"Nicholas Allander, 31--carless and careerless--is
trying to get his life on track while holding his head high. He's trying
to pay off his debt, impress his girlfriend, keep his job, cast off his
introversion, and accept the world's imperfections without abandoning
his heart. Unsure of what moves to make, though, he considers growing
his beard, taking up alcoholism, abandoning scrounging, and owning an
automobile--before too much slips by. All the while he clings to his
bicycle, a simple machine whose purpose and workings he grasps.
Nick's struggle to position his aesthetic within the world is the
story of a perfectionist who is far from perfect, who is considerate but
clumsy, and who may be invisible. Like Nick, A Simple Machine, Like the Lever is short, toned, observant, generous, purposeful, and brimming with bicycle wisdom."