Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Portland TV Station Discovers Fixed-Gear Bicycles, Punks in Cut-Offs, Its Own Ass (With a Flashlight)

First things first: I just found a fixed-gear blog maintained by a fixie rider out in Philly. If it's your cup of tea, check it out. Moneyquote, or rather, moneykoan:

A Zen Teacher saw five of his students return from the market, riding their bicycles. When they had dismounted, the teacher asked the students, "Why are you riding your bicycles?"

The first student replied, "The bicycle is carrying this sack of potatoes. I am glad that I do not have to carry them on my back!" The teacher praised the student, saying, "You are a smart boy. When you grow old, you will not walk hunched over, as I do."

The second student replied, "I love to watch the trees and fields pass by as I roll down the path." The teacher commended the student, "Your eyes are open and you see the world."

The third student replied, "When I ride my bicycle, I am content to chant, nam myoho renge kyo." The teacher gave praise to the third student, "Your mind will roll with the ease of a newly trued wheel."

The fourth student answered, "Riding my bicycle, I live in harmony with all beings." The teacher was pleased and said, "You are riding on the golden path of non-harming."

The fifth student replied, "I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle." The teacher went and sat at the feet of the fifth student, and said, "I am your disciple."

And it's from his blog that I came across this predictably fatuous, but surprisingly long article on fixed-gear fashion on the website of a Portland TV station. Moneyquote, to the extent that there is one:

What's going on? Have bike commuters across the city given each other a gigantic dare? Have gear shifters become too expensive?

What has happened is that Portland's tastes for fitness, counterculture and simplicity have all melded into one thing, and it is called the fixed-gear bicycle.

Kids these days, what with their old skinny bikes with no brakes and weaving in and out of traffic with their flourescent bags and their blinking red lights . . .


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