Bike Path of Righteousness: Signs from Above

(What's with minimalists and long lists?)

Having gorged myself on minimalism to the point of nausea, I have sought to settle my stomach by consuming some professional cycling (which is also the subject of my Wednesday Bonus Blog). Outsized claims, big corporate logos, extravagant bicycles--it's like dining on "comfort food" after days of queasiness-inducing "fusion" cuisine. However, all is not well in the world of colorful lycra, and I was dismayed to learn that Oscar Pereiro will probably miss the Vuelta a España (which is like the Tour de France, only with more vowels) due to a persistent hand injury:

Pereiro, of course, became the winner of the 2006 Tour de France after Floyd Landis was stripped of his title for allegedly placing a testosterone patch in the vicinity of his genitals. Landis subsequently wrote a book entitled "Taint Got Nothing To Hide," in which he proclaimed his innocence, and he also mounted a compelling legal defense in which he claimed that the testosterone spike in his blood sample was the result of his inadvertently brushing up against a shirtless Mario Cipollini at an evening soirée. (Cipollini's natural oils are rich in both hormones and gametes, and the great sprinter has accidentally sired numerous offspring in a similar fashion.) Unfortunately, the defense failed, and thus the record books will forever show Pereiro as the winner. As for Landis, he gave birth to a son in the spring of 2007, and while the paternity tests were inconclusive the child was born fully pubescent with blond highlights and a suntan.

I was genuinely saddened to learn that Pereiro's injury places not only his Vuelta but also his entire career in jeopardy, for the truth is that too many riders take their manual dexterity for granted. Meanwhile, Pereiro's situation is so dire he's running out of medical options and is turning to prayer:

“The Vuelta is pretty much out of the question,” Pereiro told El Faro de Vigo. As a last hope, Pereiro is set to visit the holy shrine at Fátima after conventional treatment failed to resolve the problem.

In this, I have two pieces of advice for Periero. Firstly, it's important to remember that God is a minimalist. Not only did He come up with the original list of 10 things, but He also made that list on a tablet, which is of course the minimalist's medium of choice. So be sure to drop an iPhone or similar offering in the collection plate. Secondly, should Pereiro opt to drive to the holy shrine, he should be sure not to park his car in the bike lane, because checking in with the Lord is no longer a valid excuse:

Not only were parishioners parking in the bike lane, but they were also parking on the sidewalk, as you can see in this video made by blogging crusader Peter Kaufman. I've also been inconvenienced by and taken photographs of these scofflaws, but after a cursory search I was unable to find the pictures in my archives (I suspect the Angry Minimalist in the Sky smote them from my computer), so instead I give you this photograph of Mario Cipollini subcutaneously impregnating three women at a time:

(The immaculate and unctuous conception)

Of course, it's somewhat ironic that a bike lane in Brooklyn Heights was liberated from so-called "God" while just a few miles away in Williamsburg another was sacrificed in "His" name, but the common denominator in both cases is the awesome power of incessant complaining to move mountains, and it's a decidedly worldly lesson that the "kvetch" is truly mightier than the sword . Had Peter Kaufman attempted to rally a bunch of his friends for a naked protest ride like the "hipsters" did, the outcome probably would have been much different. Indeed, by keeping his "sword" in his pants where it belongs, Kaufman managed to emerge triumphant.

Meanwhile, the pen can also be mightier than the sword, but only if you know how to spell:

I encountered this perplexing message on the new Prospect Park West bike lane in Brooklyn recently, and I'm not sure if it's the sincere protest of a moron, the ironic protest of a person who wants to make anti-bike lane people seem like morons, or just a simple case of somebody being frightened off by an approaching cargo bike before they could finish scrawling that final "B."

One wonders if similar messages appear in "Portlandia," the "first loser" of American bike cities according to "Bicycling" magazine, and now (as a reader informs me) the inspiration for an original comedy series:

Rest assured, "Portlandia" will feature the requisite cyclist stereotype character in the form of a "militant bike messenger," though it would be both funnier and more accurate if the character were an aspiring frame builder, since artisanal hand-crafters of bicycles and the people who want to be them outnumber messengers in Portland by something like 450-1. Plus, everybody knows that in Portland soup delivery people are the new bike messengers. According to a recent study, there are now exactly three classes of people in Portland: the people who work at Wieden+Kennedy; the people who deliver soup and coffee to them by bicycle; and the people who build expensive bicycles for all of them. In any case, I fully expect "Portlandia" to be off the air before Sacha White even moves on to the next person on his wait list.

Meanwhile, here in Brooklyn we have the Boneshakers bicycle-themed vegetarian café, where people sit around in silence hoping the objects of their affections will give them cryptic signs involving utensils:

boneshakers brunch girl - m4w
Date: 2010-08-18, 2:09AM EDT

I am too shy to ask you out, and even if you see this and reply, I'll be too shy (probably) to let you know who I am. But watching you elegantly stride around the restaurant wearing high heels and an apron makes my heart jump out of my chest. I know its corny to say, but your smile brightens up the whole day. When I saw you leave one day on the beautiful cinelli track bike that I drool over anyways, I think I fell dumbstruck in love. Someday I hope I get the you-know-whats to ask you out, but until then, I'll just keep watching your smiling face!
(If, by some luck you have an idea who this is and want to go riding or something, let me know by giving me a spoon instead of a fork?)

I very much hope she sees this, if only so that she will decide to confuse him by presenting him with a spork:
It's the most ambiguous of all utensils.

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