During a long day of working in the trenches getting my fingernails dirtied by the tetanus infested bicycles of my fellow Americans I sometimes let my mind wander and fixate on a few things that go against my romantic (some say geriatric) ideals of cycling.
As any boof in loose lycra and Nashbar shoes will tell you, we bike mechanics tend toward the surly lot in life. We like to rant about this and that, or any poor bastard that happens to run afoul of what we see as the integrity of two wheeled locomotion (which pretty much includes the entire recumbent riding population). Sometimes, it's merely a reflexive perry and thrust targeting the folks that chant the mantra "newer=better".
I'm sure this'll be a recurring theme here at the 'Spot. I never seem to run out of ammunition. I've also been a pretty contemptuous snob of late.
* Road frames and forks that lack clearance for more than a 23c tire. How hard is that R&D? Do you even ride?
*Sunglasses in the Pro peloton. Eye protection is important. So are sponsorships and looking cool. But it detracts from the power of the photograph. I miss the days when you could actually see the pain and suffering in their eyes. These days, their photographs remind me more of robots than flesh and blood. I vote for clear lenses.
*Race radios in the Pro peloton. There was a day when racers actually had to read races, keep tabs on breaks, and control their efforts without the constant buzz in their ear from the DS in the caravan. Lack of real time updates made races a little more unpredictable and the occasional suicide break (see Jacky Durand in the 1992 Tour of Flanders) more likely to succeed. I understand the need, but I'm kinda retro-grouchy today.
*Bike companies that spec the heavy aluminum seatpost with the "carbon" wrap. Note to consumer: A shit load of popular bike companies are taking advantage of your ignorance. Ask your salesman "Where's the beef?"
*Pseudo "Pro" bike shops that rip customers off with cheap parts that they can't readily identify as cheap. Is that really a 105 bottom bracket on your new "full" Dura-Ace C-50? Yup.
*People that scoff when I suggest steel as a viable frame material option.
*The asshole who invaded my space last Saturday and attempted to hijack my tools to fix his shitty old chain with three master links holding it together. Note to Asshole: I don't invest in tools so dickheads like you can use them and try to save on labor while bending the fuck out of a perfectly good chainpin. From now on, you pay double.
*Parents that let their whiny brats rip around the store on new bikes while knocking over helmets and hitting displays and then asking for one that isn't "used".
*The caller that asks a billion questions over the phone about an item and ends the conversation with "I'm still checking around, but thanks for the help". I bet you spend more time masturbating to the Excel Sports catalog than you do riding your goddamn bike.
*Dudes that check frame tubing by thumping it with their wedding band. How about I "accidentally" drop my allen wrench a few times while installing the roof rack on your Lexus.
Well, I guess that's enough for now. I'll let 'er rip again when I feel sufficiently downtrodden.