The Couch Bike
a collaborative work-in-progress, courtesy
The Bicycle Forest
Trading in his car for his new couch bike was the best decision Doug ever made. The past week has just been one adventure after another...

Doug knew he wasn't going to travel as fast on his couch bike as he used to in his old Ford Tempo, but it was still a huge relief to be rid of that rusty piece of junk. He figured the extra hour a day he'd spend on the commute to work would be a pittance compared to the time and money he had been sinking into his car just to keep it on the road.

On his first morning of work after acquiring the couch bike, he was so excited about the ride into the office that he was out of bed before the clock radio could kick in. He enjoyed a real hearty breakfast that day knowing that he'd need the energy to make it up the steep hills on his way to work.

When he went outside to the couch bike, he noticed that a thick coating of dew had settled into the cushions overnight. As he slowly lowered himself onto the couch, he could feel the water soaking into his underwear. At first, this felt really unpleasant. Then as he began to coast down the driveway and the wind started to flow all around him, it occurred to him that his immersion into the cold, wet couch was like a baptism. He took in a deep breath and started to see things in a whole new light. Pushing the pedals and cruising out of the neighbourhood, felt positively scintillating. As he merged onto the busy parkway, a Leon's furniture truck honked his horn. "Now that is customer service," thought Doug. "That delivery guy remembers the day he brought this couch into my life."
- Cheryl Fisher, gvalley.bike@sympatico.ca, July 20, 1999

Through the neighbourhood, the couch bike had been loath to exceed the elusive 10km/h barrier. However, after picking up speed on the downhill onramp and just managing to tuck in behind the draft of the Leon's Furniture Truck, Doug was aghast as he watched his speedometer slowly creep up to 80km/h.
- F. Abbot, July 21, 1999

Truck after truck honked, and Doug realized they were trying to tell him something. "My helmet! I should never go biking without a helmet." Just then a Volkswagen ploughed into the back of the couch bike throwing Doug into a stunning, out-of-control spin. Doug remembers little of the next moments -- he was going backwards for awhile, ran over a cat, saw another truck approaching (seemingly in slow motion) -- but the flight-of-terror ended without injury when Doug crashed through a picket fence and slammed into a gas pump. People ran from all sides asking, "Are you OK? Are you OK?" Doug replied "Never mind me -- how's my bike!" So they just left him there.

After reupholstering, Doug tried his couchbike off-road (this time with his helmet) and was quite pleased with the excellent suspension. Doug wanted to test the suspension on some more challenging terrain so he entered a downhill mountain-bike competition.
- Marc Adams, madams@uwaterloo.ca, July 22, 1999

The next downhill competition Doug could track down was a world-cup race in Austria. Doug bought a ticket from Canadian airlines. He paid only 300 dollars one-way, so he thought he had made a killing. Unfortunately, when he showed up at the airport, he learned about the surcharge for couch-bikes. He also had to pay a dangerous goods tax, due to the fact that the couch-bike had been built using dangerous materials in Burma. Doug would have to be more careful smoking on his couch bike from now on. He was also charged a "politically correct" tax because his couch had been produced using child labour. Doug didn't feel too bad about this fact though, it's better the Burmese kids were building couches than hanging out at the 7-11 causing trouble.

Things were going well for Doug until he tried to pass through customs in Austria. They searched the couch, and found drugs under the cushions. Apparently the Burmese children weren't as innocent as one would like to think. They also found $1.26 in change, which they confiscated immediately. Doug and his couch bike were thrown into an Austrian jail. The jail cell was uncomfortable, but luckily Doug had a nice couch to lie on.
- dave, dclimie@novatel.ca, August 06, 1999

Doug's brother, Wallace, was a criminal defence attorney in Albuquerque NM, and after discussing the matter with the Austrian consulate in Albuquerque, gained the concurrence of the Austrian prosecutor in a motion to change venue to NM. Doug and his couch would be extradited to the United States to stand trial. Wallace posted bail on his brother and the couch upon Doug's arrival. The reunion was tearful. Wallace, also an avid cyclist, had recently acquired a mobile toilet seat operated by handpedals. The two brothers, separated for many years rediscovered their childhood in pedalling along the city streets of Albuquerque on their respective vehicles.
- Richard Briones-Colman, RBriones-Coleman@NMPD.STATE.NM.US, August 06, 1999

The two brothers drew the attention of two fetching twin sisters. "Where have you been all of our lives, you unusual-bike building studs?" Doug and Wallace returned to their rented work space and quickly constructed two immaculate love-seat bikes. Upholstered in the finest fabrics, the two brothers and their twin brides pedalled off into the sunset, ensconced in crushed velour on their tandem love seat bikes.
- Pete LaV, fixedgear@hotmail.com, August 16, 1999