Ever since moving to Reno, there hasn’t been much to be angry about.
Editor’s Note: The Angry Singlespeeder is a collection of mercurial musings from contributing editor Kurt Gensheimer. In no way do his maniacal diatribes about all things bike oriented represent the opinions of Mtbr, RoadBikeReview, or any of their employees, contractors, janitorial staff, family members, household pets, or any other creature, living or dead. You can submit questions or comments to Kurt at [email protected]. And make sure to check out Kurt’s previous columns.
Ever since moving to Reno two weeks ago, the Angry Singlespeeder hasn’t had much to be angry about. Compared to Southern California, life here is slow, relaxed, friendly and quite enjoyable. Traffic doesn’t exist. Road rage doesn’t either. Riding is absolutely world class and can be found everywhere. Rocky, exposed high desert terrain? Check. Lodgepole pine forests with loamy singletrack? Check. Techy-tech riding up creekbeds lined with aspen trees and lush greenery? Got that too. Mile-long hike-a-bikes through drifts of snow at 10,000 feet so you can enjoy a 4,000 vertical foot descent? Yup.
No matter where you go, the snowcapped Sierras tower above with authority, as do thunderclouds that pour down hail and lightning as you fly fish beside the Truckee River and stare up at the awe of nature. The jewel that is Lake Tahoe takes whatever remaining stress or anger you might have in your bloodstream and completely flushes it out.
Even in a week that found me visiting the ER due to a benign spider bite that grew into an infected abscess, the ER was empty, clean and the staff was incredibly nice. As much as it sucks being in any ER getting an IV, that short two-hour visit was strangely pleasant. I’m still waiting for the ER bill, so I’m sure my brief respite of peace and happiness will abruptly end in a raging uproar of f-bombs as soon as I open the mailbox.
Not having any TV whatsoever and not having read any newspapers or news websites has also helped. Ignorance is bliss as they say, and not knowing the numbskullery that’s going on with our government, society and the world at large is refreshing. I don’t even know what crappy movies are in theaters right now.
Yesterday I accidentally went to the Yahoo! homepage and saw a headline that instantaneously pissed me off; “Kanye West and Kim Kardashian Tweet the Arrival of their Baby”. Not only does it completely baffle me how these two wastes of skin get headline news for doing something that’s done hundreds of millions of times every day, but these two morons felt it necessary to Tweet the arrival of their spawn? Poor kid. Poor, poor kid.
While I’m on the topic, Yahoo! has got to have the most annoying headline writers in the news business. And because I write for a living, it particularly grates my skin. Part of the reason why I got rid of my Yahoo! email – besides the fact that it got spammed 10 ways to Sunday thanks to budget cuts in their email security – is because the news headlines that popped up before I got to my email each time were rage inducing. I just went to the Yahoo! homepage and here are the top headlines:
“Chad Johnson’s Unexpected Jail Visitor” – Who the hell is Chad Johnson? Maybe he got a conjugal visit? Why do we care?
“Bear mauls Alaska man who gave it barbeque meat” Sounds like he deserved it.
When you’re exposed to this stupidity every day, you grow immune to it. But when you stop watching TV and reading news headlines, on the rare occasion you do, your sensitivity to the stupidity is magnified. Are we as Americans really so dumb that reading about Kanye West and Kim Kardashian procreating somehow stimulates our feeble and undereducated brains? Shouldn’t we strive for more mind-expanding content? You know, like the dribbling diatribes of an Angry Singlespeeder?
One other thing that really gets me pissed – smartphones. Not necessarily the smartphone itself, but the toolbag that’s operating the thing. Repeat after me – I’m not skilled enough to drive and dick with my smartphone at the same time. If I see one more friend of mine trying to drive and text at the same time I am gonna grab the phone and chuck it out the window.
There is ZERO excuse for playing with your phone while driving. In fact, I firmly believe the penalty for texting while driving should be more severe than drunk driving. The reason being that when you’re drunk, you’re literally impaired. You’re not sober enough to make a sane and reasonable decision about not driving. When you’re texting and driving, you have full mental faculties (not saying much for most people) and hopefully have enough intelligence to realize it’s a bad idea. So yes, if you are texting and driving, you are a full-blown idiot and I hope you kill yourself before you kill someone else.
Besides driving, peoples’ behavior with smartphones is comical. Next time you’re in a public area, just look around and observe how many people have their heads down, absolutely hypnotized by this stupid device. Nobody talks to each other, and if they do, they’re constantly distracted from the conversation by the pinging of new incoming messages. Nothing makes you feel less important than when someone is talking to you and starts picking up their phone to check incoming messages in the middle of your conversation.
See what you made me do? Before I wrote this I was at peace, now I’m all pissed off. Okay, that’s enough. I gotta go for a long, hard ride. Hopefully I don’t get run over by some driving-while-texting schmucktard.