The Rise of an Evil Anti-Car Multinational Conglomerate

As soothsayers of the Sacred RAC priesthood like Rob Anderson will let you know time and again on his own blog, and sometimes on ours, all this talk of bike plans, Level-of-Service reform, parking restrictions in new development, and greening boulevards is nothing more than a thinly-veiled assault on our national right to drive freely and not pay for it.

At first I thought he was demented, but after recent developments, I’m starting to come around.  MTA traffic engineers are re-timing signals for bicycle speeds, the Mayor’s office has vowed to push forward at least 40 bicycle routes as soon as the bicycle injunction is lifted, and the DPW is trying out radical street closures to give space back to pedestrians.

And now this, the last straw, a new plot to bring down the private automobile, one horizontal corduroy khaki pant at a time.

A tipster forwarded this video showing the Cordarounds Bike-to-Work (egad!) pant that has reflective seams and pockets for greater visibility while riding a bicycle at night, and the cyclist is clearly having too much fun:

After snooping around a bit, including a call to the maker of these troublingly fashionable pants, Streetsblog San Francisco has unwittingly stumbled upon a sinister ruse to make cyclists more visible while maintaining a dapper cut, which will inevitably lead to more cycling, which will lead to more bike nuts infiltrating City Hall and demanding bike lanes. 

Lindland’s Cordarounds founder Chris Lindland said that his company has sold through four runs of the
bike-to-work khakis in five months and they are considering a jacket
project and might even make bikeable suits and formal wear.

Lindland also suggested that his customers have formed affinity groups:

Communities have certainly developed around our clothing concepts —
that’s the big idea behind our brand.  Cycling’s just getting started,
so I look forward to see what happens there over the coming months.

even inspired an Instructables Light Up Your Ride contest, where anti-capitalist tinkerers have
usurped the corporate blinky light monopoly and made DIY
reflection devices for their own bicycles.

As the automobile Goliaths fall to their knees amid record sales declines, a new David is on the rise.  Consider Cordaround’s motto, "An evil multinational conglomerate has to start somewhere."

It gets worse: Lindland boasted that the "clothing company" he started in 2005 is building a 1000 foot pants-shaped Zeppelin, an ode to walking, which will no doubt hover menacingly above the advance battalion of reflective bike-bloc cavalry and well-dressed corduroy pedestrian infantry on Carmaggedon Day.

Here is a rendering of the dreaded blimp before it takes out a beloved national landmark:


  From the company’s multi-modal transportation promoting blog:

Yes, now that we’ve sold pants to customers as far away as Dar es
Salaam, we’ve built up a modest advertising budget.  Of course we could
go the standard route, placing ads in such venerable publications as
Filbert’s Haberdashers Quarterly, Pant and Leg, and The Corduroy
Intelligencer. But instead, Cordarounds has decided to build a blimp so
big that it blots out the sun.

Know that with each Cordarounds
purchase, you’re not only getting a pair of world-class, aerodynamic
corduroy pants, you’re contributing to a much bigger cause — a cause
so big, it will be able to house a crew of 500, plus livestock.

Law enforcement agencies underestimating the effectiveness of bicycle fanatics need look no further than the radical anarchist plot to bring down civil society in New York City, sometimes labeled interchangeably and erroneously Critical Mass or Times Up! Those ne’er-do-wells distracted Bloomberg’s NYPD long enough to allow Janette Sadik-Khan to infiltrate the Department of Transportation, where she has been wreaking havoc on the city’s once proud automobility.

The signs were all around us, San Francisco… how could we let it get this far?

  • a good idea for practicality’s sake, but fashionable? not so much.

  • Jeffrey W. Baker

    I found them quite good-looking, cochon. Unfortunately mine did not fit properly, but if they had I would have worn them proudly.

    As it is, I’m wearing some Swobo pants to Critical Mass. They’re a local company, too.

  • “…nothing more than a thinly-veiled assault on our national right to drive freely and not pay for it.”

    Of course screwing up city traffic has nothing to do with “rights”; it’s really about common sense and, as this post tells us, it’s also about fashion and accessories. It’s just oh-so-cool to ride a bike in SF for the with-it crowd, regardless of the dangers and the impracticality. You have to get the right bike and the right bag and flaunt your bogus sense of superiority whenever possible on the street. Now if industry can only come up with a helmet that doesn’t mess up your hair…

  • I used to be with it, but then they changed what “it” was.

    Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s “it” seems weird and scary to me.


  • Car culture involves no stylistic considerations, macho-drives, or inefficient impulses.

    All cars are built purely for basic transportation needs, and no drivers are motivated to buy vehicles, drive them, etc. by anything other than the safe practicality of such a mode.

    Stop trying to be cool you weird cyclists!

  • Ironically of course, the most “with it” bikes are the ones that strive most mightily to be the least adorned.


  • Pat

    Why do so many people seem to think looking awful on a bike makes you safer?

  • Pete

    Oh Rob, you continue to entertain us around the country. Everyone knows that if you don’t wear a helmet you don’t mess up your hair!

    I’ve driven in San Francisco traffic. Yeah, it’s the bike riders that are screwing it up…. right…


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