The idea of the book is to encourage kids to do cool stuff so they don't waste their time holding up banks and watching Regis. Awhile back the authors asked if I'd contribute an essay about riding bikes, and I agreed, since it seemed a lot more productive than yelling at teens to get off my lawn. Now here it is in print, with illustrations and everything:
I can assure you I get right down on these youngsters' level, and in addition to telling them how "cool" and "hip" bicycles are I remind them numerous times to do good in school and stay off the pot.
By the way, the cover's all shiny in real life too:
So if you want the child in your life to get off the couch you can always try this book, and at the very least if you throw it at them hard enough it's bound to do something.
Anyway, half the struggle is encouraging the next generation to ride bikes, and then the other half is making sure when they grow up they don't get suckered into stuff like this:
SEA: TEAGUE X SIZEMORE BICYCLE'S DENNY from oregon manifest on Vimeo.
You may remember this bike as the winner of last year's Oregon Manifest "Ultimate Urban Utility Bike" contest, and in particular its locking handlebars:
And toothbrush fender:
You may also remember that Fuji Bikes was going to put the winning bike into production. Well, it occurred to me recently that this revolutionary bicycle hadn't yet taken over the streets of every city in the world, which seemed unthinkable given how terribly inconvenient regular fenders and u-locks are. So I checked in with the Fuji website:
We will be communicating availability dates and pricing in the spring of 2015. Please be patient as we work with Team Teague x Sizemore to bring you The Denny.
That was pretty much all I could find, so I'm assuming Fuji is hoping that everyone will forget and they'll never have to figure out how to mass-produce this silly bicycle.
Then, on the other end of the spectrum, you've got your artisanal side car bike:
Surf Side Car by Horse Cycles, Brooklyn, NY from Horse Cycles on Vimeo.
As a dedicated Rockaway Beach* boardwalk surfboard porteur it's definitely the most Brooklyn bike I've ever seen, I'll give it that.
All it needs is more crochet.
*[If you're feeling compelled to point out in the comments that Rockaway Beach is in Queens and not Brooklyn then please punch yourself in the face instead, because we know.]
And then you've got this:
Yep, finally--it's a folding bike with a built-in schluffing function:
Those were the days.
Anyway, if nothing else, it's clearly the ultimate sidewalk-slayer:
When you see a cop all you have to do is switch to "schluff" mode and you can comfortably give the officer the finger as you roll past.
Meanwhile, in other smugness news, Paris went (partially) car-free this past Sunday:
About a third of Paris was free of motorized vehicles from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., except for buses and taxis. Car speeds were capped at 20 kilometers per hour in the rest of the city.
Mayor Anne Hidalgo, at the urging of activists, initiated the massive car-free event as a lead-in to the city hosting COP21, the United Nations’ upcoming conference on climate change. Paris is plagued by diesel exhaust, and the skies over the city were noticeably bluer yesterday, according to the Guardian. The exhaust cleared. The rumble of traffic was gone. People seemed happier and less stressed.
But then things got weird:
"Put back the cars!," millions of Parisians yelled in horror.
And in Toronto, a reader informs me that one cyclist struck his own blow against the Automotive Industrial Complex:
So a driver hits a cyclist but the cyclist gets charged for doing something annoying?
Is Robs Fords still Mayor or what?
The cyclist then left the scene but was followed by police before being stopped, Const. Clint Stibbe told CBC News.
"Reaching into a vehicle is risky at best," Stibbe said. "And you never know what the person inside that car is going to do to you when you do that."
Holy crap, "Clint Stibbe?" No way that's his real name.
And risk?!? The driver already hit him with the car, what else was there to worry about?
Well, I suppose the driver might have bitten him, but it seems unlikely the driver was Jon Voigt.
If anything, the cyclist should be commended for performing a public service by immobilizing a dangerous driver.
He just did your job for you, Clint Stibbe.
Either way, the cyclist clearly forgot the cardinal rule: it's okay to hit cyclists, but never, ever voilate the sanctity of Somebody's Car.
"Some people may think it's funny and maybe to that individual who dropped the keys," Stibbe said. "But in the end you don't know what that person is going home to."
Oh, poor motorist! Yeah, I'm pretty sure I know what the driver was going home to:
No word on how long it took the driver to fish out the keys.