Tag Archives: bicycling

No Country For Old Hipsters

An excerpt from the novel No Country For Old Hipsters, wherein a Texas sheriff tries to cope with a brutal string of fixed gear bicycle-related violence and considers the possibility that he is no longer cut out for his line of work.

The man stepped away from the bicycle.  Chigurh could see the doubt come into his eyes at this greasestained figure before him but it came too late.  He placed his hand on the rear tire valve like a faith healer.  The pneumatic hiss and click of the compressed air sounded like a door closing.  The back tire popped and the bicycle toppled over.  Bits of rubber peppered the man’s face and eyes carrying with it his slowly uncoupling world visible to see.  Chigurh wiped his hand with his handkerchief.

Urban Olympics II: Summer Bicycle Triathlon

Another post in the Urban Olympics series.  This morning I tested out Philadelphia’s urban bicycle triathlon course.  The Philly UBT consists of four stages and three events.  The course map is below:

Philadelphia's urban triathlon course (click for bigger view)

A primer on the Philly Urban Triathlon for the unfamiliar:

Stage 1: Time Trial (Point A to Point B on map)

Starting at Point A (21st & Pine), bike your way to Point B (15th & Pine).  The lights are timed and you must maintain a minimum speed of, oh, pretty fast, to get through them all without stopping.  One minute time penalty is assessed for every missed light.

Stage 2: Cool Down (Point B to Point C)

For this block, you reduce speed and lower your heart rate in preparation for the stop at Broad & Pine.

Stage 3: Witty Banter (Point C)

You must wait through the duration of one light at point C, during which time you make witty banter with the UArts students who hang around the corner of Broad & Pine at 8:10 in the morning.  The lower your heart rate, the wittier you will be.

Stage 4: Death Slalom (Point C to D)

For the last leg of the race, you must continue down Pine from Broad Street to 10th Street.  This stretch of pavement is atrocious, filled with more potholes, crumbled asphalt, and bad patch jobs than smooth concrete.  A popular area for taxi hailers, you must slalom between the bike lane and the car lane while avoiding taxis and moving vehicles.

Final scores are a combination of total eclipsed time and number of witticisms registered with the art types.  Automatic win if you get a phone number.