5 contentious modern trends that put inconvenience on a pedestal
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 pushbikes.
Somewhere along the line doing simple things the hard way became a badge of honor. Right or wrong, here five of the most inconvenient trends today.
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 is 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 are 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 push from folks to get back to basics and forgo tents, mosquito nets, propane barbecues and blow-up mattresses in exchange to sleep 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 Insta are cool! But do we need to wind the clock back that far? Not all comforts need to be sacrificed.
Use a canoe. It’s lighter. Smaller. There’s less drag. No room for malfunction. Won’t rust. And why be on the water if you don’t want to get wet? There are some pros: 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 …
Because more friction and resistance is what we need when riding head-on to an onshore gust with sand whipping into our faces … Sure you can ride on snow and sand, but with only a single gear and heavier than five modern bikes combined, fat tires require more effort than walking, defeating the very purpose of the cycle invention. They’re fun to bomb down snow slopes, but good luck pedaling back up. Great for fitness and ice. Fine for snow. Bad for daily transport.
Chris Bertish achieved this month what no man before him has ever done by crossing the Atlantic Ocean solo — not by boat or by plane or rowboat even, but by 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 Atlantic the same way everyone else does in the 21st century? Way safer. Way more convenient. At the very least, use a two-ended paddle and take a seat. No one’s watching. Bad jokes aside, epic effort, Chris.