Friday, April 9, 2010

Affair? What Affair?

I fall in love with the big heavy studded tire monstrosity known as "Mutant Winter" in the Fall. I mean, I can ride over or through just about anything on it. And it has gears, 8 of 'em! It has the 2nd sexiest plastic tub in the city. It has pink brake cables. It is caked in road sludge and has rusty fender stays. It is slow-ish. It is perfect.

I also fall in love with a fixed gear commuter known simply as "Summer" each Spring. It is light and practical and fast-ish. It sports panniers of deep philosophical meaning that came from across the sea. It is my best build so far. It needs new bar tape and brake pads. It is perfect.

Once I have switched bikes with the seasons, I don't like going back. I like settling into the clothing and daily packing and riding patterns associated with each commuter bike and staying there. I also like to equip the bike with appropriate tubes and tools and just leave them on board rather than transferring stuff from one bike to another. I've been holding off on switching to "Summer" because there's a chance snow will fly again, but I can't take riding "Mutant Winter" in such fine weather any longer. Plus, MW's bottom bracket has passed well beyond creaking; it sounds like there are broken marbles in it. The whole bike needs a complete tear-down. Thus I have resolved to ride Summer through anything nasty that comes up between now and hot weather.

Anyway, I love them both, but at different times. If they were women, it would be like having two wives I totally adored and lived with exclusively depending on the season; a more solidly built one for winter and a lighter, more athletic one for summer. Both would be practical life-partner types who selflessly support me in getting through my day-to-day existence.

Original artwork: Fernando Botero - Woman With Pearls

Original artwork: Domenico Ghirlandaio - Portrait of a Woman

The thing is, I want more. Don't get me wrong, riding for practical reasons through the work week brings me joy every time I do it, but I'm ready for some weekend fun. As some of you may know, I've got a Trek 520 frame I've been meaning to do something with. Unfortunately, there has been little cash and even less time available to apply to my project, and I have not progressed beyond having a frame and wheels. Just the same, my heart (if not my shed) definitely has room for a third bike. This time, the kind of woman she would be changes entirely, since the bike isn't about day-to-day practicality, but rather about a partner for weekend adventures:

Original artwork: Emily Balivet - The Muse of Music

Now you can correct me of course, but I'm guessing that "Mutant Winter" and "Summer" might have a problem with my built-for-weekend-fun-bike-woman friend that I will name "Highway":

Yep, it sure would be awful, if it weren't for this staggeringly wonderful fact: They are all bikes. They don't care. In fact, they are not capable of caring, because they are just things. Holy man, do I love bikes. I love them most for what they are, but it would seem that I also love them for what they are not.

Be True.



Steve A said...

There is NO wrong choice here. But it is fun pretending...

Psyclepathic said...

I feel the same way about women, only with bike analogies.

danc said...

Hmm, reminds me of the Judgment of Rantwick (with apologies Lucas Cranach the Elder).

RANTWICK said...

Hey, danc! You're good, all right. Thanks for the effort needed to be as stupid as I am! Really though, the three would never judge me and the thought that they could kind of creeps me out. Bikes don't judge, right? Please tell me bikes don't judge.

GreenComotion said...

the trek is gonna be a tourer, ya?
may be you can ride to toronto or something?

i would love to see how you build the tourer!

peace :)

RANTWICK said...

Chandra - Yep, the Trek will be a tourer, and I will chronicle the whole process and link it together nicely.

There's an MS ride I would love to have it ready for, but so far I have been very slow with getting it done.

Kokorozashi said...

I don't know, I'm pretty sure bikes judge. My poor Schwinn has been stuck (that is, permalocked) to the house for months now (I have yet to get over myself and press my buddy's acetylene torch or angle grinder into service).

Every time I unlock my pretty green GT, I can just feel my Schwinn watching me with a heart full of sorrow ... and judgment.

Lots of judgment.

If the Schwinn could talk, he would say: "HAVE YOU SEEN MY CHAIN, SCHMUCK? Because I can't find it under all this rust."

Of course, it's also possible that I'm just nuts :)

crunchyveganwifelife said...

I have no idea why I am looking at cycling blogs, but my friend Chandra has one, so I guess I am investigating......I really like your blog, I mean seriously laugh out loud like it. I loved the affair, the Canadian honk and the Miracle!!
I also love to bike, but I do not do it often enough, I live in the mud caked

RANTWICK said...

Kokorosashi - I need to believe that you are indeed nuts. The alternative frightens me too much.

Vegan - Any friend of Chandras is a friend of mine... thanks for the kind words.

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