This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Friday, May 10, 2013

America's cycling mecca

Saul Bellow once said: "It's as if the country was turned on end, and whatever wasn't screwed down properly rolled into southern California."
I believe those unscrewed down have moved to a more temperate climate. 
What brought this brilliant thought to mind was the absence of any American city among the bike friendly cities of the world.  So, what about Portland?   It's supposed to be a perfect city for cycling culture.  I decided to investigate.  Since I don't have the time,spare money or even the inclination to visit Portland, I decided to research the city using the the most active resource available, Portlandia.
   Apparently it's an attempt to document the only American city where jobs, ambition and coherent behavior is unnecessary.   Some of these "people" ride bikes.  Not very many do, most just hang out at coffee shops, gender biased bookstores or artisan shops like the one where Jeff Goldbloom sells knots.  The mayor, portrayed by Kyle Mclachlan, rides a bike while performing inane and inconsequential stuff.
 But those are the sensible things that happen.  
It's where Bill Walton got rich playing basketball, part-time between Grateful Dead concerts.
The rest of this show appears to be something Hunter S. Thompson was embarrassed to publish.  Portland must be peopled exclusively by children of Woodstock veterans whose chromosome integrity has been severely compromised.
  All in all Portland appears to be totally irrelevant to anything.  Of course I know the show is not real, it hasn't rained in the 10 episodes I've seen, that can't be Portland.  But then, I'm from the midwest where we keep jobs(sometimes for years)and raise children rather than watch them happen.  Carl Sandburg once called Saul Bellow's home town (Chicago) "the city with big shoulders," if it is, then Portland would have to be it's flaccid coattails flapping in the breeze.  I'm probably not cool enough.


  1. gotta throw my comment here... I've been to Portland, biked miles around the city and simply LOVE it. Let me just say, that I am NOT a hipster, but do work in a creative environment, and am politically liberally minded. 47 years old, married, 3 kids. There is not one place we went were I felt 'out of place', as almost everyone there is a little quirky, and everyone else simpy lives with it like it's no big deal. For a longer read on our visit...

  2. Oh, and I should add, we're going back this summer, and have two Bromptons we'll be renting from Clever Cycles. Can't wait!

  3. And I should also add, I LOVE Portlandia too. It does an outlandish job of capturing a small segment of the mindset that is Portland really well -- in a super funny way. And Fred Armisen is near genius.