|They even have a Parisian Existentialist interpretive dancer named Ennui.|
Not surprisingly, the staff of Bloor St salon Curbside Cycle , eagre to capitalize on Torontonians' vanity and love of all things European, pump the Toronto market full of Dutch Delusion in a way that would nauseate even the staff of Europe Bound (you know, the store that's 'strategically positioned' directly across from the Mountain Equipment Co-op on King St purely by coincidence?). Taking cues from socially-acceptable stalkers such as Scott Schuman and Mikael Coleville-Anderson, Curbside Cycle staff photograph the fatuously fashionable with their vintage bicycles and then analyzes the combination with dismaying superficiality. In a particular instance of poor judgment-bordering-on-negligence, these so-called cycling professionals extol the minutae of the rider's attire while failing to address the most obvious mechanical defects of their bicycles (a reasonable expectation from a bicycle shop, or so I thought).
Consider their recent entry on a self-concious satorialist named Amy:
|Sorry Amy, but you just made it onto a Don't List.|
Amy's wardrobe, environment, and bicycle co-ordinate well in this picture. The reiterated blue, black, and silver 'colourway' shows an attention to aesthetic detail. Attention to mechanical detail, however, shows a bicycle with kinked brake housing eminating from poorly positioned brake levers, a drooping shift cable, a conspicuously absent bell, a rear axle that's suspiciously forward in its dropouts, and a quill stem that I'd wager someone else's firstborn is raised past the minimum insertion mark.
Or consider the even more dismaying bicycle ridden by Dejana:
|Being flat-chested is OK, but being flat-tired isn't.|
The poorly installed front basket that's impairing the front brake and pressing the front fender into the front tire; the misaligned brake pads; the questionably high quill stem; and (one weeps to see it!) the under-inflated rear tire that's practically squatting to the ground. Never mind that she's riding on the sidewalk...
Unfortunately, these types of bicycles are increasingly coveted as an accessory to fashion. The basket is an especially de rigueur accoutrement (this is fashion, daaaahling). A brief survey of Toronto's ring-&-posts reveals a veritable infestation of vintage cruisers with baskets, often clamped where baskets were not meant to go. Consider this noteworthy abomination I spotted near College St & Ossington St:
|Will this really be the fate of Eduardo Bianchi's legacy in Toronto? Really, Toronto?|
Bicycles such as these are not meant is implements of transportation. They're meant as implements of fashion. They're meant to communicate their rider is the type of person who, in the most sagacious words of Christian Lander,
"lives in Europe and rides around an old city ... [Who] wakes up and rides to a little cafe, then visits bakeries and cheese shops and finally rides home to prepare a fancy meal for their friends who will all eat under a canopy with white Christmas lights."Decorating bicycles with flowers is another common fashion statement that necessitates interpretation. I initially interpreted the statement as a wistful expression of charm, but after carefully reviewing the literature on the subject and conducting extensive forensic field research (i.e. I paid off a bunch of saddle-sniffing bike mechanics), I hereby propose that these floral arrangements are, in reality, a subconscious reflection grooming habits and submit the following hermeneutic legend to decode the arrangement motifs. As always, I endeavor to remain teachable and am open to correction and further edification.
For example, this one telegraphs: trimmed and maintained
This frame's clean lines imply: bare minimalism.
This one: wild 70s porn bush
And this one: ...razor burn.
Unfortunately, the latter is a defect no amount of hands-on wrenching could fix...