I must duly confess, I was underwhelmed by the McDonalds Cycle Centre in Chicago. All good points aside, it employs painted mild steel showing some rust spots, buries the program underground (that only defense!) and carries the taint of a fast food joint trying to bike-wash itself pure. As an entity, it also has an overly high opinion of itself, supposing to be showing the way, when in some regards, it’s eons behind. Let me explain, pumpkins.
Its users are jocks, and this is their gym locker. They ride to work as though their commute could not be conceived in other terms than those of a workout, that just happens to finish up here, where they shower and go about all that homoerotic posturing designed to intimidate; guys acting like that leave me wondering what vital things I’ve forgotten from when we were apes.
But folks, I pedal hard on my way to work too. Only I do it on an old heavy bike, not one that needs Fort Knox for protection. I would also rather keep my bike in, or right near, my office, than have to walk from such a central parking facility. By any other name, that’s a mode change. Okay, so I’m blessed with a body that perspires with no discernible scent (that I can discern) so I don’t need a shower. I also have my own office, in which I can cool down, then change into clothes I keep there, on hanger over the ironing board I also keep in my office. We don’t all have that luxury.
So I’m not saying the McDonalds Cycle Centre is of no worth. It propagandizes for cycling, and fulfills the needs of a select few. Plus, with such gulfs between rich and poor as they have artfully achieved in America, I have no doubt my oldest bike would even be stolen, if I lived some place like Chicago. It would be sold spoke by spoke to buy crack. I accept Americans’ special need for secure bicycle storage. I guess if the McDonalds Cycle Centre weren’t made from rusting old steel, I would have more nice words to say.