Eight years ago, I received an email from the future. It was from myself, and it was dated November 30th, 2015. Here's what it said:
At the time, I merely marked it as spam and forgot about it. However, every one of those things turned out to be true. Pizza Hut does make a pretzel pizza. I did run out of toilet paper this morning. (Good thing I keep a stack of Pizza Hut menus by the toilet.) And yes, there is now an electric fixie, which is additional proof (as if you even needed it) that there is no God:
Sure, we all knew on some level that the fixie would be the beach cruiser of the 21st century:
But while it was fairly obvious that most fixies would end up being ridden on boardwalks slowly by winos, few of us could have imagined that they would one day be electrified:
This is very much like the moment Bob Dylan went electric, only he did so when his career was on the ascendent, whereas the fixie craze spun out completely at least five years ago...so I suppose this is more like if Bob Dylan waited until today to go electric, which is to say nobody would give a shit.
Oh, also, it's one of those coasting fixies:
So in essence it's like a lip-synching Bob Dylan going electric in 2015.
Anyway, the so-called "eFixie" apparently goes 20mph, but according to the video it can actually hit 21mph, though I'm assuming you'll need a tailwind for that:
It's also capable of ascending the 21 hairpins of Alpe d'Meh:
Oh my god the test rider isn't wearing a helme(n)nt etc. etc.
Speaking of helme(n)ts, a twitterer brought the following article to my attention, which is still more proof that a) there is no God; and b) helme(n)ts are the instruments of our oppression. Yes, according to the California Highway Patrol, if you get killed while not wearing a helme(n)t it's automatically your fault:
On Nov. 2, Judge Matthew Gary was driving his Toyota pickup truck on Fair Oaks Boulevard when he hit a bicycle ridden by Margaret Bengs, 66, who died the next day. Shortly after her death, a CHP spokeswoman said Bengs appeared to be at fault, in part because she was not wearing a helmet.
Though not only was the victim wearing a helme(n)t, but she was in fact in possession of a second, auxiliary helme(n)t, which indicates the CHP was lying about something that didn't even make a difference in the first place:
But a witness who stayed with her until paramedics arrived said she was wearing a helmet, and Bengs’ family says she had two helmets among her belongings at the hospital. Her relatives also note that Bengs died the day after the crash, not two days after, as the CHP had first reported.
Yes, this is the current state of affairs: one helme(n)t is no longer enough, and in order to be absolved posthumously for somehow causing your own death while riding a bicycle, you've got to establish that you were using multiple helme(n)ts:
Maffucci said she received two helmets in her sister’s belongings from the accident scene. One, marked with blood, she had been wearing, while the other helmet had been secured to her bike, Maffucci said.
And of course somehow, despite all this, you've got the "same rights and responsibilities as motorists:"
Christopher Gayner, a traffic accident reconstruction expert in Santa Barbara, said bicyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as motorists.
Which is of course complete bullshit. You don't have the same rights at all, since driving is a license to kill whereas cycling is considered a death wish. Furthermore, the notion that you have the same responsibilities while riding a 20lb bicycle as you do while driving a 3,000lb Hyundai is about as absurd as the idea that corporations are people--which evidently they are, so there you go, welcome to America.
Nevertheless, some people do recognize that it's absurd to treat cars and bikes like they're the same machine, and to that end a New York City Councilman has proposed a bill to correct this:
Silly New York Post, I don't need a law to let me do that, I'm doing just fine as it is.
Here, let me fix that for you:
So what would this bill do anyway? Well, according to the article:
Big Apple bicyclists would be allowed to cruise through red lights and stop signs after merely slowing down and looking both ways, under a proposed bill by a city councilman.
Wait, we'd have to slow down and look both ways? I thought the headline said we'd be able to blow right through! What a ripoff. And why qualify the "slowing down and looking both ways" with the adverb (it is an adverb, right?) "merely?" There's nothing "mere" about that, because it's certainly more than what most motorists do.
Of course, what do you expect from "bike-crazy Williamsburg?"
The measure, introduced by Antonio Reynoso — who represents bike-crazy Williamsburg — would lift the requirement that cyclists follow the same traffic-light rules as motor-vehicle drivers.
Yeah, they're about ten years too late on that one. Even the Post should be embarrassed to still be trading on the old "hipsters on fixies" stereotype. Those days are long gone, and Williamsburg is well into the "douchebags in Ubers" phase.
Still, it's important to remember that New York City isn't Idaho:
The change would be even more extreme than the laws in Idaho, which has become known for the nation’s most pro-bike rules, allowing riders to treat red lights as stop signs and stop signs as yield signs. Such rolling stops have earned the name “the Idaho stop” among avid city bikers.
But bringing such rural rules to New York City, which has five times the population of Idaho, is being called a terrible idea by pedestrian advocates.
Yeah, that's a dangerous argument. Maybe with five times the population of Idaho we shouldn't have any cars, either.
Nah. Without cars how would we maintain our quality of life?