Note To Cyclists: Social Distancing Means Get Off My Wheel

Well, tomorrow’s going-fast-in-circles contest is cancelled along with everything else in the world, so I won’t be deploying my plastic bicycle:

But hey, at least I got it all computerized:

And let’s be honest, I’d almost certainly have gotten dropped anyway. Most of these people have been racing for weeks now, whereas I haven’t gotten my heart rate up since…well, since my final race of last season, when I also got dropped.

Anyway, with going-fast-in-circles races on hold, the arrival of my Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen is even more timely, and so far this is shaping up to be the Summer of Jorts:

Obviously the circumstances are lamentable, but that aside I’m totally okay with it.

By the way, regarding those of you who have commented with component and setup suggestions, I’d like to reply to you all at once.

  • No
  • No
  • Huh, yeah, maybe
  • No
  • Sure, I’ll keep that in mind

Additionally, I do think I should address the bike’s lack of fenders, which at least one person pointed out, and which are conspicuously absent on a bicycle so obviously ready to receive them. While I’m liable to change my mind, at this point I think this is going to be a “no fender” bike. Why? Because I have other bikes with fenders I can ride when it’s shitty out, and one thing I love about this bike is how fun it is to ride on dirt–and there’s less to worry about on an open-wheel bicycle when leaving the pavement. For all its mounting points and clearances I kind of like the idea of keeping it somewhat naked. But we’ll see.

Finally, speaking of coronavirus, and road riding, yesterday I was riding along River Road on the plastic bike you see above when I came upon a gentleman riding a track bike, which was notable inasmuch as River Road has lots of undulations and is the last place most people want to ride a track bike. There was a time many years ago when I might have thought to myself, “What an idiot!,” but now that I’m the sort of laid-back person who rides a Rivendell without fenders I instead mused, “Hey, that’s cool, whatever works. It’s good to see another rider enjoying himself while all this stuff is going on.”

My acceptance turned to disgust however when, as I passed, he forcefully cleared his nose. To be fair, he no doubt had no idea I was there–and yes, you could certainly argue that, given my aversion to the phrase “On your left,” I’d been hoisted by my own petard–but either way the fact of the matter was that I soon found myself riding through microscopic snot particles during a pandemic. My first impulse was to scream, “What the fuck are you doing, asshole?,” but I gave him the benefit of the doubt and suppressed it, and instead just waved hello to him like a schmuck.

So that, I figured, was that, and I kept riding, waiting for the fever and the dry cough to kick in. After awhile I forgot about him–until I happened to glance to the side and what did I see in my peripheral vision? The snot-blower was sitting right on my wheel! I had no idea how long he’d been there, either, since he emitted nary a sound due to his non-shifting, non-coasting bicycle with what must have been a laser-straight chainline.

This guy was not scoring points with me.

Once again I stifled the urge to say something, and instead swung off and sent him on his way with a wave.

Since then, I’ve been working from home and practicing social distancing, though of course I’ve been working from home for years now, and I’ve been social distancing since at least middle school. So for me, little has changed.

As for the rest of you, welcome to my world.

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