So my Washington Post piece now has over 1,700 comments. I haven't read them, nor do I intend to, and nor do I even have to in order to know that many of them are completely fucking stupid. This is because we're a nation of idiots.
Sure, we may only be 28th and falling on the inequality-adjusted Human Rights Index, but there is still no better country on the planet in which to be born a complete moron. This is because we have these mobility assistance devices for stupid people called "cars," and our entire infrastructure is conveniently built around them. Cars are ideal for people of limited mental faculties because they're just large boxes with a great big wheel inside (not to mention entertainment and climate control!) and all you have to do is turn the wheel in the general direction you want to go and then stomp on a big fat "go" button with your foot. Also, if you see something you don't like, like a person, you just press the handy "angry" button in the middle of the great big wheel in order to express your displeasure like the bleating fuckwit you are:
Best of all, if you bump into something, there's a whole system built around making it all go away. Ever had an "accident" with your car? Everybody from the police to the insurance company to the body shop will hold your hand and walk you through it like you're a kindergartener on a field drip. Also, they'll make sure you have another mobility assistance device to use while you wait for them to remove the blood stains from your bumper. Of course, this system doesn't work too well if you're riding a bicycle or, even worse, walking, but that's why it's crucial to remain inside your mobility assistance device at all times.
(We're not so much the world's policeman as we are the world's Six Flags.)
Just make sure not to question any of this, because anything that undermines the mobility assistance device system will destroy America. See, while you drive around in air-conditioned bovine bliss and occasionally bumping into things, the auto companies and the banks and the insurance companies are putting it all on your tab. So it's very important we remain a nation of idiots indenturing ourselves so that we can spend our days inside wildly inefficient depreciating assets owned by usurious financial institutions.
Hey, I do it too. I even have a satellite radio subscription. Gotta have my Stern, you know.
I'm a bridge and tunnel baby.
By the way, in the Post thing I alluded to a dystopian future for pedestrians, but that dystopia is already upon us:
I'm old but not that old, and when I was a kid it was perfectly normal for us to roam around the neighborhood. Now, just a few decades later, I guess I'd be some kind of "free range" freak. Shouldn't be much longer until children aren't legally allowed to walk outside without an adult until they're 21, at which point they'll finally be released into the wild with six-figure student loan debt and absolutely no survival skills.
Anyway, enough about all that. Let's talk about bieks!
So yesterday I received a visit from the UPS guy.
It was cool, we hung out for awhile and did gravity bong hits, then he left.
But then I received a visit from another UPS guy, and he brought this:
It came from the Milwaukee Bicycle Company--which sounds kind of like a horror movie:
Now I may have the easiest job in the world (semi-porfessional biek boggler) but I'm also the father of 17--no, shit, 18!--children, which means I can't just drop everything and assemble the new bike I'm really excited about. (Especially because "drop everything" in this case means "drop baby," which you shouldn't do, even though I'm sure some politician is proposing a mandatory baby helment law even as I type this.) So it wasn't until well into the evening that I was finally able to drag it into the basement, remove it from the box, and reverse-dismember it:
The bike was packed exceptionally well and there wasn't a scratch on it. It was also assembled exceptionally well before it was packed, so I didn't have to do anything except fasten a few bolts. Nevertheless, being a dunce, while installing the handlebars I managed to get confused by the shifter cables until I realized that they'd apparently been set up to cross under the downtube. (Unless I was even more confused than I thought. Either way, they cross under the downtube now, and they work, so I'm calling it good.) Anyway, here's what the bike looked like when I was done:
Before you pick it apart because this is the Internet, please note that I have not yet made the final saddle height or bar tilt adjustments or anything like that. That will come next. I simply wanted it out of the box and in one piece before I went to bed. Also, some bike dork notes:
--I chose Shimano 10 speed because all my other bikes are Shimano 10 speed and I want to be able to switch wheels. Also, I have way too many spare Shimano 10 speed parts at this point to consider changing at this point, it would just be a giant waste;
--I chose a compact crank because I finally hit "compact" about a year or two ago and I don't see that changing--nor do I see going single ring on the road, even though it's the rage with all the cool kids, and even though double is now the new triple, and triple is now the new recumbent;
--I put a Brooks Cambium on it because after a year and a half of using one I really, really like it;
--I specified "no crabon" because that's where I'm at right now in my life;
--I put mountain bike pedals on it because that's also where I'm at right now in my life. Consider my Ritte:
I enjoy riding this bicycle very much (funky finish aside). At the same time, my life has changed since I got it back in 2011. In particular, I've moved, and so now my typical road ride generally takes me on and off unpaved paths a decent chunk of the time. This means my preferred road tire size is now 28mm, and while the Ritte takes 28s albeit with little room to spare, this new bike has medium reach brakes and therefore lots of daylight between rubber and brake. Furthermore, given the aforementioned paths, there's not much reason for me to bother with road pedals when stopping for beer or coffee or I'm clomping around in thickets looking for a place to urinate. Best of all, when winter rolls around I can put full fenders on this bike instead of switching to the winter bike. Basically then, the Ritte can go back to being a skinny-tire "go fast" road bike (yeah, like that ever happens anymore) and this can be a "most of the time, grab-and-go" bike.
That's the idea anyway. It's silly to talk about before I've even ridden the damn thing.
Oh, I also chose black, because I like black bikes, and it's a matte finish, which I really like:
It even matches my Engin, which I'm not supposed to care about but totally do:
So there you go. I'll report back when I finally have time for a proper ride, Lob willing.
Lastly, thanks to Kickstarter, your safe cycling concerns are now over:
I feel so much better.