Friday, April 1, 2011

Comedy, Cobbles, and Cars

The first day of April brings with it the traditional pranks - chalk in the pull-down map (do American classrooms still have chalk, let alone maps?), tainted coffee, and whoopi cushions on the teacher's chair. In addition to these classics, April 1st also means internet journalists' attempts at humour. To wit:


The Cyclingnews article is pretty good, but it can't beat this "quote" from the Velonews story:

“It should be the man, not his balls, that decides the outcome,” Ditte stated emphatically.

Not his balls indeed.

But it's not just cycling websites that have had the April Fool's bug bite them. If you've seen the newest Buick commercials, you might have thought they were also an attempt at an April Fools joke (and not just because they are attempting to focus their marketing on a younger demographic):

At the five second mark, as the narrator is saying that humans have 3,000 thoughts a day, you get a quick glimpse of a fixed-gear bike that apparently needs to be plugged in:

What the joke is here is that Americans for certain don't think about bikes throughout the day. Most of them don't even think about bikes when they have cyclists on them. Perhaps that's not entirely fair. Americans do think about bikes when they are inconvenienced enough to have to pass them on the street, no matter how fast the cyclist is riding - including times when the speed limit is being exceeded. In town here the speed limit is 20 miles per hour, a speed that is not difficult to surpass on a bike, yet every driver for some reason feels the need to pass me. Clearly I'm not slowing them down since I am breaking the law myself by speeding, so it must be something else. What is that something else? It's the same something that compels dudes with small "packages" and smaller brains to jack their trucks (that they use to haul groceries and drive around town) up six inches and add huge wheels and tires - a sense of misguided ego. Every cyclist has felt it when they come across a kid riding a BMX, or an old guy on his townie; you just have to chase them down and pass them. But what separates the two is that you are not seriously exceeding the speed limit and putting peoples' lives in danger to overtake them on a bike.

And that's no joke.

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