Conspiracy: What's Good for the Goose is Good Propaganda

Admittedly I tend to engage in hyperbole, but what I'm about to tell you isn't hyperbole at all--it's just straight, regular, unembellished bole:

I have uncovered a massive conspiracy.

The "curator" of this conspiracy is the so-called "Sierra Club," described by a popular user-edited online encyclopedia as "one of the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization in the United States." Clearly however this is merely a cunning ruse, for their true purpose is obviously to ensure the continued dominance of the automobile as Canada South's primary mode of transportation, and to frighten commuters away from the act of bicycle cycling. Consider this seemingly innocuous though deeply insidious propaganda video entitled "Two Mornings," which compares car commuting with bicycle commuting in the Smugness Hive that is San Francisco:

Two Mornings from Sierra Club National on Vimeo.

On the surface of it, it's merely one of those typical videos where they juxtapose car commuting and bike commuting to show you how annoying driving is and how awesome "bi-keen" is. I mean, it's a foregone conclusion, right? But what they really do is prey upon our familiarity with the genre by ever-so-craftily making the driving look better than the "bi-keen." You hardly notice while you're watching, but if you look at each mode of transportation separately you'll see what I mean.

First, the driving. See how our fashionably dressed "duderette" enters her chic red Mini Cooper:

Notice she's able to do this while enjoying her morning coffee. She's also able to carry her belonging in a stylish leather bag, as opposed to one of those ridiculous Chrome bags with all the seatbelt buckles all over it that looks like a pair of 1980s bondage pants, or like a parachute might explode out of it at any second. Soon she's on her way, as easily as you please:

The streets are free and clear:

The most difficult thing she has to do during her commute is make a left-hand turn onto another empty street:

Though at one point she does have to wait at one (1) red light behind one (1) other driver:

And that's it! Where are the shots of the "epic" traffic jams? Where's the look of nonplussitude as she fills up at the gas station and discovers it costs like 50 bucks to fuel a car that could probably fit in a bakfiets? Where's the endless hunt for a parking space? If this is what driving in San Francisco is like then I'm buying a fleece vest and a trendy car, putting a Sierra Club bumper sticker on it, getting an Internet 2.0 gig with a job description even I don't understand, and becoming a total NorCal "duder."

By comparison, the cycling is abject misery. First of all, due to bike theft and the high cost of San Francisco real estate, she has to keep her giant bicycle in the middle of her bedroom:

How does she even get out of bed, much less visit the bathroom in the middle of the night without becoming a human spoke card?

Next, instead of carrying her coffee and bag to her car while wearing a sporty leather jacket, she has to wear a giant mustard-colored sweater and totally ruin her hair by strapping on a helmet so she doesn't die:

Evidently she didn't want to deal with the additional humiliation of the ridiculous Chrome bag, so she's not carrying anything at all.

Then, she shoves off in a bizarre manner that makes her look like a hood ornament, and the Sierra Club cleverly reminds us that, in San Francisco, you can apparently park your car right in front of your house where, unlike your bike, you won't trip over it in the night when you get up to make a pee-pee:

And things quickly go from bad to worse when some creepy guy starts hitting on her:

("I reeeally like your sweater. Is that mustard?")

The subtext is clear: stay in your car where it's safe, or ride your bike where you'll get drooled on by sexual deviants:

("I reeeally like mustard.")

Presumably she's finally able to shake this guy by giving him a fake phone number, but no sooner has she regained her solitude than some Cat 6 wheelsucker adheres herself to her:

In typical Cat 6 fashion, the wheelsucker sits on her despite the fact that the bike lane is totally clear, and given the fact that that our mustard-clad heroine hasn't even had her morning coffee yet it's a miracle she's managing even that strained smile:

Note they're also wearing the same helmet, since the wheelsucker is probably also a serial copycat.

Finally, after all that, the Sierra Club has the audacity to pull the old "reverse psychology" trick:

Yeah, right.

Evidently, the Sierra Club opted to leave out the fact that this was a "collabo" with ExxonMobil and News Corp.

Anyway, if I wasn't scared enough after watching this video, I sure was after I read this on the aforementioned user-edited online encyclopedia:

Observers of the Sierra club have charged that the club's views on population growth, and the efforts of some club members to restrain immigration, are a continuation of aspects of the Eugenics movement.

Sweet succulent Lob, what the hell kind of "club" is this anyway?!?

Ironically, while Smug Franciscans are being thoroughly brainwashed, here in New York things are finally going our way, for a judge has dismissed the lawsuit to remove the Prospect Park West bike lane in Brooklyn:

Though a reader informs me that there is a vitriolic anti-pennyfarthing movement brewing in Halifax:

Granted, this movement consists of only one man, but he's angry enough for at least a hundred, and he claims his "neighbours" are behind him:

This is for the asshat who lives on my cul de sac: take that fucking monstrosity back to what ever grave you dug it out of. Me and my neighbours (not your neighbours, we would never call you that!) have had enough of your shit. I sit down to watch TV in the evenings and what do I see wobbling down the road from my big fucking bay window? Your fucking penny farthing! Nothing irks me quite like the sight of unproportionate wheels do.

It's tempting to dismiss this as the ranting of a lunatic, but fear of vehicles with disproportionate wheels is a very serious condition. It's called "aliusrotasphobia," and the mere sight of a Big Wheel is enough to send sufferers into paroxysms of panic. Then again, I'd probably be leery of an ersatz Victorian who shows off his p-far to children too:

You smile and drive the length of the road, turn around, and come back again. Over and over and over. You stop and show it off to the kids on my street. Not my fucking kid, you can of shit. I wont let him out of the house when you are around.

"I remember when the pennyfarthing man used to come around," his child will write in his memoirs many years later. "Father would lock me in the basement, where I'd cower as I listened to him smashing things and shouting about the evils of asymmetry. He couldn't even use our hose caddy since the wheels were a different size than the spool. Harry John Lawson, inventor of the safety bicycle, was like a god in our house. Father said he saved us from the sin of 'unproportionateness.' There were pictures of Lawson everywhere, even in the bathroom. He still haunts my dreams"

Of course, a more euphemistic way to describe the p-far hater would be to call him "tempestuous," which is how one Craigslist seller describes NAHBS founder Don "Thou Shalt Have No Other Bike Shows Before Me" Walker:

One-of-a-kind Don Walker custom-built pursuit track frame. 56cm c-t-c effective top tube, 58.5cm seat tube c-t-c.

The founder of NAHBS (North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show), Don is a tempestuous and AMAZING builder - this frame is unbelievably well-made. Beautifully fillet-brazed Columbus EL-OS main triangle. Pursuit/sloping geometry, monostay rear bridge, MASSIVE oversized stays. Campagnolo headset and Suntour Superbe Pro track BB included. Both are in excellent shape. There are no drillings for brakes. 120mm rear spacing, 100mm front. Paint has minor scratches and scuffs, but absolutely no dents, dings, or scrapes anywhere. 27.2mm seat tube diameter.


If you like your framebuilders like you like your Shakespeare plays--and your name just happens to be Eric Williams--then this could very well be the deal of the century:

Either way, I bet even Larry Olmsted's Seven Cycles questionnaire didn't allow him to select the personality of his frame's builder, which is of course a key component in determining ride quality. I only hope they begin offering this as an option soon:

97) I prefer my framebuilders to be:

--Lovably quirky
--Disconcertingly even-keeled

A well-made bespoke bicycle is like a part of you, and this is even more true if you've actually been beaten about the head and face with portions of its tubing.

Lastly, on Friday I mentioned the Wikipedia "Cycling Shorts" entry model, and since then it seems they've been experimenting with a couple of new candidates, most recently this one:

Though I'm pleased to say our hero remains on the page--he's just been demoted to "bib shorts" representative, as opposed to the representative of all forms of cycling shorts:

("I'm just the bib shorts guy now.")

He doesn't look too pleased about this, but then again he didn't look too pleased to begin with either.

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