January 31st, 2011

Truth Exposed: Bicycle Chic NOT a product of Denmark!!!

The Danes as we know are all thieving rascals, especially when it comes to purloining from our Motherland England. Starting with the whole idea of white skin, then speaking English, they moved on to thieving the idea of a royal family, going so far recently as to steal a British subject, our Mary, as their princess. The culprit behind their latest skulduggery is one Mikael Colvil Andersen, who would have us believe Brussels, capitol of Copenhagen, is the birthplace of what he calls Cycle Chic. Well poo poo to that, I'm afraid.

Women: the pawns in this battle.

Cycle Chic, whether in Copenhagen or Pyongyang, is practiced today as it was in the 50s and 60s by England's Sloan Rangers. By the time The Official Sloan Ranger Handbook was published in 1982, the style's every nuance and rite had been well bedded down, and this while Mikael Colville Andersen was still doing jumps on the PK Ripper Julemand brought him for Christmas that year. It must be said too (and I'll be lumbered with holocaust deniers for letting this out), that the percentage of trips by bike in Denmark in 1982, was a flat 0. Unlike porn, it was illegal!


From The Official Sloan Ranger Handbook:
[Cycling] is a point of conversation at parties—comparing routes or horror stories with other cyclists or explianing to non-cyclists why you aren't scared. The reason why you aren't is similar to why Sloans shouldn't be scared out hunting. It's outdoors; you love the feel of wind in your face, the element of risk and the superiority. [...] 
You always bike in the same gear you wear in the office [...]
You're not very hot on safety gear and helmets and goggles are for fanatics. [...]
Sloan women always have large wheeled old bicycles (no idea which make) with huge wicker baskets in front. Top of the class are sit up and beg [...] bikes. [...] You never have drop handlebars or more than three speeds. The bike is usually dirty, beginning to rust and in need of an oil.

In fact nothing a Cycle Chic blogger has said about clothes, steely daring, equipment, or how to be, cannot be found right there in black and white in The Official Sloan Ranger Handbook. With thanks to The Hon. Hamish for loaning me his precious copy, personally signed by Kate Middleton. Disclaimer: some or all of the above might not be true.

Why architect Norman Foster loves Moulton cycles

The right honorable Baron Foster of Thames Bank—architect of such high-tech wonders as London's Big Gherkin, and the Deutsche Bank in Sydney—loves his Alex Moulton space frame bicycle. No need to read testimonials, when proof aplenty lies right there in the pictures. All Norm's buildings look like his bike. The tetrahedral geometries. The articulated joints. The fetish for nickel. But what are the primeval, Freudian sources of his amour? Where in this coupling doth lie the anima and amimus? What could explain his placing of the back wheel on a bench, the front on a chair, so as to draw the lubricated parts of his Moulton close to the tip of his tie in this way?

From left: an erotic embrace; sexual feelings for space frames revealed in London; a kinkier version built in New York; space frames and the female anatomy.

First, it is silver. Hi Tech architects are of the generation who bought big silver stereo systems with their first pay packs when they got real jobs after uni. (I'm valor bound not to dwell on the whole ELO thing, or Ummagumma). In fact they spent so much on their separate components, big nobs and huge speakers, they will not so much as countenance one of today's tiny Bose speakers. "No, I can't hear it," they will say to your face. In any case, silver, for the exponent of hi-tech, remains the colour of progress. 
 
Second, the Moulton (to quote Michael Sorkin lampooning Richard Rogers's Patscenter), is "marshaled with bone headed rigor." Rigor counts for a great deal to the pre-post-structuralist thinker. The idea is to start with a premise Socrates could shoot down in an instant, then carry it through in a way Plato would praise. Premise: small wheels go faster. Therefore step one: make bike with small wheels. Step two: weigh bike down with suspension to compensate for problem of your own making. Step three, the three P's: Post-rationalize, Post-rationalize, Post-rationalize. I think the architectural historian Charles Jencks said about as much of high-tech buildings in general.  

All that aside, would you do me one favour? Next time you are in Sydney's Domain, and some footy mad Aussie tells you there are goal posts on the roof of 126 Phillip Street, would you please let them know it's a bike? Thank you so muchly.