The city has announced its Bicycle Master Plan, complete with colorful map, so I’ve decided to announce my own Mercantile Bike Month Master Plan (MBMMP). Three words: “Mercantile En Masse”. In a nutshell, this involves Mercantile members (and, naturally, staff) biking collectively so as to stop traffic (with our uncanny observance of all pertinent rules of the the road) to a set location, preferably one that sells beer. I propose Grammers for three reasons. One: Grammers is great, aesthetically pleasing and has the most interesting array of on-tap brews, and Two: just to freak out the fixed gear devotees who frequent the joint. Three: It’s on this side of the river–Ohioans already spend way too much money across the river on booze.
Take another look this fabulous map to get a feel for what they have in mind. The big carats, by the way, mark “Memorable Hills”, a term with which I would like to register my whole-hearted approbation, as the term works both ways on the hills in this city. I just started Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne, an interesting text on his travels with a bike to various cities, liberally adulterated with his views on culture and urban planning, in which he claims that some of the least-bike-friendly cities are actually some of the most gratifying by bike. He cites another city of seven hills: Rome, but I can’t help but see a parallel here. Bike up to Mt. Adams some sunny summer day and tell me you don’t feel an intense and sweaty gratification when you finally gain the Church of the Immaculata.