Urbane Velo

By: Matthew Karre Jun 1

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If given the wit and wherewithall (read: level of desperation), I’d start an Internet Weblog called UrbaneVelo. The content would focus on sophisticated (and perhaps sophist) cycling and conversational cycling. It would discuss in detail the guidelines for manifesting the talismans of sophisticated cycling.

Layout will include but will not be limited to the following: essays justifying riding style and etiquette, passive aggressive sound bites circularly defining said etiquette, a multi-part diatribe about which color ornamental shoe cover to wear during a 92 mile road race held in 95 degree heat, and made-up interviews. The interviews must be contrived because the likelihood of a well spoken advocate for sophisticated cycling participation actually existing is minimal. Besides, in true urbane, sophist-like ethos, hearing one’s own voice is better than hearing others. These interviews would heavily quote important thinkers and social icons usually without credit.

There will also be criticisms of certain cycling related causes. These will likely be the segments with the most substance and voice but will be infrequent enough that the essence will never have the fortitude to affect any change. An example of this criticism could include a call for reasoning behind holding a petroleum protest with the bicycle as the metaphorical center of the argument. Boycott petroleum, ride a bike. Ideally, show up to the boycott riding a brakeless fixed gear adorned with plastic spoke cards advertising the event, colored poly-ethylene pedals attached to a $200 elsewhere built frame that travelled the span of several seas before landing in semi-truck for delivery to the other side of the country allowing you to drive to the retailer to pick it up and take it home, skidding your petroleum based rubber tires down the yellow brick road of uninformed, write on this wall activism.

The first piece will be a guest editorial detailing the iconoclastic yet talismanic virtues of Twitter and Twitterable devices on proper road rides. Important topics include when and how to use, the never-found but overwhelming desire for pith and the importance of the number 140. It will cover the colorful history of everything from amulets, trinkets and jewelry displayed by professional cyclists in critical moments to certain gestures and movements riders make that sometimes dubiously affect race outcome and level of sophistication. Armstrong’s and Sastre’s necklaces, Anquetil’s removal of his water bottle from cage to back pocket, the salute when crossing the finish line, winner or otherwise, even warming creams and ornamental shoe covers are all important factors leading to the addition of cellular technology and thus abbreviated conversational necessity. The guest editorial, whatever the content, gives the sense of accomplishment, prestige and duration to the site despite its obvious lack thereof.

The end goal is to report and purport the guidelines followed by the superficial manipulators of cycling rhetoric and dialect. And with a quick nod to Plato and Jonathan Swift I remind that this may be sarcasm.



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