Monday, July 6, 2015

[Bleep] Bahrain

Among the worst places in the World to ride a bicycle is the banking nexus and oil producing/refining Kingdom of Bahrain. Reputed to be biblical Eden, today it is naught but desert island with neither fresh water nor trees of knowledge or life. Too bad, could have been fun riding all Durrat’s manmade atols and petal beaches, real cruiser bike territory. Entire country is so small, just one quarter the size of Rhode Island, you could ride its rather flat perimeter in less than a day, though tough to do in native gutra scarf and thobe cloak. Locals claim its 2,500 miles of highways and main roads are dangerous, have no bike lanes, many just gravel, and typically carry vehicles zooming along at 60 mph. Bicyclists are barred from the King Fahd Causeway that connects Saudi Arabia to this once “Pearl of the Persian Gulf”, now no more than toxic wasteland. Amnesty International is on country’s case for human rights violations against children and women, not surprising since its accursed monarch is secured by pernicious petroleum trade. Graffiti depicts citizens murdered by rulers in recent civil unrest. Motorists and truckers there don’t respect vulnerable users, though the same occurs in many American cities.

What have they, or whoever else harbors resentment, got against bicyclists? To be sure, cyclists are humans who compete for resources, more than enough reason to hate. In particular, cyclists are healthier, don’t waste fuel, have more sex, and smell of sweat in their spandex, which frightens the tar out of conservative civilians. By all means, cover your asphalt with cars, and lock up your daughters, maybe even your sons. A marauding horde is right now rampaging across the lowlands of Holland en route to France. Expertly equipped with motorized support, pelaton platoon may be fast but isn’t really formidable, sometimes snarls traffic, and won’t spend at tourist traps or steal anything larger than what they can stuff in jersey pockets.

To retain benefits of pedaling without access to real roads, a new fad begun in Boston has spread from city to city: CycleBar and SoulCycle franchises popped up everywhere. By applying Orangetheory Fitness routines of Exercise Post-oxygen Consumption (EPOC) and target zone training strapped to heart rate monitors, customers get to simulate expediently and safely indoors what they used to experience naturally and vitally outdoors. Some even mimic scenery and smells while they speed along exercise sessions with Cycle Beats (random songs about 130 beats/minute not necessarily related to cycling, unlike Velobeats’ remix beeps), so you can get back to work faster and produce more profits for billionaires and kings. Spinning costs more than cab fare, doesn’t provide transportation, but you don’t have to deal with cabbies or real cyclists, or learn anything about your community, so can’t be all bad.

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