(No fuckin' way I'm reading the comments.)
Thanks to Mike Madden for making it possible. Also, a very special thanks to my colleague-for-a-day Courtland Milloy, who has done more to unwittingly undermine anti-cycling sentiment with his moronic columns than I ever could:
(Courtland and I have two things in common: we've both written about bikes for the Washington Post, and we both prefer bib shorts.)
Now that opinion pieces I've written have run in the New York Times and the Washington Post, I like to think that both papers have pending obituaries for me on file, and hopefully when I finally bite it they will make liberal use of the word "scranus."
Anyway, yesterday I headed out to run some errands on the Ironic Orange Julius Bike, which you'll notice does not require a periscope thanks to the comfy Nitto bars I got from Rivendell:
As I flitted to and fro I felt especially self-righteous, mostly because I knew my opinion (which technically isn't an opinion, since I'm 100% right) was about to be published in an important newspaper. (Or at least on its website.) So when I encountered these parked cars blocking the entire sidewalk I fired off an angry tweet at Enterprise Rent-A-Car:
It only occurred to me afterwards that maybe the cars didn't belong to Enterprise after all. Briefly, I regretted my impetuousness, but then I regretted my regret. "Awww, did I huwt the poor giant company's feewings?," I mocked. Also, regardless of whose cars they are, shouldn't Enterprise be responsible for what goes on in its own driveway? After all, watching pedestrians being forced to shimmy between or around these cars was maddening. Then I thought about going inside and talking to somebody about it, but waiting at those counters is bad enough when you actually have to rent a car, so there was no way I was going to do it merely out of some sense of civic responsibility. It's much easier to just tweet and complain, which is pretty much exactly what's wrong with the 21st century.
In any case, to my surprise, I received a reply:
@bikesnobnyc We want to make sure we get this to the proper regional management. Do you know the exact address of this rental location? -MMYou'll be pleased to know I duly ratted them out, and if Enterprise would like me to craft a sternly-worded company-wide memo for them they know where to find me--though I was disappointed they didn't attempt to buy me off with free rental car vouchers.
— EnterpriseRentACar (@enterprisecares) April 14, 2015
Yes, it's hard being a rental car company. Not only do you have to put out figurative fires on Twitter, but you also have to put out actual fires in your rental fleet:
A Long Island man managed to set three cars on fire and give himself second-degree burns while attempting to rid his rental vehicle of bedbugs by dousing it in rubbing alcohol. Then, apparently, he lit a cigarette.
There's no way that car wasn't going on fire. Even if he hadn't torched it while trying to kill the bedbugs, then he certainly would have managed to do it while filling the gas tank before returning it.
Anyway, I was still riding high on self-righteousness when I got home and found this waiting for me at the front door:
It's going on this, which is cowering on a UPS truck as I type this:
In fact, the driver's probably waiting outside right now with a periscope so the moment I go to the bathroom he can ring the buzzer, leave a tag on the door, and drive away.
But once I do take delivery, you can be sure my first upgrade will be an integrated kickstand/pump/tire lever/tail light/did I miss anything?
Meet the inventor:
"Hello everybody. What a great season to ride, right? Except when something like this happens:"
I dunno, she looks pretty happy to me.
Nevertheless, he's going to try to sell you a kickstand pump whether you want one or not:
And to prove it, he's challenged to Freds to a "pump-off:"
Holy shit, my kid's name is Max Pressure Comparence!
Now that's just freaky.