I was laughed at on my ride home yesterday evening. Part of my commuting route takes me past a local inner-city high school. On most days I avoid the school during peak traffic hours, and yesterday was no exception. I was riding beyond the “school zone” when I approached a group of upstanding young lads (sarcasm). The shortest and pudgiest of this group (anyone who has ever gone through high school knows one of these kids) stops in the middle of the street as I maneuver around the group, giving them plenty of room since half of them were not paying attention to what was going on in their immediate environment. This kid who stopped points at me and gives this heinous, hyena-esque laugh. As soon as I pass them, he turns and continues on his way.
Now, having the benefit of being an intuitive fellow, I was able to recognize this laugh for what it was: nothingness. But my other cycling brethren may not be so lucky. While I was able to discern that this is simply the standard, malicious sort of behavior exhibited by most males in the 12-15 age range (not to say it doesn’t get better after), and that this sub-sect of the human species is very well capable of getting inside someone’s head with such actions, it did not get to me.
Young boys have the distinct ability to act in such a way that one’s greatest doubts of self-consciousness will come out. I am confident that this kid had no reason for laughing AT me (I wasn’t even wearing my neon yellow windbreaker), but he was simply all “hopped up on pixie sticks” and goofing around like young lads do. Still, this sort of behavior has the tendency to slip inside someone’s head and cause them to seriously doubt every facet of their existence.
OR, maybe he did, in fact, have a reason for laughing so violently at me and now I need to go buy all new cycling gear to make myself look cool. Uh oh…here we go.
All this talk about cargo bikes made me wonder if getting one of these Torker TriCycles would make more sense. I’m sure there’s a way for me to convert one to carry passengers and more load. What do you think? Do TriCycles have the same umph and practicality as would a Bakfiets or XtraCycle?
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Although I tried to be as naughty as I could, I believe that Santa will find it in his heart to grant me my wishes (yeah, right):
1. For Commuting, I want the Bakfiets, so I could carry my 2 kids AND their stuff around. It is also rare and I bet I would attract a lot of attention.
Image from The Dutch Bicycle Company
I would also ‘settle’ for a Calfee Bamboo fixie if the Bakfiets is too big to carry on the sleigh.
Steve Boehmke’s Bamboo Fixed gear
2. I love panniers and I would really like the Lone Peak‘s garment pannier, that way my co-workers would stop asking me if a cow chewed me up and spat me out.
Lone Peak’s Garment Pannier
I also need a grocery pannier to carry my beer home, Banjo Brother’s grocery pannier would be an excellent choice.
Banjo Brothers Grocery Pannier
3. For my Mountain Biking habit I would really dig a KHS XC Team Full suspension bike, since it’s hard to lose weight ‘cuz of my affinity for beer, I might as well ask for a super light bike (not only that, Melissa Buhl won a championship on this bike).
I’ll take the KHS Flagstaff as my second choice.
4. Since I’m a metalhead, Primal Wear‘s Metallica ‘Ride The Lightning’ (one of their best albums) would be freaking awesome
or their new Star Wars jersey as a second choice (what can I say, I’m still a bike geek.)
That’s basically it, nothing over the top, no $10K Colnago, or $100 Assos Jersey or performance enhancement drugs.
When we were at Sea Otter, I saw that the Women’s Racing team for Gary Fisher were all using bar tape for grips. I imagine that they were doing it to save some weight. So I figured I’d try it out since I couldn’t find extra grips for my Redline 925. I even installed some Bontrager Buzz Kills.