It’s almost time to return this exotic noodle to Bainbridge Island, and today I wanted to take it for one more ride before doing so. Unfortunately, it was quite wet this morning, and I dared not subject such a valuable artifact to the indignity of grit and grime. So instead I postponed the farewell ride and opted for another vintage titanium bicycle from Classic Cycle:
I hadn’t ridden this bike in weeks, and I’m not exaggerating when I say that as soon as I got on it I experienced an almost cartoonish “Pew! Pew!” sensation of exquisitely modulated speed. Now, I’m not saying I was actually fast, mind you, but it sure felt that way. Even as I seek out an ever-more upright position and increasingly spurn affectations such as clipless pedals, stretchy diaper shorts, and integrated shifting with precision detents, I continue to marvel at just how well I get along with this bicycle.
Furthermore, there’s something about road bikes and wet-but-not-actually-raining fall days that go very well together. The soft light, the sound of rubber on wet pavement, a light seasoning of road grit on your bare calves… In this context the skinny tires and the silly clothes all make sense somehow.
Then of course there’s the foliage:
I took this photo on River Road, just across the Hudson in New Jersey, and the local equivalent to, I guess, the Marin Headlands, or Forest Park in Portland, which is to say an easily accessible and highly popular cycling destination that is no less beguiling for it.
While the autumnal hues speak for themselves, what you cannot see is the tableau I’d just passed. See, I’d just descended the fabled Ranger Station climb, and as I was picking up speed I noticed what appeared to be some roadwork up ahead. Drawing closer, a shape came into view, and I could have sworn it was a set of human haunches. As I got even closer, I realized I was correct, and in fact what I had mistaken for a construction site was in fact some sort of amateur photo shoot consisting of a guy with a smartphone snapping shots of two women in lingerie outside of an SUV.
Being located so close to a big media center and all, River Road has served as the backdrop in all sorts of productions. I’ve seen people making downhill skateboarding videos. I’ve seen people filming and/or photographing fancy cars. (You can see River Road in various episodes of “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee,” for example.) I myself was tailed by a documentary crew here while riding with Lance Armstrong. (To my knowledge the footage has never been shown, probably because I attacked him on the climb.) And of course it was even in the movie “Big:”
However, this was the first time I’ve ever seen it used for such a saucy manner, and it seemed a strange setting for a boudoir shoot as opposed to, say, a boudoir. Then again, perhaps it’s precisely this line of trite, hackneyed thinking that has been keeping me out of a career in erotic photography all these years. Far be it from me to question the photographer’s vision.
Speaking of photography, you may be wondering why I didn’t photograph the photo shot. Well, for one thing, I wasn’t about to go fishing in my jersey pocket for my phone while on a fast descent strewn with wet leaves. For another, I didn’t know the nature of the photo shoot or the people involved, and had I come to a stop and started taking pictures it’s impossible to say whether or not any of the people involved might try to stab me. Therefore, I decided it was in everybody’s best interest that I simply continue on and let them do the same.
And with that, I invite you to continue on with your weekend, and may your scenery be interesting.