Code of Living: Choose Your Faithway

Further to yesterday's post, in which I mentioned a reluctant driver forced to ignite gasoline in order to haul over 3,000 pounds of floor tile, some readers questioned whether the tile was responsibly sourced--or if indeed the floor needed to be re-tiled in the first place. Well, you can rest assured that everything was kosher (or "smug," which is the "green" equivalent of "kosher.") In response to a comment on the Streetsblog post, the thoughtful livable streets advocate and flooring enthusiast had this to say:

InDaDrops: The ceramic tiles were made in an energy-efficient factory that uses is able to use low-temperature process due to the tile being made with over 55% recycled glass. There factory is located only about 2 miles from the church basement where the floor was to be installed, to support a computer hardware recycling program. So, there were not additional trips for the tile to make to go first to a distributor and then to a retail store. The factory also features a parking lot made of crushed, discarded tile instead of using asphalt.

When you say “leave the floor the way it was”, that was not viable. The previous condition included moldy carpet laid over old vinyl tile which itself stank, was falling apart and covered in carpet adhesive. Underneath the vinyl tile was an old asphalt-based adhesive that was itself difficult to remove, although some mortars could be used to put a new floor over top it.

I also used a bike to haul away some the old floor waste to the landfill, including one load with a total weight of 540 lbs:

In other words, "Take that!" Energy-efficient factory? Recycled glass? Church basement?!? Clearly, you'd have to wake up pretty early in the morning to catch this guy not being environmentally sound--and even then, he'd probably lambaste you for not waking up on an environmental mattress or underneath an eco-friendly duvet cover. King Midas famously turned everything he touched into gold, wheras Mark Stosberg is sort of the anti-Midas, only touching things made from recycled refuse. He is not merely "green;" he is an ├╝ber-green laser beam that strikes at the hearts of wasteful consumers like a lightsaber of self-righteousness. Plus, he does it all aboard a recumbent:

Before you judge, know that his recumbent is made from over 65% recycled helmet mirrors and SPD sandals, and that the remainder is made from eco-friendly resin-impregnated woven beard hair.

As for the rest of us who occasionally find ourselves murdering the Earth by riding grossly inefficient upright bicycles or by relieving ourselves at the Starbucks restroom because we cannot "hold it in" long enough to find a public composting toilet, we would do well to heed Mr. Stosberg's example. It's simply not enough to be "green;" you've got to be extremely green. Fortunately, you can now give your "greenness" a significant boost in horsepower, thanks to the engineers at Extreme Green Cycling:

I am very wary of any company whose actual motto is "We recommend you wear a helmet!" It's only slightly better than saying, "Dude, you are so fucked." This is like Pepsi saying, "Goes great with insulin!," or Jimmy Dean sausages using the slogan, "We recommend an angioplasty!" Secondly, if anything, Extreme Green Cycling is more of an "un-greening" service, since the bicycle was significantly greener before it had a gasoline-and-oil-burning two-stroke motor bolted to it. Apparently, this 70cc motor gets 100mpg and will do 30mph, which is mildly impressive until you consider that a 49cc Honda scooter gets the same mileage, goes faster, uses a four-stroke, and actually comes with safety features such as lights. Sure, it's more expensive, but it quickly pays for itself when you find that Cat. 4 roadies will actually pay you to "motorpace" them so they can "train" for the local training race. ("Training to train" is the very essence of amateur competitive cycling.) I'm guessing the company's helmet motto comes into play when you hit 45mph on a downhill and try to stop your 60lb leafblower with the "front linear pull brake and rear coaster brake."

Still, motorized bicycles do have considerable "curb appeal," as evidenced by this video:

A gasoline power-assisted bicycle means never having to quit smoking.

Of course, if you still want a motorcycle-esque bicycle but don't want to be an affront to the Earth by burning fossil fuels, you can always bolt a motorcycle front end to your mountain bike, as spotted by a reader in Philadelphia:

Now as ever, the poor unfortunate mountain bike remains the Rhesus monkey of bicycles. Who will stop the vivisection?

Meanwhile, like mountain bike molestation, the Giro d'Italia continues unabated (as does my Universal Sports Giro d'Italia webular blog). As you may recall, the Giro started in Amsterdam this year, and it so happens that regurgitator of popular culture Mike Giant was there too. Moreover, he continued to push the boundaries of art and creativity by writing a bunch of cycling-related words really big on a wall:

Mike Giant @ Mediamatic Timelapse from CFYE .com on Vimeo.

Aesthetically, this is pretty much exactly what teenagers have been doing on their desks and notebooks during math class for decades. In terms of content, it's the creative equivalent of the gratuitous keywords you find in Craigslist postings and eBay auctions. I suppose all this makes sense in the context of "bike culture," whose members seem determined to equip it with a great big "Buy It Now" button.

Still, it should come as some comfort that cyclists are now part of a coveted marketing demographic, for now more than ever being part of a marketing demographic means you matter. Not only is this demographic coveted by companies as diverse as bicycle manufacturers, streetwear companies, and banks, but it is also coveted by an industry that is (at least ostensibly) totally against coveting--and this industry is religion. Not only have we seen the advent of "fixionaries" (both Mormon and non-Mormon), but when I visited Portland I also visited a "bike chapel." Now, a reader informs me that another church in Woodside, CA is also welcoming cyclists:

See? It says so right on the sign, cleverly designed to "synergize" with the Tour of California:

This is an encouraging indicator that cyclists may be beating homosexuals in the race to legitimacy in the eyes of "God," though if you're a homosexual cyclist I'm not sure which trumps which in terms of your being "welcome." (Please check with your denomination of preference or local house of worship as to their individual policy on your worth and validity as a human being.) Still, it's clear that religious marketeers need to streamline their "pitch" if they really want to appeal to cyclists. They need to tap the awesome marketing power of crabon, and replace promises of eternal salvation with claims of lateral stiffness and vertical compliance. "This year's God is 2.5% lighter and 7.8% stiffer than last year's model." Most importantly, the Judeo-Christian sects really should move quickly to add an 11th commandment, since the Commandments have been 10-speed since like forever.

Of course,the Jews are the fixed-gear riders of the religious world in that Jesus has about as much appeal to them as a derailleur has to a "fixter." Furthermore, despite the whole "Hipsters vs. Hasidim" conflict it appears that even the ultra-Orthodox have begun to adopt "messenger chic." Moreover, it's proving to be quite a turn-on to the ladies:

Absolute badass frum hotties - m4w - 25 (Norstrand and Fulton St.)
Date: 2010-05-26, 8:18AM EDT

3 of you on sunday evening. Atleast one of you whistled at the frum guy on the bike with his messanger bag, remember?. I'm sure to hand me your digits (assumed from the way you guys were staring at me). Sorry, I couldnt stop my bike. Besides being chased by angry cabbies, I was rushing to catch minche among other things.

Please whistle again. We need to talk about those short skirts and exposed sexy legs you ladies featered. What an utter shande (of me, not to embrace them)!

Put in the subject line. Todah!

While I get the gist of the post, much of it is indecipherable, and I can only assume he is using some sort of code. I wonder if his bicycle had aerobars with payos, like this example spotted by a reader:

(All You Haters Unfurl My Aero-Payos)

Sometimes the speeds afforded by aerobars can actually shred your bar tape, which I'm sure is the case here.

Meawhile, in the secular world of hipsterdom, people do not identify the like-minded by curly earlocks, secret codewords, or magical undergarments. Instead, they use tattoos:

tattooed eating an apple - w4m - 27 (Grand St Williamsburg)
Date: 2010-05-25, 5:21PM EDT

Yeah right, shot in the dark-
but I saw you about an hour ago walking down grand eating an apple (?) Like 3pm?
I almost stopped you because I thought you were my ex, but when i got closer i realized your tattoos were different. Awesome you're not my ex, sweet that you're just as hot.
I was on my bike and riding back to work, so I couldn't stop but I wish I had the nerve to holla.
You were wearing shorts and a Tshirt a fitted and had sunglasses on. You're tattooed up to your jawline and had less tattoos on your legs than arms. short dark hair.
If I don't get a response from every dude in wb i'll be shocked. But you're definitely way hotter than the rest.

The fact that the poster was only able to tell this person apart from her "ex" by his tattoos indicates that we have reached a new level of superficiality in which our individuality truly is only skin deep. Indeed, people are essentially now just dating tattoos. The real danger, though, is that even the tattoos are becoming indistinguishable, and now pretty much the only way to tell people apart in Brooklyn is by actually reading their knuckle tattoos. (They are basically now just "hipster" serial numbers.)

Thank goodness for genital piercings--they may be the last "hipster" defense against inadvertent infidelity.

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