Not everyone is fortunate enough to own a hot rod. In my case my preponderance for all things beer related make my transportation choice of really low chopper bicycles a logical one. Even in an advanced state of inebriation, the low center of gravity ensures that I get home safely. The lack of engine and license plates usually assures that I will not attract any kind of attention from those damn federales.
I also just don't have the patience to be fucking around with internal combustion engines. Every one of my hot rod buddies throws at least one over-the-top fit a week. High blood pressure, uncontrollable fits of rage, flying tools, busted knuckles and empty bank account. I think I'll just stick to booze and bikes, less complicated, less stressful.
That said however, everyone needs to get somewhere. We all need some sort of mode of conveyance to get us from point A to Point B. We need to get to work, carry tools, get groceries, abandon the kids somewhere very far from home or maybe make a real quick getaway if we just happened to have robbed a bank.
Most people find that a regular car or pick up truck will serve their needs well. People who work in large cities sometimes prefer public transportation due to downtown congestion and high cost of parking. Urban dwellers who are fortunate enough to live in temperate climates sometimes choose to bike to work if it's close enough.
Sounds fairly straightforward, logical and efficient. Think again. Wherever there are sensible solutions and instances where common sense should prevail, rest assured that are throngs of idiots and douchebags who cannot grasp these concepts or consciously go against them in some misguided attempt at rebellion.
Vancouver, being a quintessential West Coast city, has a higher percentage of hippies, weirdos and just plain fucking idiots. Their lack of intelligence, ability to make good decisions, sometimes lack of hygiene and sometimes sense of self-entitlement cause them to make truly mind-boggling choices for transportation. Let me elaborate.
1. Public Transportation.
I have covered my adventures on the proletariat chariot in an earlier post , but I want to reiterate my absolute disdain of buses. It's not that the system in this town is inefficient, it's the yahoos on the inside of the bus. I've ridden buses in Vegas, New York, Boston, Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto and let me assure that this is the worst . Every filthy bum and messed up crack head mooches free rides and always want to engage me in some sort of demented bum conversation, I've been threatened (almost smashing my guitar in the process), broken up fights, listened to many loud pointless conversations and smelled odors that no human should ever have to smell. In the evening certain bus routes become rolling drunk tanks. Everybody is drinkin' right there on the bus, most are hammered and they are havin' a grand ole time; all at ear splitting levels nearing 130 dB. Better off walking.
2. Roller Blades.
I wonder when roller blades became an acceptable form of transportation. In the fifties , these were called roller skates and had four wheels like a car. Some steroid filled sports freak (albeit probably a rich one by now) decided to put the four wheels in line.
Some people arrived at the conclusion that it was a good idea to go to and from work with these, completely oblivious to the fact that a) they are slow as shit, b) they are dangerous and c) you will look absolutely ridiculous.
There should probably be some new by laws created preventing sports shops for EVER renting roller blades to tourists. Yeah sure it's amusing to see the people lurching about and act like a spaz, but their total lack of motor skills makes them a public hazard. Also you can look at morons spazzing out for only so long before getting angry. Get the hell outta my way.
3. Shopping Cart Convoys.
Many bums and crackheads are content to simply ride around their stolen bicycles. Some of the more clever ones have managed to steal one of those kiddie trailers so they can go around stealing even more shit.
Then you have the bums who have their trusty shopping carts. You can hear the ubiquitous and very annoying sound of hard rubber wheels on pavement, and junk rattling around in a metal frame in every alley. Some bums have convoys of three or four lashed together like a miniature freight train laden with crap, stolen crap, crap they stole from you and empty beer cans. This is why the proverbial bum fights occur, beer cans.
One particular recycling place is at the top of a rather steep hill. Once the bums have sold the cans they are in a mad rush to get some crack, so they ride the shopping cart down the hill. They get on the back of it and drag one foot as a rudimentary brake. They are determined, so they usually blow right through stop signs. To paraphrase the Darwin Awards, they are improving the gene pool by removing themselves from it.
4. Art Cars.
This type of affront to cooler sensibilities and general aesthetics is illegal in many states and provinces. In Texas these things actually draw gunfire.
5. Dumb Bikes.
Once again, the hippie type of circular logic comes into play. It seems however that some of stupidest ideas that hippies have ( and there are plenty let me assure you) always seem to revolve around bikes.
It is not to say that only hippies have dumb two wheel concepts, I question the reasoning and logic behind riding a $ 5000 road bike in full spandex regalia 3 miles to an office job. Only a hippie however would think it's a good idea to ride a unicycle as a primary means of transportation. I hear circus music in my head every time I see one. Same goes for those tiny folding bikes.
I have discussed fixed gear bicycles in this forum many times. Hippies and hipsters alike are fond of these contraptions that have no freewheel ( they pedal forward as well as backward) and no brakes. It's always amusing to see these fashion victims attempt to stop if they get cut off as the bike careens back and forth as they attempt to "stop" by pedaling backwards.
The real hard core hippies, who's lack of ambition is only matched by their lack of skill, are fond of crappy old mountain bikes. They will often get a few cans of different colored fluorescent spray paint and " paint" them. There is far to much labor involved in disassembling a bike so they usually just paint the whole thing. Chain, pedals tires; everything. Some of the craftier ones like to put macrame in the wheels, this increases the annoyance factor and in their delusional minds, is a way of stickin' to the man.
They somehow manage to find some hippie dude who actually knows how to weld . They will bring him a few old bike frames and he will cheese them together one on top of another. All the other hippies will be impressed.
People often criticize me for my excessive hippie tirades, but this speaks for itself. Who else but a hippie would think that's it's a good idea to ride a bike that is 8 or 10 feet tall. Considerations such as stopping or maybe getting off the bike are no obstacles to the hippies' desire to own one of these foolish contraptions. The reason they ride is because they actually think these things are cool, but they might as well be carrying a very tall sign that says very clearly in block letters " I"m a fucking idiot, and I want the whole world to know it". Enjoy your trip to the hospital hippie ( at least you will be forced to bathe).
6. Green Machine.
As I have mentioned in the past hippies have always had and , still to this day have, a natural affinity for VW micro buses. They still manage to find these pieces of shit in running condition. They will get the old spray bombs out and proceed to paint crude rainbows on the side, but they will always be searching in vain for parts and guys that know how to fix them.
These vehicle were a bad idea right from the moment of conception. A big metal box powered by a 60 hp air-cooled engine. Hippies just seem to embrace bad ideas, and along with bad musical choices, this car seems like a great idea.
What completely eludes them however is the lack of a catalytic converter or any type of anti-pollution devices spews black smoke straight out of the exhaust pipe. With all their green posturing and organic dogma the most basic fact is not anywhere near their grasp. These shitboxes spew out more toxic fumes than a couple of Peterbilts combined.
It's not that I have anything against these behemoths. I'm a red-blooded dude and these trucks just quicken my pulse. It's impressive to see these things up close. All the heavy-duty suspension parts, quadruple shock absorbers and massive tires just reek of testosterone. It's just that I wonder what they are doing on the street. Unless you are running the Baja 500 it's more or less pointless to be cruising down the boulevard. Adding to the confusion is that some of these have very expensive paint jobs, so it would be madness to take them off-roading in the bush. But then again........ this is starting to hurt my brain dammit.
Maybe they just drive these things knowing that they will never get a parking ticket because the parking enforcement dude can't get to the windshield. Or maybe not unlike myself, they like to scare hippies.
Happy motoring and as for myself, I think I'll just get on my bike and get some beers, cuz I sure as hell ain't walkin'