Plastic Fantastic

Today I took a ride on my plastic bicycle:

It’s a truly fantastic road bike in pretty much every way, but for some reason I just don’t get that “soul” vibe from it, and as a result I don’t ride it as often as I should. Sure, part of the reason is that it’s my dedicated park racer, but in a weird was this bike has also not quite become mine in the way certain bikes do. I’ve given lots of thought as to why I feel this way about it, and I’ve concluded that this impression is due to one of the following:

  • There’s just something about titanium as a frame material that imparts a special ride quality to a bicycle
  • It’s entirely psychological and informed by the fact that one bike is vintage and a rolling Greatest Hits Of The Aughts whereas the other is basically the same exact bike everyone else is riding on 9W

There’s a strong argument to be made for both, but I’m betting the second one hews closer to the truth. It just has a certain “sporting goods” sensibility I can’t quite reconcile. That said, I’m sure it will acquire more character in due time–especially if I continue to fall off of it like I did a few months ago. I should also stress once again that it is an excellent bike, and were it my only road bike I’m sure I’d quickly form a contented exclusive relationship with it.

Speaking of Route 9W, I was headed over the George Washington Bridge earlier today when I saw something as aberrant as my plastic road bike is ubiquitous. See that highway exit ramp in the distance?

Well, as I ascended the bridge on the bike path, I saw a cyclist on a road bike descending swiftly on that exit ramp along with the Manhattan-bound motor vehicle traffic. It’s a big difficult to explain if you’re unfamiliar with the bridge, but consider that the bike path runs alongside the roadway, which is where I was:

He was just on the other side of the railing, and so I can only assume he came over the bridge from the New Jersey side in the roadway as opposed to on the bike path, along with the car traffic you see above, in a truly Brunellian feat of sheer don’tgiveafuckery.

I wonder if he proceeded to merge onto the Henry Hudson Parkway, and I also wonder if his bike is equipped with E-ZPass.

While I’m on the subject of bikes and cars, this morning I happened upon this trailer for a movie starring Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani and directed by Michael Showalter:

It starts off innocently enough:

But soon they hit a cyclist–or a cyclist hits them, it’s hard to tell:

At which point someone with a passing resemblance to ex-Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steely White commandeers their car under the guise that he’s a cop:

He then chases down the cyclist:

Rams him from behind:

Love. It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru.

Then backs over him to finish the job:

Our protagonists then flee the scene:

While some millennials do stereotypically millennial things over his dead body:

Now, I wondered if I should get worked up over this and I decided I should not. Obviously it’s just a silly movie, and if I got upset over scenes in silly movies I’d be…well, I’d be everyone on Twitter. And while I haven’t seen the movie, clearly they needed an over-the-top garish murder to kick off the comedy/romance/adventure which ensues.

Still, while the fact that the writer or the director or whoever went with the vehicular manslaughter of a cyclist to set the plot in motion is merely incidental, it is rather interesting that the studio included a graphic and protracted scene of said manslaughter in the trailer. I mean, if the murder involved, say, running down a postal worker or a crossing guard, do you think they’d have shown that in the trailer? Oh sure, maybe they’d make it pretty clear the driver killed the crossing guard by cutting just before the moment of impact, but it’s hard to imagine they’d include the backover and the goofy millennials and all the rest of it in the actual trailer. But in 2020, when pretty much everyone is off-limits, it’s still perfectly fine to mess with someone as long as they’re on a bike.

Goddamn it, I’ve thought about this way too much already. I miss the old days when silly movies and routine violence had no social implications…

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