This Just In: Umlaut Hö!

This morning started out like any other. I woke up in the bathtub, took off my scuba flippers, puttered into the kitchen, and poured myself a Bartles & Jaymes. Then, I casually checked my Just Dachshunds 2011 wall calendar on which my helper monkey, Vito, notes my appointments, where I noticed the following:

"Holy crap!," I exclaimed, spraying mojito-flavored wine cooler everywhere. Not only was my wiener dog Anthony due for an oil change at the end of the month, but I also had to leave for Gothenburg, Sweden--today! This is because I'll be speaking at the Göteborgs cykelfestival this coming Saturday and it will take me at least two days to ride there from Brooklyn:

Ordinarily it would only take me a day at most, but I'll be making the trip on a fixed-gear for additional street cred. On top of that, it will also take another two days for me to ride my fixie back from Gothenburg to Brooklyn, which means that I will not be posting tomorrow or Monday but will be back on Tuesday, June 14th with regular updates.

Vito will be staying behind and offered to post in my absence, but frankly he's a way better blogger than me and is liable to usurp this entire operation.

In any case, it occurs to me now that I've accepted an invitation from a person I've never met to visit a country to which I've never been in order to go to a festival that is a complete mystery to me since all the promotional materials are in Swedish. Nevertheless, I'm placing my full faith in the "bike culture" and hoping I won't be bound with duct tape, stuffed into the trunk of a Volvo, and dumped into a fjord somewhere. I've also done my due diligence by researching the Gothenburg bike scene and even watching some of their local fixed-gear freestyling "edits:"

Wow, these guys are on a whole other level. I particularly enjoyed the flawless angst-to-barspin, as well as the moment when the protagonist is attacked by a failed Aerospoke representing his own mortality:

I'm also practicing how to pronounce "Göteborg," but I'm not having much luck. Not only does the actual pronunciation have like eight more syllables than there are in the written name, but I don't even hear any of the same letters. In fact, I'm pretty sure he said "Yurts are boring"--which they are, but which doesn't change the fact that I'm, like, totally screwed.

Speaking of being screwed, many riders were screwed in The Great New York City Bicycle Crackdown of 2011 in that they received tickets for things that were not actually illegal. By now I'm sure nearly everybody on the planet Erf has seen the excellent Casey Neistat video, but it warrants inclusion here nonetheless:

I enjoyed this tremendously, but the only thing more frustrating than police ticketing cyclists for not riding in a bike lane is that some people are actually giving the filmmaker a hard time for not wearing a helmet. Apparently here in Canada's custom insole cycle-smugness yields to nothing, not even satire.

Meanwhile, illegitimate ticketing is not limited to New York City, for a reader tells me that a child-portager in London was recently ticketed for hauling a double-payload of human smugness:

Obviously she needs to satirize the incident by making a video of herself plowing into traffic cones and construction sites with both children on the bike. It will become a viral sensation, though the could lose custody of her kids.

Actually, I'm tempted to somehow work in a visit to London while I'm over in the Old World, since another reader tells me you can buy a £1million house full of bike crap:

If Scotland Yard is still hunting that mass murderer who's been preying on tweed ride participants, I think they may want to have a word or two with the seller, a certain "Mr. Wilsdon:"

I wonder if he also eats the tweed.

And with that, I'm stuffing my messenger bag full of clean underpants, straddling my fixie, and hitting the road to Gothenburg. I look forward to returning to this blog on Tuesday, but until then I remain,

Truly yours,


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