One less thrill in Mr. Skinner’s Wild Ride

Here at Eugene Bicyclist, we are extremely proud of ourselves (which is a strange thing to say because there is only one of us). Anyway, we believe we have just accomplished our first bit of public service journalism. And if anybody ever tells you that government never gets anything done, don’t you believe them.

I thought it was time for a return to Mr. Skinner’s Wild Ride, also known as the 12th Avenue path between Olive and Oak streets. That’s the one I posted about a couple of weeks ago where a trench was rudely cut through the pavement and left there for months. It looked like this:

After that earlier post, I received a couple of e-mails from city officials promising — more or less — that they’d get right on it.

Well, I rode through there on Monday, and …

Patched! How I would have loved to have been there to scratch my name in the wet concrete.

The real credit, though, should go to the alert cyclist who e-mailed me about this public outrage in the first place. You know who you are. Thanks for the tip! And thanks to whoever it was who fixed the path.

* * *

Speaking of road construction projects, I’m also happy to report that High Street as Paris-Roubaix is no more. It is now like riding on glass, with blindingly white stripes and cycle icons.

* * *

OK, let’s say that one is not willing to risk the $1,500 unauthorized-possession-of-a-milk-crate fine. Or that one is simply a law-abiding type on principle. Or that one wants to separate one’s self from the fad-loving hoards — while still acknowledging the sheer utilitarian grace of the bicycle-mounted milk crate. What then? What does one do?

One does this …

The bicycle-mounted fruit crate! Which should serve as a reminder of how endlessly inventive and fertile is the human mind.

I especially like how carelessly attached this crate would appear to be: the jauntily askew bungee; the whole crate cantilevered dangerously out to the left.

What is the message here? Well, I think the message is unmistakable, and at least as forceful as that made by an illegal bicycle-mounted milk crate — if not more so.

It is, of course, a blunt rejection of the bourgeois trappings of mainstream culture, of rampant consumerism, of  … of … you know, stuff like this:

Oh, sure, perhaps you find yourself seduced by the streamlined Mid-Century Modern stylings of this little beauty. Really, though. After you cough up the $84 it will cost you to take this baby home, will you really feel any more fulfilled?

* * *

I know I’ve been poking fun at the milk-crate craze lately — but I wouldn’t make fun of it if I didn’t have such an abiding affection for its ingenious practicality.

I mean, let’s consider the alternative, shall we? Here are a couple of examples of what we might call the “scales of justice” method of carrying home your groceries:

* * *

And finally, I had a thrill the other morning. Heading by the Safeway on Coburg Road, I spotted this …

My hobby, you know. You remember my hobby, don’t you? I collect dead cell phones that I find in the bike lane.

And then about 30 feet farther on, I saw this …

That’s the blow-cushioning rubber skin, which valiantly did its best to shield its fragile charge. Alas, being run over numerous times in heavy traffic was clearly well beyond its protective limits. (Perhaps like a cycling helmet.)

Pieces of phone were strewn over this whole stretch, and I solemnly collected them for proper burial.

And, by Jove, if it isn’t … yes, it is …

A Nokia! They’re always Nokias.

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