This particular report comes out of Cincinnati, but really it could be anywhere down here in Canada's scranus, because it's dripping with condescension. The one on the left begins:
"There's a new superhighway being proposed..."
"Superhighway?!?," ejaculates the typical Cincinnatian. (How's that for an awkward demonym?) "I haven't heard anything about a new superhighway!"
Yep, they've got you right where they want you, and this is the one on the right's moment to shine:
"But it's not for vehicles..."
That's when the typical Cincinnatian is like, "Wait, WHAT?!? A superhighway that's not for vehicles?"
Of course, as cyclists we know that this superhighway is indeed for vehicles. It's just that those vehicles happen to have two wheels and run on leg power and smugness. We're also used to people not considering our bicycles to be vehicles even though that's exactly what they are, but let's take a moment to check out the definition of "vehicle" anyway:
Though in fairness to the news anchors maybe they meant the superhighway wasn't for syrup:
Anyway, after the news report reveals that the superhighway is in fact for bicycles (crazy, right?), we see various shots of how shitty it is to ride a bike in most of America, and they're depressing enough to make you want to kill yourself:
Though the typical viewer is probably just annoyed that some of the cyclists aren't wearing helmets.
Then the correspondent ends with the big question:
"One of the things we hope to find out is how they propose to pay for this pretty ambitious project."
It's a loaded question, because we know exactly how people are going to feel about it:
So does cycling have a future in America? Well, judging strictly from local news reports the answer is clearly "No. Is your toilet tissue slowly killing you? More at 11." But the media and real life are often at odds, and I had a bit of a spiritual moment on my Citi Bike ride this past Tuesday:
Specifically, as I alighted into Brooklyn from Manhattan I felt all warm and aglow, as if an angel were applying embrocation to my soul and/or scranus. See, if years ago you had explained the concept of bike share to me, and then further explained that in 2015 I'd be riding one of these bikes over a renovated Manhattan Bridge bike path filled with other cyclists, I'd never have believed you. In fact, my joy upon learning of a bike-friendly future would only have been outweighed by my profound disappointment that by 2015 I still hadn't managed to leave New York.
I mean seriously, what the fuck am I still doing here?
Well, I suppose I stick around because of all the celebrities. For example, remember how Bono crashed his bike in Central Park? Well, now he's daring you to ride with him, and he's even making light of his triathlete-level bike-handling skills:
What could go wrong indeed? Plus, there will be ice cream:On your bike with Bono through Central Park. What could possibly go wrong? ENTER: https://t.co/f0M0nI8lgA pic.twitter.com/hg3uMsctSv— U2 (@U2) December 16, 2015
RIDE BIKES WITH BONO AND GET ICE CREAM IN CENTRAL PARK
You and a friend will ride bikes through Central Park with Bono
Grab an ice cream, share stories, and take home plenty of signed merchandise
Be flown to New York City and stay in a 4-star hotel
Though the typical Fred only wants to know two things:
(Fred can't wait to do battle.)
I'll certainly consider entering for a chance to Cat 6 the hell out of Bono, just as long as I get to ride the ultimate commuting bike:
(Spoiler alert: No it isn't.)
Created by Volkswagon designer Xavier Lescourret, this bike has no shortage of clever features that might appeal to anyone riding to and from work. Most notable is the split top tube, which is designed to accommodate a tablet or laptop case, getting rid of the need to carry it on your back.
Ah yes, if only there were some existing way to carry a laptop computer on a bike without putting it in a backpack:
I'm glad the Volkswagen douche has finally unlocked this engineering mystery.
Also, there's an integrated...cable lock?
The bike has also been designed with integrated front and rear lights, while hidden away in the down tube is a cable lock (although we might suggest a more secure D-lock if you’re considering leaving this pretty eye-catching bike locked up against some railings for any length of time).
Street-savvy suggestion there, though if your bike gets stolen in Portland you don't have to worry because the police will put their best intern on it:
Not only are the Portland Police looking for an intern to fight bike theft, but they'll also make that intern do a shitload of stuff for free:
According to the official description, the PPB is looking for someone who can volunteer (it’s unpaid, sorry) for 10-30 hours per month. Here’s more about the position:
The ideal applicant will be interested in bikes and addressing bike theft, and will help to create theft solutions for the City of Portland. The intern will work closely with the Bike Theft Task Force (BTTF), which is largely community driven with Police oversight.
Work may include:
• Research internal reports to analyze trends/patterns
• Distribute tips to the community via creative channels
• Network with BTTF partners in the biking community to promote the mission/goals to reduce bike theft
• Research efforts of other police departments around the nation to develop best practices for a comprehensive approach to the problem
• Work with bicycle recovery to improve practices within the Bureau to locate victims and return seized bikes to owners
• Assist with community engagement events that would promote theft education and bicycle registration.
That's the sort of experience that will really bolster your resume. Plus, "Bike Theft Task Force" sounds a lot more impressive than all the other jobs in Portland that don't pay anything, such as "freegan engineer" and "freelance pickling consultant."
And as for that bike, it's not the "ultimate commuting bike" unless it has this chain on it:
By the way, if you're wondering what "selects, tunes, and treats them to reduce friction" involves, it means they lube a regular chain and charge you more than double the price:
The chains are priced from about $129 to $165, two to 2.5 times the price of the stock version of the chain. A package includes the chain, connecting link or pins, a pair of gloves to install the chain, and a bottle of Squirt Lube. Squirt, according to the Ceramic Speed press release, is, “the fastest drip lube ever tested.” The included lube is Squirt’s stock formulation.
"Stock formulation?" This can only mean one thing, which is that in 2016 this company is going to start selling bottles of "tuned lube" for $100.
As for the chain, after only 200 miles it becomes a "training chain:"
After 200 miles (in dry conditions), the power savings of the UFO chain drops off. Ceramic Speed says that by, “using the Squirt Lube in the maintenance of the UFO Chain, the traces of optimization are stimulated even further, resulting in an upgraded and high-quality training chain.”
Yes, you read that right.
Just let those two words sink in:
I think we've just reached Peak Fred.