Hmmm, which of these things is not like the other?
1522: Ferdinand Magellan Circumnavigates The Globe
1969: Neil Armstrong First Sets Foot On the Moon
2014: Chris Froome Rides Through A Tunnel For An Hour
Obviously the correct answer is the third thing, unless you believe the moon walk was faked, in which case I suppose I'd have to accept the second thing as well. So I guess it's really the first thing that's not like the others.
Meanwhile, commenter Leroy alerted me to this New York Times profile of "11 Artists Who Really, Really Love Their Bicycles:"
See, the thing about artists is that they have much more profound relationships with their bicycles than you or I do, which is what makes them better cyclists and better people. Take Frank Benson, for example, who appears to be a cross between a garden variety Fred and Dieter from "Sprockets:"
Frank Benson: “The rise of the urban cycling movement may not be enough to save the world from ecological collapse, but there is an asceticism to the lifestyle that is refreshing in this time of rampant excess. As a sculptor, I have a deep appreciation for the forms and materials developed to create bicycles of ever-greater speed and efficiency. The design of the new N.Y.C. bike rack, by Ian Mahaffy and Maarten de Greeve — which I used in my piece for the exhibit — clearly speaks to that aesthetic and deftly advertises its purpose while adding an appealing sculptural element to the street.”
Really, the urban cycling movement isn't going to save the planet? This is terribly disappointing, because I thought sunburned 20-somethings in tank tops and jean shorts riding from Brooklyn to Fort Tilden was going to bring back the polar ice caps. Also, if he has such a "deep appreciation for the forms and materials developed to create bicycles of ever-greater speed and efficiency," then what's his excuse for that Schwinn?
And how about Kyle MacLachlan circa "Sex And The City" here?
Oy. Even Lucas Brunelle just got "douche chills." You know, if the flat bars on your Bianchi were a mere five centimeters wider the handling on your bike would be considerably more confidence-inspiring and you wouldn't fear for your life so much--though you'd still get to savor the exhilarating risk of getting your blazer caught in the door of a Range Rover.
This one's just ironic:
Graham Macbeth: “After road biking for a couple of years I decided to try a race. Riding for the first time in the midst of dozens of riders in Prospect Park was a completely unique, completely engaging sensation. It’s like being in a strange school of fish."
Wow. "Completely unique?" A Cat 5 race in Prospect Park is the very rolling embodiment of conformity. It makes happy hour at a bar in Murray Hill seem like living off the grid somewhere in Alaska. Only an artist could be so profoundly out of it that he would mistake being a total Fred for being an iconoclast.
Here's a sentiment it's difficult to argue with:
Julia Chiang: “Biking in New York is one of the best feelings. Everywhere is so crowded and then you get going on your bike and you’re kind of alone even though there’s traffic everywhere. You get to just focus on your senses — try to see things before they happen, hear things before it’s too late — so everything else kind of disappears. It’s also just a super fun fast way to get around!”
Though she forgot to add that it's a great way to air out your crotch.
And then there's this brainiac:
Andrew Guenther: “I didn’t intend to sacrifice my own bicycle in planning the painting for this show. I wanted to use a found bicycle that matched my riding style and size and I spent a great deal of time searching for the perfect bike. It happened to be the one closest to me. I called a list of auto wreckers and scrap metal facilities to assist in smashing the bicycle. All of them were reluctant to help with the project so it was pretty easy to turn all that frustration into crushing power. I got my hands on a bench vise to flatten most of the tubing and frame.”
Wow, you broke a bike, good for you. You should have saved yourself some time and gotten a bike made from crabon fiber, you could have destroyed it in 15 minutes using nothing but a salad fork.
As usual though, the worst thing about this story is the New York Times commenters:
About half of these artists don't wear helmets...is that just the case because they're posing for pics, or do they never wear them? No helmet = goodbye, artist!
July 5, 2014 at 8:53 p.m.
You're a fucking idiot.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
Meanwhile, in other New York City news, four police were injured by a flying Barbie bike:
Four NYPD cops were walloped by a child’s Barbie bike that was tossed at them from a fifth-floor balcony in Brooklyn while they were busting a gunman early Sunday, officials said.
The attack raised fears of a new wave of anti-cop violence — with a police-union president blaming the assault on Mayor de Blasio and his crackdown on stop-and-frisk.
It's true. Stop-and-frisk really cut down on the number of people walking around with concealed Barbie bikes. Are you happy now, de Blasio?!? What happens when they start throwing fat bikes from Walmart?
Let that lie heavy on your conscience, Mister Mayor--as heavy as a big-box store child's bike, which last time I checked was about 85lbs.
I give it a week before they manage to use this bike-hurling incident as an excuse to tear out all the bike lanes.
And in news of innovation, Janosz Poha from "Ghostbusters II" has invented the mountain bike of the future:
Just listen to the robotic narrator for a few minutes and then skip to 6:15 in the video when the inventor starts talking.
I hope the bicycle shifts a lot more smoothly than that.