Waiting to cross a street in Santa Monica, I overheard a quick exchange between two idle cyclists. Now these weren’t the bespandexed, Tour De France type cyclists, colorfully zipping around town like human shaped birthday presents. These were a new generation of bikers, shabby bohemian types who’ve turned a collective back on gas-powered transportation. One was a girl, and one was a guy. Rolling up to the light, the guy said to the girl “Getting around the smart way too, eh?” Smart how, you arrogant bastard? “Smart” in the way you flit about traffic like an ignorant gazelle in a rhino stampede? You realize it’s not your eco-conscious agility that keeps your bones unbroken, but rather the mercy of us motorists who with a few inches of extra rotation, could crumple you and your refurbished Peugeot like a coat hanger and a bag of hot dogs. Now I’m all for keeping the earth alive (otherwise where will World Wars III-VIII take place?*) But green deeds should be treated like masturbation, drug addiction, and religion: practiced secretly in the privacy of your own home. Don’t be an asshole on the street about it. Nobody likes an asshole on the street about anything. That’s why hobos and missionaries are so poorly tolerated in this town. Admit it 10-speed, your Schwinn helps return books to the library, it doesn’t cure orphan cancer.
I wouldn’t bitch about bicycles so much if it weren’t for every friend of mine (2) shooting off about “L.A.’s growing bike culture” like it’s a revolutionary movement. Let’s call a spade a spade, you’re not Che Guevara, and your late night bike posse is not the Weather Underground, you just spent all your money on art school and are comfortable being sweatier than most decent people. Drop the elitist attitude, take a hint from your exceptionally quiet $300 Shimano crank set, and pipe the hell down. That being said, if anyone has a bike for sell, I am interested, gas prices being as they are. *World Wars IX and onward will undoubtedly take place in outer space.
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