Monday, October 4, 2010

Tail Winds: Charting New Courses in the GTA

Well  I guess not.  A bum squeeze would be a nice though.
Or at least a discreet glance at it.  That's why you're wearing sun glasses, isn't it?

Coiled on my floor in the fetal position and sobbing uncontrollably for four days and nights, I transcended unimaginable levels of consciousness and apprehended the manifold subtleties of Cycledom.  Ascending higher and higher, I achieved unity with Cycledom itself in a dharmic coalescence of Being, joining, then sublimating, then rejoining again in throbbing blissful ecstasy.

Then my phone rang with a recorded message soliciting my support for Rob Ford's mayoral campaign, recaptured below in an artist's rendering:

Braying Ass asks: "Can we count on your support on election day?"
Torn so savagely from Enlightenment, I lost all memory of my ascendant voyage.  In a desperate attempt to regain some sense of what I'd seen, I set out in my bicycle in search of touchstones that would resonate some lost fragment of illumination.  Though I saw manifold instances of abhorrent imbecility, I found no great illumination, until I accidentally happened upon the Kindly Sage with the Clean Shaven Legs.

I doff my dorky cycling cap to you, Kindly Sage with the Clean Shaven Legs, in full kit riding some sort of aerodynamic spaceship shod with Zipp wheels that I passed on the Queens Quay.  I took no pride in passing you because I knew I was only faster because I was the fresher and not delirious with exhaustion from a morning's worth of sprinting.  When waiting for the light, you shoaled not, but stayed behind.  When the light turned green, you politely waited for me to move left around the oblivious janitor sweeping garbage in the bike lane.  And lastly, when my cleat missed the clip down stroke and my foot slipped off the pedal, nearly face-planting me into my bars, you looked on with magnanimity like a young man pretending he can't smell his date's fart, even though the paint has begun to peel from the wall, all in the hope that he'll get laid later on.  Like the young man's date, you let it pass in silence.

You, sir, are a peerless gentleman.  You cycle with serenity, teach by example, and magnify my own errors without uttering a word of condemnation.

The Kindly Sage say, "A tail wind propels only the inferior man; the superior man notices it not."

Speaking of genteel farts, I'm a little surprised to see that Martino Reis hasn't already documented the Urban Repair Squad's latest bike infrastructure protest piece in The Grange:

Phallus sharrow: Pharrow?
(Note judicious appliqué of Celeste; clearly an infrastructure snob.)

Unlike their last piece, this installation requires no hermeneutical key.  It's clearly the next installment of U.R.S.'s attempt to install infrastructure appropriate to all levels of experience, including no experience at all.  The pharrow system is specifically targeted to Torontonians incapable of personal responsibility and awareness of their surroundings.  Rather than paying attention, blasé Toronto cyclists need only to follow U.R.S.'s  directional pharrow, which indicates the suggested route of travel if one wants to ride like a complete cock: haphazardly down the centre of the lane, as fast as possible, taking no responsibility for one's actions nor giving any respect to others on the route, and ideally, whenever possible, straight at any flock of pedestrians and small children also using the path.

Frankly, I'm surprised that the U.R.S. has left so many other areas thoroughly under-serviced by such equal-access infrastructure.  I'm currently recruiting a battery of kindly hobos to assist with the installation of my own protest campaign for equal access:

At the moment, I'm targeting the main cock blocks: pretty much all of the downtown core and every kilometre of recreational path in the GTA.

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