Remember the Flying Rider?
They said it was ridiculous. They called it a rolling hernia truss. They said it would never get off the ground. (The bike, that is, not the rider. The rider is clearly off the ground, hovering preternaturally like a seagull over a garbage scow.)
And when I say "they," I mean "me."
Well, that didn't stop the inventor, one David M. Schwartz, architect and living embodiment of the American Dream, who next took the Flying Rider project to Kickstarter in search of $28,888:
By the time his campaign was over, he had raised just over three hundred bucks.
The story might very well have ended there. David M. Schwartz might have given up. In search of solace, he might have turned to drink. He might then have engaged in drunken street corner tirades against the all-powerful saddle and seatpost lobby who, threatened by his brilliant invention, clearly squelched it so that their wares would not immediately become obsolete:
("You make that bike and I'll chamfer you from bollocks to bunghole."--Eric "The Chamferer" Murray)
Well sure, a Canadian might have done all that stuff, but David M. Schwartz is an American, goddamn it!* That's why I wasn't surprised to learn that he was undaunted by these setbacks. That's also why, after reading his latest press release, I stood erect (as in on my feet, not the other way) and belted out the National Anthem at the top of my lungs.
*[Disclaimer: I have no idea whether or not David M. Schwartz is actually an American.]
Fair Oaks, CA. D. M. Schwartz, inventor of the flying Rider bicycle, announced today that a limited edition of 100 carbon fiber bikes is under construction at Dynamic Composites in canada. Each bicycle in this initial series will be signed by the builder, Al Beyer, and each end user will receive a copy of the patent personally dedicated by Schwartz. Deliveries to dealers who order at the upcoming Las Vegas Interbike show will begin in September. Retail prices are:
Complete bike, $4,770. Frame only, no front fork, $2,462.
The design appeals to speed-oriented riders who will take advantage of increased leverage on the pedals, and riders who can't tolerate a bike seat will take advantage of the suspension frame.
I wonder where David M. Schwartz made his actual announcement, though I suspect he issued it from the toilet while gazing into a shaving mirror, because I know that's where I hold all my own "press conferences." I was also surprised to learn that Mr. Schwartz had found a builder willing to put his name on that thing. Most of all though, I was surprised to see this:
Yes, that's right, look a little closer and you'll see the Flying Rider model is wearing the greatest cycling cap ever made:
If you dedicate yourself wholly to your craft, day in and day out, year after year, striving for excellence with no thought of compensation or recompense, one day you might just be lucky enough to experience a single fleeting moment of validation, a cosmic tip-of-the-cap that makes it all seem worthwhile.
For me, this is emphatically not that moment--if anything, it makes me think I should quit right now--yet I blog on undaunted.
Meanwhile, speaking of indomitability, some scumbag in Brooklyn stole a bike with a kiddie seat on it:
And the owners of the bike are worried about him:
"The first thing we thought when it was stolen was, we hope the guy riding it around is all right. The brakes are kinda bad."
Okay, the thief is a complete lowlife and nobody deserves to have a bike stolen, but two things:
1) What the fuck happened to Brooklyn that people who live there now actually think this way? If the guy who steals your bike crashes because the brakes failed, you just won the cosmic lottery! I mean come on, that's life at its most beautiful! Flowers blooming, a mother gazing lovingly at her child, and a thief screaming in terror as he speeds into busy intersection on a bike with no brakes. These are the moments for which we live!
2) Why the hell are you riding your kid around on a bike with shitty brakes!?!
"It's the third bike we've had stolen from the exact same spot," Herwig says. "We've had two U-locks cut, and now this cable."
Uh, if someone cuts your lock you're supposed to get a stronger one, not the other way around. Come on, you guys have a kid! Haven't you ever read The Three Little Pigs?
Then again, this is Brooklyn, so there's probably a new book called the Three Little Artisans where the pigs start with brick but then move on to reclaimed wood and bamboo before finally joining the "small house movement:"
There's also no Big Bad Wolf in the story, because children shouldn't be exposed to the realities of meat-eating until their sophomore year at Bard.
Anyway, I think I'm going to disable the coaster brake on the State Saturday Deluxe and leave it unlocked on top of the steepest hill in the neighborhood:
I'm then going to write a children's book about it. It will be called: SPLAT! The Naughty Weasel Who Stole Bikes.
Lastly, speaking of no brakes, there's this:
Good to see there are people trying to keep the dying flame of dumbass fixery alive.