Pet Peeves


Riding Attire

By Mark Crantz
By Mark Crantz


I’m exercised out after reading the Indy article, “Council Puts Wheels in Motion for Bike Safety.” I’m excited that the Council put the pedal to the metal to discover alternate biking routes to Coast Highway. It can’t be soon enough. And then I thought, what if council members, Toni Iseman, Steve Dicterow, and Bob Whalen, who did the alternate bike ride field study, were always available. See I like bike riding. I just don’t like pedaling. Sounds nice to imagine Toni Iseman pedaling me around on my rickshaw bicycle. “Faster, Toni. I want to feel the wind in my hair. First stop Marine Room Tavern. Last stop Sandpiper,” I instruct. Huffing and puffing, I imagine Toni calling back, “Pedal your self around. I don’t want your vote this much.” I answer back, “Save your wind. Safety first. Pass that trolley and I’ll vote early and often like I’m still in Chicago.”

Bike safety is long overdue. I support Senate Resolution 17, which encourages bicycle and pedestrian safety instruction in schools and at homes. But until passage, I will do my safe bike riding at Plein Stale Air of Fitness, if they’ll still have me. They have stationary bikes. When management isn’t looking I move them. Not far. About an inch at a time. They’re heavy. But after three or four months, management wants to know how stationary bikes got to the other side of the room. Nobody knows and that gives me time to move the stationary bikes back to where they started. Now employees and customers are huffy about management accusations over bikes that haven’t moved. To win back customers, Plein Stale Air of Fitness agreed to give free annual membership to any customer who turns in their at-home stationary bikes. Customers are elated with the gym’s promotional campaign called ‘Right to Bare Legs.” Plein Stale Air of Fitness is just glad to help get these toe stubbing machines out of harms way. A hitch in the campaign comes early when no one can find these stationary bikes. Decades of old clothing and reproducing hangers have made it impossible to find the bikes to turn in. Fortunately, California Closets comes to the rescue by providing free professional retrieval advice. Developed over years of teaching teenagers what a closet is and how to use them, the stationary bikes are found and turned in for the free membership.

Bike safety is a good idea. Passing trolleys or any vehicle on Coast Highway is a dangerous proposition and must be dealt with. But I also see fundamental problems with my rickshaw idea. You can’t make a councilperson run if they don’t want to. Second, councilpersons need to be all things to all people and will be conflicted with cycle enthusiasts who will want them to wear tight fitting spandex riding gear. Makes them more wind resistant and faster. But it shows everything. Politicians don’t like to show too much. They prefer the need to please rather than the need to speed. Politicians are questioning the science behind the spandex. “I rode in my knickers. My girlfriend rode in her bloomers. We didn’t make a spectacle of ourselves,” an old politician exclaimed from the ninth district nursing home. “I’m still running, right?”

The new bike safety regulations are stuck on two items. First, should riders forego skintight spandex for safety over speed? And two, should riders have to stick playing cards in their wheel’s spokes to make clickety-clack sounds to alert others on the highways and byways around Laguna? Black Jack dealers are against the misuse of cards. Kids are elated at the misuse of cards. Old people just want to know if they’re still running. The wheels of the bike go round and round.

“Next stop Mark, A.A.”

“Thanks for watching out for me, Toni,” I imagine to myself.


Mark is a transplant to Laguna from Chicago. He occasionally writes the guest column “Pet Peeves.” His recently deceased Border Collie, Pokey, is his muse and ghostwriter.


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