High Priority

Riding a vintage titanium bicycle is a mission not for the faint of heart, as this primitive machine is liable to break at any time. However, I have willingly undertaken the risk, for it is of great import that future generations read my words and learn about the work of our ancestors. Given the huge cultural and historical significance attached to the undertaking with which I have been tasked, Mission Control has furnished me with replacement derailleur pulleys– which they sent PRIORITY, underscoring the monumental import of my endeavor:

Alas, I admit I have not maintained the PRIORITY momentum, for I have not yet gotten around to installing the pulleys. However, the envelope also included this very smart bicycle-riding jersey, which I pulled onto my torso immediately:

Presumably Mission Control outfitted me with this jersey so I would no longer have to wear the jersey of another bike shop while riding the Teledyne:

However, given that it’s been like 90+ American Freedom Degrees here every single day, it’s also possible that they sent me a black jersey in yet another attempt to terminate me once and for all. Still, I’ve never let the blazing hot sun stop me from wearing an all-black wardrobe, and I even paired the jersey an all-black plastic bicycle, as you can see here in the reflection of my favorite Selfie Diner in Yonkers:

Here’s a shot from the back:

Note the offset racing stripes, which evoke another iconic cycling garment:


It’s always eye-opening to see yourself from the back, even if what you see compels you to close your eyes. In my mind, as I’m riding, I imagine myself the very model of composure and souplesse, but were I to happen upon myself while out on the road my first thought would no doubt be, “Check out the sweaty beardo on the Fred Sled, the poor bastard looks like he’s about to keel over.” This could explain how frequently and decisively I am overtaken these days by my fellow cyclists.

Anyway, I’m not sure pairing a Classic Cycle jersey with a decidedly non-classic off-the-peg plastic bike of recent vintage is either appropriate or congruous, but it sure does match, and isn’t that what’s most important?

Of course it is.

And while I may not exactly be the platonic ideal of the sporting cyclist (my resemblance to a racing cyclist these days is impressionistic at best), I nevertheless greatly enjoyed my outing, which took me once again over the Tappan Zee Mario Cuomo Bridge, after which I stopped in the village of Piermont for refreshments before pressing on to the George Washington Bridge for my return trip to the City of New York:

It was definitely hot as balls though.

I’ll also say that after days of alternating between titanium bikes and then hopping on a plastic one, I’m tempted to conclude that there is indeed something special about that particular kind of metal. I don’t know if it’s the “planing,” or if I’ve just convinced myself that titanium does all the stuff people say it does, but even when I borrowed a Moots when I went to Steamboat Springs back in 2014 I remember thinking “Wow, this is a really nice bike:”

Sure, I got dropped like a tea tray on an ice rink, but I can hardly blame the bike for that.

In other words, I’m just another old guy with a titanium problem. I guess I should have seen this coming.

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