Thursday, September 3, 2009

MFM Day 5: la bonne vie

September 3rd, 2009, MFM Day 5

Am I French?

Song of the Day: Faure, Piano Impromptu 2, Op31.mp3

Against: I don't smoke, I don't really like wine, I don't like Jerry Lewis at all, I'm not rude (but I can be contemptuous), and I love to cycle.

For: I don't shave my armpits, I believe in Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité, and I love cycling.

Am I French enough to be partaking in a motor free month? Would a self-respecting Frenchman partake in a motor free month? It's sort of a running joke with C_ and I that I am some sort of Parisian in America (nod to Gershwin there), riding around on my single speed cruiser, coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other, bottle and baguette in my pannier, striped shirt and beret to complete the scene. The irony being of course that I've never been to France, can't speak a lick of French (nod to Larry Bird there), and have no French heritage in my blood. So I have no basis for assuming that living motor free is somehow more French. It just feels French somehow.

I rather think however that the typical Parisian rides only in a suit, on a black 3 speed, and mainly at night after the bars are closed. Cigarette, oui, but a mobile phone in the other hand (I must admit I do that more often than I should). Wine and Bread are probably closer than a bicycle trip so we probably don't see that too often either.

Could it be that the French love cycling more than they love to cycle? Now that does sound French. In love with the idea of cycling, yet uncommitted to the act. That's perhaps why they revere their cycling heroes as they do, and so fiercely declaim ours. The French put cyclists on a pedestal because they love what a professional cyclist represents; a total commitment to the purity of cycling! très magnifique!

Americans are more the opposite. We have no patience for the ideal of cycling! But we love to do it. We do not make heroes of our cyclists. We make an exception for Lance because we enjoy watching the French stew over his success. But on the whole, cycling is something children do, not full-grown adults! And yet, we love to cycle! Are we not frequently accused of trying forever to reclaim our youth? How else does one explain the anti-wrinkle creams, gym memberships, and myriad transplants and implants?

Am I being stereotypical? Oui, yet complementary to both cultures.

And there's just no explaining the Aussies:
Russell Crowe challenges reporter to a "Bicycle duel"

As for le jour itself, it was fairly uneventful; bike to work, back home for lunch, back to work, to the store after work to get coffee, cheese and bread (quite Continental, no?), and then with C_ to the Fort Collins Brewery to pick up our weekly vegetables from our CSA, Grant Family Farms (more on them next week). I brought along our glass "growler" (see picture) to fill up with locally-produced ale as well. We were concerned that we would have trouble fitting all the vegetables and beer into our backpacks! But it turns out the CSA ran out of boxes of vegetables so we consoled ourselves with a pint at the tasting room, filled up the growler at least, and went home. Then it was off to the track, and then back home once again to make dinner. We were going to make a pizza with our new vegetables but we had to make do with only last week's vegetables. Tout à fait patetique! But just as we were ready to put the sad little pizza in the oven, Connor from CSA showed up with a personally-delivered box of vegetables. Un miracle de pizza!

Speaking of CSA, tonight we're off to old town to see a movie called "Food Inc." Should be fun to hit old town on a Friday night with our bicycles!


  1. Hey Scott ~

    Thanks for the email about MFM. I will be following and feeling guilty every day that I drive! Did you know that Sep 22nd is World Car Free day ( That week is an annual Green Commute Challenge at work -- maybe I'll join you for the week. That will take some doing with scheduling meetings.

    Anyway, I commented on this particular blog entry 'cuz another bike blog I visit occasionally went to France this summer. Here's a link with photo of a bike with a baguette in the pannier!


  2. thanks for the tip on world car free day, I'll blog on that for sure! Also thanks for the other blog link, that's a cool one! And lastly, thanks for following along!