card?
Unfortunately, my trip will force me to miss the Bicycle Film Festival--and by "unfortunately" I mean "fortunately" because I wasn't planning on going anyway. There are two reasons you won't find me at the Bicycle Film Festival, and they are as follows:
1) There will be lots of cyclists there.
Cyclists are like martinis: one is fine, two or three can make for a good time, but much more than that is going to make you puke;
2) There will be movies about cycling there.
Most fun things make good film subjects. Take sex, for example. People like to have sex, and people like to watch movies of other people having sex. For some reason though, cycling doesn't follow this rule, even when you combine it with sex--or, more accurately, especially when you combine it with sex. To wit:
Yes, only someone from Portland could make both cycling and sex totally unappealing.
Anyway the trailers for this year's Bicycle Film Festival only prove yet again that cycling has no place in film. Take romance, for example:
I mean, don't get me wrong, Keanu Reeves looks fantastic for a guy approaching fifty, but I'm still not going to see it--though a bicycle romance still seems more promising than a bicycle revenge fantasy:
I'd hate to break it to the filmmakers, but hit-and-run drivers are not tortured by guilt after they run down cyclists. Instead, they just say to themselves, "Fuck it, he'll be fine," and then crank up the '80s Pop Hits on Sirius.
Of course, it is possible I'm too old to appreciate this sort of independent cinema, and fortunately the Festival also has films for the older demographic:
Apparently pennyfarthing owners are "caretakers of these bicycles" who must "pass them on to the next generation in equal or better condition then we received them:"
So basically, it's sort of an intergenerational bike share program. Still, next year the Festival might want to consider addressing the vast demographic that exists between 20-somethings and Civil War veterans.
Oh, there's also going to be a movie about riding when it's cold:
See? It's cold and they're riding bikes.
I'm looking forward to the sequel about riding bikes when it's hot.
Most exciting of all though is the long-awaited debut of the film "Murder of Couriers," which has been in the offing for years now. It's the "Titanic" of messenger documentaries. We've examined this before, but here's the latest trailer:
I actually transcribed all the text in this video and ran it through an online Canadian-to-English translator, which yielded the following:
It's all kind of like, you have to ride a bike? With stuff? And you have to bring the stuff to the people who are waiting for it, eh? And then they have to sign a piece of paper for it?
And like, it's a totally hard job? But only because somehow we manage to totally overcomplicated this? Mostly because we're stoned out of our fucking minds? But also, like, sometimes the weather's shitty or whatever? But like we live in Canada so it's not like we have any actual problems that aren't weather-related?
I do acknowledge that there was a time when the world of the messenger was worth exploring, but that was last century, and since then about a thousand urban jobs for young people have supplanted it in terms of sheer hustle and badassitude. For chrissake, times are hard and there are young people actually working their asses off out there! Even the most "mundane" job is harder than being a bike messenger. For example, have you ever been to a Chipotle in Midtown Manhattan? I have, and what those guys can do behind the counter will blow your fucking mind. Seriously, they are fucking drilled. They must have made burritos for 50 people inside of five minutes--and with deadly accuracy, no putting on the wrong salsa or anything! I was paid up and out the door before I even finished ordering, that's how fast they were. So spare me the "'Whoah,' you know, 'I almost got hit by four different buses and I punched a jaywalker and almost shit my pants'" crap. You don't sound like someone who gets to ride around Vancouver on a bike all day. You sound like Mr. Magoo.
Only marginally less self-imporant are the bike messengers' distant cousins, the Tour de France cyclists. Yes, apparently they're actually going to bother putting on another Tour this year, and Andy Schleck thinks he will be the "surprise of July:"
when his tummy hurt that time? That was nothing! This time he's going to be the "surprise of July," which basically just sounds like a delicious dessert.
Speaking of the Tour de France, I've received exciting email from over-punctuated saddle manufacturer "fi’zi:k" that they're going to put animals on their riders' asses:
Each Team Cannondale rider will feature on the rear panel of their team shorts in place of the standard fi’zi:k logo their specific Spine Concept Animal, which best reflects their high performance on-bike fit. The Tourminator, Peter Sagan for example, will ride as a Bull as that’s the Spine Concept Animal which best fits Peter’s on-bike physique.
If you're unfamiliar with their "spine concept," it's one of the most absurd marketing gimmicks in cycling, and what it essentially boils down to is that they help you find sort of a spirit animal for your scranus and then sell you a saddle accordingly. If you're not grossed out yet just check out this video:
I mean, come on. Are you fucking kidding me? What kind of "Spine Concept Animal" is that?
They're going to have to blur that on the TV coverage.