adventure, bear grylls

5 modern trends that make your life more inconvenient 

Words: Josh Rakic
Photography: Flickr/Lwp Kommunikacio

Doing simple things the hard way is clearly in vogue, but here’s why we think they’re not worth the hassle

It’s near impossible to walk down any street, read any website or watch any video these days that doesn’t feature someone performing an otherwise menial task in the most inconvenient way possible. We’re talking the deconstruction of innovation, anything from five grown men assembled to hand-select Columbian coffee beans and grind them individually for a cup of joe, to gearless and brakeless bikes.

Somewhere along the line, doing simple things the hard way became a badge of honour. Right or wrong, here five of the most inconvenient trends today.

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Fixie Bikes

Second only to the penny farthing as the most ill-conceived of bicycles, the fixie is effectively a deconstructed bike, devoid of gears, brakes and comfort. It’s the bicycle devolved, a mode of transportation that’s only marginally more convenient than a unicycle. Of course, it’s the skill required to stop the thing without crashing, the calf workout, the lack of working parts and the cardio burn that make them popular – even if they’re supremely inconvenient by comparison to a 10-speed.


We’ve come a long way since the frontier days of the 19th century, but there’s an increasing fashion for getting back to basics and forgoing tents, mosquito nets, propane barbecues and blow-up mattresses in exchange for sleeping under the stars – literally – on a bed of sticks. In a digital world with so many distractions, it makes sense – and the pics and videos on Instagram are cool – but do we need to wind the clock back that far? Not all comforts need to be sacrificed.


Why not use a canoe instead? It’s lighter, smaller, there’s less drag, and less room for malfunction. But there are some pros to a waterbike: the model that allows you to connect your own bike is basically your own personal bike ferry if you want to paddle to an island and then explore it by two wheels. But still.

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fat tyre bikes

Because more friction and resistance is what we need when riding head-on to an onshore gust with sand whipping into our faces. OK, you can ride on snow and sand, but with only a single gear and heavier than five modern bikes combined, fat tyres require more effort than walking, defeating the very purpose of the invention of the bicycle. They’re fun to bomb down snow slopes, but good luck pedalling back up, and they might be great for fitness, but bad for your daily commute.

Stand-up paddleboarding as a mode of transport

Chris Bertish achieved what no man before him has ever done by crossing the Atlantic Ocean solo on a SUP. It’s a mean feat of endurance and a death-defying effort worthy of commendation for the charity factor alone, but when there are perfectly good planes available to cross the ocean, why not donate the money spent on building the tailored craft, supplies and preparation, to charity and simply cross the Pacific the same way everyone else does in the 21st century? It’s way safer and more convenient. At the very least, use a two-ended paddle and take a seat. Bad jokes aside – epic effort, Chris, well done.

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