(A reader's fortune. )
Ready for a brain teaser?
Sure you are. So put on your thinking helments, because here goes:
Let’s say you tie a string to a bike pedal and pull straight back, as Dr. Hart is about to do in the photo below. Which way will the bicycle go?
Easy! Back to 1995, from whence it came.
Incidentally, those old Super Vs were ahead of their time, because they make fantastic gravel bikes:
And yes, gravel bikes can have aerobars, because people totally use them in that Dirty Kwanzaa 200 race:
Okay, so now that your brains are all warmed up, the government would like to have a "conversation" with you:
WASHINGTON — Hoping to start a national conversation about future transportation needs, the Obama administration released a report Monday that identifies key population, environmental, cultural and technology trends expected to shape the way Americans get from one place to another over the next 30 years.
Of course, there's an easy answer for pretty much every transit issue facing America today, and it's "build more goddamn trains." Unfortunately, that's not how we do it here in Canada's love handles, which are becoming more corpulent by the day:
By then the U.S. population will grow by 70 million, the equivalent of adding another Texas, Florida and New York. Much of this increase will be in cities in the South and West.
As horrifying as the idea of duplicates of any of those states may be, population growth is probably a non-issue in the long run, since morons who won't vaccinate their kids will help cull the numbers significantly in the coming years.
They also want to talk about the millennials and their strange inclination to ride bikes:
At the same time, the nation's 73 million millennials, the first generation to grow up with the Internet, will become an important economic engine. So far, they are driving less than their Generation X predecessors and many are gravitating to cities where they can bike, walk and take public transit to work or school.
Don't worry, if millennials do in fact manage to become an important economic engine, they'll all leave the cities and buy houses and cars just like they're supposed to do. If they're lucky, maybe they can even afford to drive an electric BMW, which is apparently the "Perfect Cyclist's Car:"
I love fresh air. I love the open road, and any way of getting around that doesn’t require fossil fuel. I live in Seattle. I recycle. I ride bikes, a lot. And I was interested in an EV. But the Tesla phenomena doesn’t appeal to me. The Model S is big for the city and it’s expensive—$70,000, minimum.
Might I recommend a sailboat?
Then along comes the BMW i3, a funky little battery electric that promises 81 miles of range, or up to 150 when you spring for the gas-powered range extender that charges up the battery. It starts at a comparatively (remember, we’re talking electrics here) affordable $41,350. And I want in.
Of course you do. It's a gadget and this is "Wired." But what does the car have to do with bikes?
The first thing I noted is that driving the i3 feels not unlike biking. I was behind the wheel of a $47,000 i3 in “andesite silver” and equipped with the least expensive “Mega World” trim package (above that are “Giga World” and “Tera World”), which includes heated seats. I was commuting without fossil fuels and breathing easier. I didn’t stop at gas stations. No fuel smell or internal combustion racket.
Yep, sounds just like riding a bike, assuming the bike you're riding is this:
So what's it actually like to own one of these electric BMWs? Where do you charge it? How long does it take? Well, the story doesn't say. All it says is that "you have to stay engaged with it at all times," which is true of all cars--not that anybody does, but that's another story.
Okay, sure, the BMW i3 looks pretty nifty, and it's nice to see electric cars are getting a bit closer to becoming mainstream, but I don't see how this is the "Perfect Cyclist's Car" in any way. If anything it's the opposite. Firstly, the article says it's "made specifically for an urban environment," but what self-respecting livable streets smuggie is going to buy an electric BMW to get around the city instead of just taking the Dutch bike to Whole Foods? Try telling this guy the BMW i3 is the "Perfect Cyclist's Car" and see how far you get:
("There is no such thing as a 'Perfect Cyclist's Car' inasmuch as a car is not a bike. In fact, much like my own car, it does not exist. Ipso facto, qu'est-ce que c'est."--David Byrne)
Secondly, the BMW i3 is also not going to appeal to the stretchy-clothes set, since a small car with an 80-mile range is far from ideal for those big out-of-town riding weekends (the reviewer's one "rails-to-trails ride 45 miles away" notwithstanding).
I mean come on, everybody knows that this is the perfect cyclist's car:
What bike dork has not dreamed of owning a Sprinter at one time or another? Just check out this roadie dream mobile and tell me you don't want it:
Room for all your riding buddies, plenty of room to change inside, and it's got a goddamn café in it for chrissakes!
Just think of how many roadies you could abduct and hold for ransom if you had a van like this:
("Want some espresso little Fred?)
Hey, if there was a show called "Fred My Ride" I'd watch it.
Speaking of Freds, here's why you don't overlap wheels:
Behold the moment of tire contact:
I bet that never would have happened if only he had some $2,900 wheels that "tracked accurately."
And here's why you shouldn't salmon:
Note that after taking out the Cat 6 the salmon escapes on the sidewalk:
Now that's how it's done.
Lastly, if you're in the Raleigh Durham area, a husband and wife team aim to make cycling immeasurably better for you--just as soon as you buy them some bikes:
My wife and I need Bicycles so we can make a photo journal of all the great greenways in Raleigh NC. This will help the biking community, local bike shops, and help inspire people to enjoy the city of Raleigh!
Yes, the "biking community" could use more help from people who don't even own bicycles. This is like David Byrne launching a Kickstarter for a Hyundai so he can help out the AAA.
I couldn't think of more worthy recipients.