Monday, March 29, 2010

I Want To Ride My Bicycle







So last Thursday was my birthday. Thanks for noticing. Assholes.

My present from my fiancĂ©e was a contribution to help me buy a bitchin' bike.

Bitchin' by the way was not one of her stipulations but, rather, my own criteria when picking out said bicycle.

The idea of having a bike for the first time in a loooong time is awesome for many reasons:
  1. It's good for the environment;
  2. It's fun; 
  3. If I ride to and from work every day I may begin to lose my work-pants-muffin-top and I won't feel my man boobs jiggle on the streetcar;
  4. I'll probably live longer given my current total lack of exercise; and, most importantly,
  5. Bikes are cool.
However, there is also a little tiny part of me that is apprehensive about hopping on a bike.

I haven't ridden a bike the entire 4 years I've lived in Toronto. Biking here isn't like biking in London, Ontario where I'm from. Biking in Toronto is aggressive. Biking in Toronto is a contact sport (insert tasteless Michael Bryant joke here).

To bike in downtown Toronto, you have to be super aware of your surroundings. Bikers here routinely yell at pedestrians, kick cars, swipe pigeons out of the air for mid-ride protein bursts - it's a serious business, biking in the T dot.

I'm hoping, Real Johnson readers and, hopefully bike enthusiasts, that you'll be able to help me out here. I've got a few issues and anxieties and maybe if you help me clear them up, hopping on the saddle (actual name for the seat, according to Wikipedia - see I'm learning), won't be so stressful.

Please tell me:

  1. I've always believed firmly in this line I remember from the 1992 film Roadside Prophets:
    "Why don't you wear a helmet?"
    "Because helmets are bullshit."
    Is this true?
  2. If helmets are not in fact bullshit, where do I get one and what is the cool shape to get? I feel like I should have one of those black skateboarder-type helmets, not the massive Lance-Armstrongy kind.
  3. Do I need to have one of those little straps to keep my pants out of my chain? Or should I just roll up my pant leg like early-90s era LL Cool J?
  4. Do I need a mud flap?
  5. Should I carry one of those cool multi tools for impromptu roadside tuneups?
  6. Is it still cool to take off the front tire and seat when you lock up your bike, or is that too "nineties" ?
  7. Do I have to start eating power bars now and/or should I start using the word "epic" more?
  8. Is it legally required that I have a bell on my bike? Or should I just get streamers for the handle bars like early-90s era LL Cool J?
  9. What's the coolest bike colour? 
  10. Last and most importantly, is it still cool to put a baseball card in the spokes so that my bike sounds like a motorcycle?
Any assistance you guys can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Also, in case they try to sue me or something, the image I created for this blog is a pretty blatant rip off of the one they use for www.ibiketo.ca, so I should mention them. It's a pretty good site. I'm sure the answers I need are there, but I just don't have the time to check it out right now. Thanks y'all.

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