the best and, arguably, most important thing about bikes is that they are fun. indeed, our mission here at ABANDON YOUR CAR is to demonstrate how much fun can reliably and consistently be had when one gets as far away as possible from an enclosed, 4-wheeled vehicle and takes to the streets, roads, and trails on a self-powered conveyance- AKA: bicycle
natually, when i think of fun and bicycles, my mind wanders to France, which represents to me a Nirvana of sorts for cyclists. they seem to really enjoy their cycling a great deal, (in fact, almost to the point of nuttiness) and when i was last there, observed that the motorists were extremely polite and quite happy to share the road with cyclists. at least in the regions that i visited.
at any rate, here is a cool video with some smooth beats to go with it... from France, of course.
Paris à Vélo (Paris Remix)
Uploaded by Noart7. - Watch original web videos.
uh-oh. now what the heck is going on here?
back in the "olden days" of american cycling, we, as cyclists, often seemed to struggle with our ability to blend with the "social fabric" of the time.
here, this wayward hipster has apparently taken a wrong turn on his way to an early "tweed ride" and now finds himself JRA lost at the local swimming hole. fortunately, it appears that an attractive sun bather is able to get past the ridiculous "cyclist out of context" issue and offer some directions to get him on his way.
what i find most troubling about these images, however, is that the bike's manufacturer felt that in order to sell this fine racing bicycle they were not going to show the guy in wooly racing kit ("tight clothes") at the races with a bunch of other sweaty dudes riding around in circles. instead, they put him at the pool in seersucker slacks w/matching colorway shirt, shoes and beltway in the company of an attractive, scantily clad young woman.
obviously, we were still trying to assimilate the two concepts of "fun" and "bicycle" into a unified theme.
i own a red 1973 Schwinn Paramount very similar to the hipster's above. totally beautiful and original vintage bike. but not once has taking that bike for a ride led to a friendly conversation with a member of the opposite sex, so i sort of doubt the veracity of the ad content. of course, never while riding have i found myself lost at the swimming pool, either.
over the years, so much worry about matching colorways and fashionable tweed has turned some of us into fat, bored and complacent vinyl record curators... like our poor friend in the above photo; Jabba the Cat. (image: fixedgeargallery)
i still want to have fun when i ride and not be too serious about being fashion-conscious all the time. i wear a helmet when riding on the road or trail, but seldom do when urban riding, in the best european tradition.
recently, i was reading one of the blogs that used to be in my favorite blogstack and the writer had a 9 or 10 point code of conduct- a couple of which severely scorned "tight clothes" and expensive bikes and was all on about something called "the slow riding movement".
that was just too annoying, pompous, and self-important for me. they got eighty-sixed from the blogstack because i simply can't abide by such intolerant attitudes and also find that, admittedly, and from time to time, i enjoy riding expensive bicycles at high rates of speed while wearing tight clothes and a helmet.
kinda like this guy: Dr. Fred Rompelberg
well, except without the car, that is.
but 268.831 km/hr is still pretty impressive- even if quite possibly it qualifies him as the biggest wheel sucker of all time.
maybe more like this guy: Steve Gaskey.
fun, fast and dangerous. fast as you want to pedal.
i saw this machine at the great annual gathering of the cycling tribes (AKA: Interbike) a few years back and the owner/builder had a video showing how the thing wound up through the gears and when it reached top speed, the rider hit a button and the pneumatic lift dropped the bike onto the pavement... and the subsequent rubber burnin', tire screeching launch. freekin' awesome.
this week coming up i am looking forward to being out of the snow, some great riding in Fruita, and spending a good deal of quality time with my best buddy. that's right, having some fun and being out on the bikes. not worried about heart rate or intervals or tapering or spending enough time at altitude or fashion or anything like that- also known as the "non-structured phase" of the yearly calender.
i hope all of you will indulge yourselves in a bit of the same.
We love bicycling as a lifestyle, culture, and sport. We love to ride, build, restore, oggle and sometimes race bicycles. We also love to talk on at great length about our ideas, opinions and exploits involving all of the above. Welcome to our BLOG!
Abandon Your Car is not a slogan or ideology so much as a reminder to all of us to get away from our petro-mobiles as often as we possibly can and embark on life as an adventure by bicycle.
We'll keep you current on the important road and trail beta from our home bases in Palisade and South Routt, Colorado and shower you with our .02 cents about the ongoings of bicycle tribes the world over.
Be sure to tune in for Danny, AKA: the Young Apprenctice, providing the ever important perspectives of a highschool bike geek and all around brainiac in his NORCAL Updates.
We're glad you're here- look around, drop the Bike Master a line and then get out and ride for awhile- you'll be glad you did!
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