Full disclosure: I don’t know how to ride a bike.
I remember when I was a kid, I had just taken my training wheels off and I was moving like Paul Newman in Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid (one of my favorite out of place sequences in film. It's of note, that Newman did all his own bike stunts because the stuntman couldn’t figure out how to do them LINK) .
Well anyway, I was riding being monitored by Grandma, when I turned a little too hard and fell on the curb. No major injuries except to my pride when Grandma proceeded to laugh. I vowed never to get on a bike again.
My bike hate has increased every year, but has gone up exponentially at Berkeley. Berkeleyians ride bikes without breaks, don’t pay attention to stop signs, and somehow manage to make their children on bikes look douchey as well, instead of cute (an incredible feat). My bike hate was at an all time high, I actually went to lengths to inform local criminals which bikes are not locked up properly.
I’ve now reason to question my vow like a monk that stubs his toe. There's a new book about bicycles, but for the first time they are finally interesting: Hollywood stars sit on top of them. Hollywood Rides a Bike: Cycling with the Stars (amazon) contains more than 125 pictures of Hollywood stars of yesteryear riding their bicycles (Link). And what a slice of life they are. These people have extraordinary cars and they ride bikes not for transportation, but for fun.
Some might say that the book advertises unsafe cycling because none of the actors/directors wear helmets, but this is only because Hollywood stars have perfect balance. Take a look at the photo of the rotund Hitchcock executing a textbook left turn signal. The man was 72, normal people need to balance their fiber at that point.
But the ultimate in inspiration, the real reason I’m getting back on a bike, is Bogart. How many people on earth could get away with putting their hand in their pocket while riding a bike and manage to look entirely awesome? I didn’t even know it was physically possible.
I no longer care about learning to ride a bike, I only want to learn how to ride a bike while my hands enjoy the comfort of my pockets.
The Hollywood Defender