Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Consume


There was a guy that used to come in the shop that said something to me that I'll never forget. He was a successful neurosurgeon and single so he was pretty well off. Being the dogged salesman I was at the time, I was trying to steer his interest toward a Masi Team 3v we had recently received.

Naturally, he was impressed with the sparkling silver machine. His eyes widened as I explained the build possibilities and glorious rides he would have on his new steed. I showed him saddles, hubs, and pedals. Handlebars, stems, and tires. I sensed his excitement and genuine enthusiasm. I had him hooked.

And then...he stepped back a bit, looked up and gazed away as if in deep thought. "No" he said. "No. I'm trying to be less acquisitive." He could see that I was a bit perplexed. I mean, this was a Masi Team 3v! With Record! And he had the dough to buy it right then and there. A drop in the bucket for him. He seemed to read my mind. He laughed to himself a bit and went on to explain that "to be acquisitive is to constantly, no... habitually acquire things. I'm trying not to do that anymore." He then walked around the shop for a few more minutes and finally left. I was still confused.

I thought about what he said for a long time after that. I thought about my struggles with money, debt, and perpetual desire for instant gratification. I realized that I was guilty of being a mindless consumer with a thirst that was never satiated. I understood. I agreed. I finally decided to follow that path as well. I paid down the credit cards and other outstanding debts I had accrued. Eventually I was no longer a captive of the "system". My father was right, but it took a near stranger to slap me the fuck out of my negligence.

With "Black Friday" on its way and stores preparing barriers and security forces for the onslaught of mass consumerism, I take solace in the fact that I know I don't need that shit anymore. I boycott "Black Friday" not only for the tremendous inconvenience it creates, but also for the twisted ideals it represents.

So if you find yourself on the ground being trampled by the zombies of consumerism making a mad dash for the limited supply of "must have" gadgetry. Think about what Mel said. It won't remove the Reeboks from your anus, but it will set you free.

Hard Entertainment

Thursday, November 15, 2007

World Cup Ready


Few things in the world set my heart a-flutter like a new bike. The Prologo saddle ain't my steez. It will soon be pawned off to some wide eyed Colnago goof.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Deathwish


It's Saturday night and Kazumi is driving us home from the theater. I've been down and out with the flu the past few days and was sawing some logs because I probably shouldn't have gone out in the first place (the things we do to keep the peace...). Anyway, I'm nearly in dreamland and I feel the car slow down, coast, slow down, coast, slow down. It was enough to rouse me from my slumber and find out what the hell was keeping me from my warm bed. First I looked over at Kazumi. She was leaning over the steering wheel straining to see something deep in the distance under cover of night. I followed the path of her gaze and squinted to locate the phantom that had slowed our progress. As we both gazed into the darkness, a shape clad in black floated into the pools of light thrown by our headlights. It was a dumb motherfucker on a beach cruiser weaving purposely down the center line of oncoming traffic. It's one thing to do stupid shit when it only hurts yourself, but to drag other people into culpability is fucking ignorant. So, Mr. Retardo, I put the heat of Charlie Bronson's cold stare on you.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Indiddlydee!

Once in awhile something comes along that shakes the world of cycling to its very foundation. It is with great honor that I present to you the esteemed cyclocross frame of tomorrow: The "Ned Flanders"



"Oh my God! It's gorgeous!"





Daffy Dan poses with lust incarnate.




Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Hallelujah Brother!

Another one for the "must see" list.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Wisconsin Has More Than Cheese

The wife and I escaped this past weekend to southern Wisconsin. If you've never been there, I recommend it highly. Early November is a perfect time to visit because of the changing colors and empty state parks. It also happens to be a state, like Illinois, where motorist's turn signals mysteriously fail to work and speed limits are mere recommendations, not laws. But that's another story for another time. I strongly recommend to bring your bike. There are some great rides to be had.

Our first day was spent in Madison, home of the Badgers and a cycling friendly downtown area. Good food, good coffee, and nice people. Madison also flaunts several bike shops. We went to Yellow Jersey out of convenience.



As you walk in, you are treated to a colorful archway of various new and used frames. Many of which cater to the needs of the fixed gear crowd. A fixed gear trend in a big college town... go figure.




Also serving as greeter at the front door is a case full of vintage collectibles. One can peer through the glass longingly at leather Binda toe straps, Superbe Pro calipers, and Nuovo Record hubs to savor the sweet taste of yesteryear, when riding bikes was "purer" and "harder".




A plethora of tubulars were strewn about haphazardly. Many popular, and exclusive brands available for the novice on up to the world cup bound uber crosser.




The Nagasawa caught my eye. It was a beautifully brilliant red with silver sparkles. I'd read about them online and seen many photos. Yet, as most of you know, photos and copy fail to capture the essence of a bike. So, I took advantage of the opportunity to study this one with my own eyes.



The Record group was a good choice. It would have built up equally well with Dura Ace, Force, or Red. Though, I wish all manufacturers provided a top shelf polished alloy crank as an alternative to the prevalent carbon models. When I see chromed stays and/or lugs I think the polished parts complement the frame in a much more desirable way.




The lug work was classy as expected. I also like the fact that the cheap looking black Record calipers weren't used. The steel fork is pretty much dead these days, the flat crown steel fork is even deader. I'm glad it's not more deader than it already is.



AACK!! WTF? What's with the baby-turd looking stem? That damn thing belongs on a Trek 720. I didn't see a sold tag or anything. There was a price on the frame. What gives? Why not finish the job with a fine looking stem? Or, at the very least, one that's proportional? That's ten demerits, Yellow Jersey! Regardless, you've got a fine shop with a history rich atmosphere.




The next day we went out to Barefoot Beach State Park near Lake Geneva. I have to admit, I was a bit suspicious about what this place had to offer as far as hiking and cycling when we rolled in. It looked like a big ass parking lot. I pulled the bikes off the roof and rolled around looking for entrances to some trails. I'm happy to report that we discovered some nice stuff to roll around on. It's got fine terrain for a cyclocross bike, if a bit flat. In an homage to the victory salute post, I can be seen above doing the reverse one armed salute. Surely a move best left to the cocky self assured rider that wants to denigrate the sorry efforts of the defeated. I think I saw Cipollini do this once. He was worthy of it. It is pure fantasy (note the lack of defeated riders to denigrate) for riders such as myself.