A man who billed himself as an exemplar to the city's housebound was recently spotted slowly riding a jury-rigged exercise bicycle through downtown San Francisco.
The pale rider was a fortysomething, tattooed man who puffed away at a cigarette while both riding and talking. He spoke at an unbelievably furious clip and waved his arms about while conversing with the abandon of an overexcited football analyst.
If he could devise such a novel means of transport, he noted, despondent people feeling trapped in the city's housing projects and periphery could do the same. But this inspirational message was tempered by his loud and repeated statements that, should the opportunity arise, he would steal the very first bicycle he could, as his current ride was unsatisfactory.
For this he was unapologetic. He shrugged exaggeratedly and stated "It beats walking. You know?"
He then pedaled south, the wrong way, from Market onto Ninth Street. This, too, beat walking. You know?
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