September 18th, 2011

The *#@!ing Indignity!

Folks, this is what I must subject my family to, when taking them out for dinner Saturday evening: "refuge" islands. Much is said in this city about a train line that separates the old part of town from the new entertainment district on former docklands. Nothing is said about the three roads that cut the city off from the harbour. The people complaining about the train, we can only conclude, have their sweaty corpulent white arses permanently glued to their car seats, and will not be happy until they can actually drive down the harbour side promenade, eating from drive-throughs.   

After over a decade now, of calls from fatsos to get rid of the train line, I believe I am the first to mention that there is a 1.5km stretch of waterfront racetrack, without a pedestrian crossing.

Yesterday nearly killed me 10 times

It is satisfying, filling your jersey with bananas, your biddon cages with water, and riding off to a race with no regard for road conditions—let them go around me! We race out in car-land, out where the mere sight of bicycles is a serious affront to their choice of abode, so offensive it is worth killing for, or risking their own lives for, in the way they overtake cyclists. It is worth if for some, to deliberately smash their week's supply of glass beer bottles along the course where we race. More dangerous than any of that, was the bunch ride back home.

So that was the last ride of that sort, ever, for me. I hereby bequeath to the idiots of the idiotocracy, all of that land. I'll organize my life around rail corridors and waterways, where the task of building a separate bicycling network is well underway. Then I'll agitate to have industrial land flanking those routes rezoned to build a new city, interlocked with theirs, but not touching. They will be banned from entering in cars.
I just had to get that off my chest—I'm kinda pissed off and miserable these past couple of days :) Thankfully too, it has been decided to no longer use that particular course.

A design brief for apartment design

Architects: here is your challenge. Design an apartment, unit, or attached house with garage, that allows a family of 4 to leave home on their bikes as quickly as they might otherwise leave home in their car. Each family member has a choice of 3 bikes (that's 12 bikes in total). The kids have to wear helmets.

The 7 hooks on the roof of my utility courtyard (below right) where 7 bikes hang by their rear wheels, seemed like a good idea at the time, but it leaves dad (me) with the task of retrieving and returning everyone's bike, before and after each trip. Hmm, makes driving look good. Then there's the messing about, finding kids' helmets.

Okay, my family could always go Dutch, and chain 4 beater-bikes to lamp poles out the front of our house. That would make a nice advertisement too, I suppose. But we live in a sprawling city, requiring long rides, necessitating our owning a few bikes worth stealing—and let's face it, I like collecting nice bikes!

My buddy Egor (pictured) has the luxury of a garage, where he racks his stable of bikes in a manner conducive to rapid dispatch. We want something similar, only taking up less precious real estate. It's not only us wanting this. It is every family towing the line on urban consolidation, the environment, their long term health, and not posing a threat to the world every time they leave home in a heavy armored machine. The best idea I have had, thus far, is to fill the world's living rooms with bikes, parked between the lounge chairs and the TV.

Send me your ideas, and I'll post them for my 6 or so readers, all over the world, to admire.