Monday, January 28, 2008

You know what really grinds my gears?

I want to start out by saying this: I LOVE biking. I have been doing it since I was like, I don't know, 5. I love riding bikes, hell, I even like the Tour de France. But there is a serious disconnect between bike riders and the "cycling culture" in this town.

I mean, Lance Armstrong, Matt Hoffman, these guys are effing cool. Even your everyday commuter - tough, good folks. I often look out the window from within the warm confines of my SUV and see some guy with his Jan Sport backpack and head to toe Columbia rain suit (complete with reflective ankle wraps). I see that guy, soaking wet, grimacing and preparing for the next grade ahead, and honestly, I admire him. He is healthier than me, and he is doing more to ensure that things like skiing, breathing and drinking fresh water (all personal favorites) will be happening for the long haul.

But the rest of you? What the hell are you doing out there? And really? Looking
for the constant battle between bikes and cars? I mean, you don't see grass picking a fight with trees, do you?

Since when is riding a bicycle some sort of costume party? The two biggest offenders in Portland would be the fixie dorks and the racer imitators. When Lance rocks the Discovery Channel on his Jersey, he gets millions. When you do it Mr. Suburbanite, you get my scorn.
Are jeans really that much less aerodynamic than your "everything" revealing spandex? Better whack those eyebrows with your Mach 3 if you think it will help you get to work (Sauvie's Island, or wherever you are going) that much faster. I mean, when my buddies and I go out to play pickup football or a game of softball in the spring, you don't see us outfitting at the pro team store. We would look ridiculous in full football pads and helmets playing on the weekends. On a side note, I am sure Oakley would like to convey their genuine thanks to you for keeping the Blades line a viable business well into it's second decade.

And the fixie rider. Your capris (male and female, regardless of season), piercings, tats and carefully chosen "vintage" (read: old and crappy) clothing do convey a clear message of strength and a carefully cultivated lack of care in personal appearance. Everyone in the ER is really going to enjoy your awesome counter-culture look when your massive quads alone do not allow you to stop your 18th century technology mode of conveyance before the post at the bottom of the next hill.