Friday, August 27, 2010

Rhododactylos Fordos: Here Comes The Big One

As I prepare to heave my intellectual flab onto the pile-on of Toronto cycling bloggers, I do so with the same cautious optimism that has seen humanity through all Dark Ages.  I believe the coming four years will warrant much introspection and reflection from the Toronto cycling community.  Toronto's self-flagellation by municipal election has spilled considerable ink (and hastened the thermodynamic collapse of the universe through copious electron use) and imbecile-turned-professional-imbecile Rob Ford's election looms.  But even if the rosy hues of Ford's panting mug fail to rise on Toronto in the wee morning hours of October 26th, the mood reflected in the polls will remain.  And that's something Toronto cyclists will need to deal with.

That's not sweat he's bathed in; that's glory.

One wishes Toronto residents could simply ride their bicycles like normal people, but given the confusion and rampant mitosis of cycling into various alt.cultures, no one seems to know what a normal person riding a bike looks like anymore.  Oh yes, certain amongst us have tried to tell the rest of us, from hyper-correct Cyclists who observe every decorum like an Obsessive-Compulsive John Forrester to Danish pervert-turned-socially-acceptable stalker Mikael Colville-Andersen, who thinks pictures of the fatuously fashionable traveling trivial distances on cumbersome bicycles will move the rest of us to life-altering epiphanies about ecology and sustainability in style.  Yet fashion never translates into real life and so the confusion remains.

Fortunately Toronto is not Copenhagen (people who think it should be should try pronouncing 'Søren Kierkegaard' correctly and then count their blessings).  Though people are the same the world over, regionalisms and inherited attitudes drive apart what universal physiological and psychological traits bind together.  Muddy York was built for the bourgeois carriage and the pedestrian prole.  Toronto, on the other Oury grip, was built for the car and people genuinely seem to like it that way.  Toronto is not a cycling city.  Christopher Hume, The Toronto Star's Urban Affairs snob, got it right: "Cycling in Toronto is a joke."

And (in Dr Seuss's style of adroit brevity) this blog will be to that theme.

Casting about for an apt name for the blog I seized on iClogTO for a few very, very poor reasons.  Firstly, it's a lousy parody of Toronto's heretofore most successful cycling blog, I Bike T.O.  Secondly, it's a cheesy coalescence of the terms 'cycling' and 'blog'.  Thirdly, the lower-case 'i' is 'strategically positioned' to capture the 20-through-40somethings audience by referencing their Borg-like tendencies to mate with their Apple technology and achieve unity of identity with it.

The Dutch cultural reference is also highly convenient; Dutch cycling being all the rage, even though most consider the Dutch to be a funny lot.  Cycling does factor quite highly in Dutch culture, however, as is seen in this obviously official question from the Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidsbewijzen's written test:

A government commission from Mikael Coleville-Anderson's pre-Cyclechic portfolio.
In fact, the Dutch, if the Americans are to be believed, practically invented cycling.  Like you, I'm eagerly awaiting Curbside Cycle proprietor Eric Kamphoff's blog entry on how the Dutch practice of cycling in clogs was the sole source of inspiration for Batavus to design pedals specifically to allow for the use of foot covers with excessive and vestigial soles (or F-CEVS for short) while cycling through the use of large wide black foot platforms.  I think they call them 'pedals'.  Ha, those Hollanders!  What a funny language they speak!

Anyway, finally and least importantly, the blog's name is a funny cyclist-holding-up-traffic pun and potty reference all in one.  I like to be efficient.

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