We Don't Belong Here

A Romantic Comedy
by
Maiah Ocando & Gabriel Torrelles

13 advantages of riding a bicycle that will make you better than anyone else

By Gabriel Torrelles on Tuesday March 6th, 2018



I have a new bicycle. Of all the useless stuff I’ve got it’s the only one I really use daily. I don’t play guitar every day, I don’t read the billions of magazines I’m subscribed to, but every morning when I wake up, I’m a little bit happier knowing that it’s in the garage and that I’m going to ride it.

When I’m on a bike, I’m better than you. At least, I feel like it.

I’m not another fucking guy justifying himself by driving a car.

I became obsessed with riding bicycles on a trip to Spain. A company I worked for sent me there for business, but I went only to 2 meetings and spent the rest of the time getting to know the city riding bike with my friends.

Having a bicycle is like being vegan, without the ridiculousness. It makes you superior to pedestrians by allowing you to go faster everywhere and still gives you enough vulnerability so that people in cars are actually afraid to run you over.

A bicycle was the first thing I bought when I came to the U.S. Thanks to one of those I got to know every Chicago spot every day.

I name my bikes after women I like that are not Maiah. The one I had in Chicago was called Marion (after Marion Cotillard), and I had to sell it when I came to Los Angeles, which broke my heart.

She was a Schwinn cruiser and I really loved her.

In Los Angeles, I live in Santa Monica, near the beach.

This is an unwelcoming city if you don’t have a car, but in our neighborhood, a bicycle is the only thing needed.

When I moved to L.A, I bought Keira (after Keira Knightley) at a Lincoln Blvd store called Bicycle Ambulance. When I bought it, I had almost no money (we spent virtually everything we had on the moving trip), so I chose the cheapest one. I don’t know much about bicycles, but the stoners who sold it to me looked reliable, and without giving it too much of a thought I gave them all my money, so even Maiah bought a similar one.

It was a Firmstrong beach cruiser. At first I used it only on weekends. Then I started exercising every day and went to the gym on it every morning.

However, Los Angeles is not Chicago. This city is not flat. It’s somewhat complicated and full of hills and slopes, and having a bicycle that brakes with a counter pedal in a town like this is just torture.

With use, the brakes stopped working properly. The steering wheel was completely twisted. The chain would come out without warning. More than once I was about to die without being able to brake while a car at full speed almost killed me.

Then, after the most terrible year of our life, we finally had money. Maiah went online, asked me which bicycle I was always looking like a hungry kid when we went to the store, and she bought it without telling me anything.

It arrived home on February 14th.

It’s a Schwinn Men’s Circuit 28 “Hybrid Bike with disc brake. It is beautiful, and I am madly in love with her. Her name is Sienna (after Sienna Miller), and as with Maiah, I do not only love her for how beautiful and incredible she is.

I am selfish, but I am also sincere.

I love her a lot more because of how she makes me feel.

1. You can get anywhere and take breathtaking photos of any city.

2. Parking is never a problem.

3. You do not have to respect traffic lights like pedestrians.

4. Everyone knows that you are someone who loves to exercise.

5. But you can still feel like a cool adult and not like an old man who refused to grow up and rides on a skateboard.

6. You have a bike lane that is only for yourself.

7. It is illegal for cars to overtake you. Once I was slower just to torment a vehicle that almost leads me back streets. I’m sure he almost had a heart attack.

8. You can exercise every time you ride on it.

9. And you can get anywhere without even sweating.

10. People will believe that you are a person who cares about the environment.

11. You can stay fit by making it entertaining as well.

12. If it’s a good bike and you take good care of it, it will last you a lifetime.

13. No one will judge you if like me you never wanted to learn how to drive.

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