Spatial Awareness

One of the best things about living in a big city is that nobody’s selfish when it comes to using public space:

The Department of Sanitation has marked this bicycle as “derelict,” and the owner (or at least I’m assuming it’s the owner) is none too pleased:

Well, I’m afraid I’m going to have to side with the city here, because if you’re storing a clearly unrideable bicycle as well as several spare tires on a tree pit you’re basically just littering:

Of course the real irony (apart from the fact that the DSNYC seems to be fine with the Raleigh behind it) is that it’s perfectly fine to store your large SUV just inches away:

“Oh, but that SUV doesn’t look derelict,” you may be tempted to point out. Well, I can assure that getting the city to remove an abandoned vehicle is harder than getting a cat to sit on command:

But I suppose it’s all too easy for me to feel contempt for the tree pit bike parker when I have not only an assortment of fine bicycles that get to live indoors, but also easy access to places where, if you squint and plug your ears, you can delude yourself into thinking you’re deep in the forest:

The Platypus is probably the bicycle that integrates most seamlessly into my domestic life. For example, this morning I attended an event at my younger son’s school, and I wanted to ride afterwards. There was once a time when I might have returned home and changed clothing and bikes in order to do so. But with the Platypus you ride to the event, then after the event you get on it and you just keep riding:

It’s very much at home in both town and country, but ultimately it wants to tempt you away from town and into the country:

You could set it up for commuting or something, but when you’re on a bike like this you want to hear the sound of birds chirping and gravel under foot tire, not horns and sirens:

By the way, a lot of people ask me, “How do you make such compelling video?” Well, the most important thing is I never, ever forget to turn the camera off after I’m done shooting my daredevil riding scenes:

Also, I never shy away from a good cockfight:

I have no idea if those two birds were fighting or fucking, and in the animal kingdom I’m not sure there’s much of a difference.

The other question people ask me a lot is, “What do you keep in that big-ass bag?”

Well, there’s only one thing more interesting than watching people ride slowly, and that’s reading about what they keep in their saddle bags. So let’s open ‘er up:

The most important item in there may be the Tex-lock:

No, it’s not called that because it’s from Texas, it’s called that because it’s made of textile or something. This makes it light and easy route through your various frame parts, plus it won’t scratch them. I don’t know if it’s as strong or stronger than a heavy chain lock, and to be honest I really don’t care. The reason I like it so much is that this is the bike I use not only when running errands, but also when I’m riding around with the family. So not only do I have a lock with me all the time, but it’s also a lock that’s long enough to lock all four of our bikes if necessary. Meanwhile, it’s pretty light given how long it is, so I can just leave it in there without thinking about it. (I think you get a discount on it if you use the code “BSYNCFANCYPANTS,” but I wouldn’t swear to it.)

Of course I also carry tools and sundries:

And here they are:

As always I’ve also got a shopping bag in case I stop at the store, and since there are no Walmarts in New York City this is actually exotic:

It’s also always good to have a set of lights, just in case:

I mean I have no idea if they’re charged or not, but hopefully if I need them I’ll get lucky:

Oh, and a tube:

Just as I have no idea whether or not the lights are charged, I also have no idea whether or not this tube will hold air. Worst case is I just patch it…assuming the glue in the patch kits hasn’t dried out, that is. Or maybe I could just put the Tex-lock in the tire like one of those Cushcore things.

Finally, I’ve got a bungee cord:

Because you never know when you’ll need a tow.

Even with all that stuff there’s still plenty of room in the bag for incidentals–and of course I’ve also got the basket:

Comfortable, capable, and classy; it’s everything I’m not.

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