4.27.2009

Steeler's Wheels

I want to get a bike. There's a bike co-op close by here that I'm gonna check out, thanks to a tip from tomorrow's Interviewing With the Starz! subject, Mr. Christopher Lynn. We were discussing types of bikes and how certain bikes have been co-opted by social groups and how/if that affects bike-purchasing decisions.

See, I want a road bike. Like the kids in Breaking Away only I'll wear longer shorts. Those kinds of bikes. But see, those bikes, while they're slim and lightweight (which is helpful, as I'll be running up and down RTA station stairs with this slung over my shoulder), they have also been claimed by the skinny jean hipster set. You know, guys who look like this or this. Pretty d-baggy, right?

Now, I'm not saying that everyone who's into these sorts of bikes is a snobby indie troll. I know John Kendall, he of Modern Chef Pants fame, who I consider one of the cooler people I've met, is a big proponent of the fixed gear road bike. Plus, the aforementioned portability and the fact that they're dead sexy, and you can see my conundrum. So there's that. I just worry about being seen as a wannabee d-bagg, which - I'm sure we can all can agree - is infinitely worse than being a real-life d-bagg.

So, what are my other options? A beach cruiser? Yeah, great idea. Why don't I get a pompadour haircut and start listening to swing music, too?

Actually, I sort of like beach cruisers. The main guy in Sparrow rode around on one while wearing a smart linen suit. (Did I mention that I loved that movie? Cuz I did.) They're cool and retro and all that, but is that really the message I want to send out to the world? That I secretly pine for the "way things used to be"? That I bought into the collective Hollywood dreamwish of 50's-60's innocence: sock hops, drive-ins, malt shops, the Big Bopper and gee whiz and poodle skirts and Beaver Cleaver and be-bop-a-lula and all that packaged nostalgia bull that is all so much air and fantasy. The good old days were neither good nor all that old. Discuss. I may as well ride around on Fonzie. Or, uh, something like that.

Or how about a mountain bike? Oh yeah, okay. I'll just give up completely, then. Khaki shorts, Birkenstocks, maybe golf on the weekends and if I'm feeling frisky, jam me up some Michael Bolton on my Zune. That'd be swell. Maybe get one of those igloo looking things, cram my kids in there and drag it behind me to like Trader Joes or whatever for some tofu non-fat frozen yogurt bars or something. I mean, I already cruise around in a minivan, why not sell out to the suburban boogeyman wholesale?

Or, I could wind up on the other side of the mountain bike coin and buy some biking shorts (maybe a matching shirt!), a ridiculous looking helmet (why are they all so dumb-looking? We can put a man on the moon, but we can't make a bike helmet that doesn't look like something from the B-roll of Running Man?), those clamp shoe things and some Oakleys and totes shred up the trail, dude? Totally tubular. To the extreme!

See my dilemma here? Please, Internets. Help a brother out. Should I just look for a road bike, d-baggery be darned! or is there some burgeoning bicycular subculture a-brewin' that I can get in on the ground floor of? Maybe those old-timey bikes with the gigantic front wheel? I always wanted to grow a handlebar mustache and say "Bully!" all the time. Top hats are super! Lemme know.

10 comments:

John Kendall said...

Bikes rule! You should totally get one.

P.s. Thanks for the nod. And for not saying that I'm a wanna be d-bag

Mr. Philippe said...

Road bike yes, fixed gear no. Let's be honest though, you're more a unicycle kind of guy.

Caitlin said...

Have you ever seen anyone get on one of those old timey bikes? How? How do they do it?

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