It’s not exactly the most colorful time of year in this part of the world:
But you can rest assured I’m doing my part to liven it up with this eye-watering 1989 Specialized RockCombo from Classic Cycle:
My son calls this the “Eye of the Tiger” bike. Sure, that song is a good seven years older than the bike, but when you’re born in the 21st century ’80s ridiculousness is ’80s ridiculousness.
Also, like the Specialized, Survivor is a “Rock Combo:”
Note that for maximum zeitgeist points I’ve even paired this proto-gravel bike with a handlebar bag:
For those of you who are averse to the aesthetics of lofty quill stems, note that one advantage is that they do provide extra luggage space between the handlebar and headtube:
In addition to being extremely useful, this luggage fills the aesthetically objectionable void created by the stem in a glorious synergy of form and function.
At this rate I expect the Specialized Diverge to come equipped with a mighty quill by model year 2022.
Or they could just re-release this bike pretty much as-is instead:
I suspect they’d sell a bunch of ’em, too, especially now that Crust Bikes is on hiatus and there’s a shortage of steel throwback ramblers. (Not that I root for big bike companies to bogart sales from small bike companies, but don’t think the big “S” isn’t already thinking it.) Speaking of which, I put something Crust sells on my Festivus list, and it looks like the order got in just under the wire:
I’m not supposed to have seen this, by the way, so don’t tell my wife.
Speaking of 800-lb gorillas, the other day I purchased some Gorilla Glue:
Which I used to repair the sole of this Shimano SPD shoe I bought years ago on super-duper closeout:
As a Time ATAC user it was essential for me to curate a pair of dedicated SPD-cleat shoes so that I could utilize these (more or less) period-correct Shimano M737 pedals with the Eye of the Tiger Bike, and so I resurrected these and swapped the cleats out accordingly:
I still need to adjust the spring tension on the pedals though, because right now they release more quickly than a teenager on date night.
These particular shoes live at the intersection of ugly, practical, and dated, and as such I’d say they’re pretty well-suited to the RockCombo, which arguably resides in the same neighborhood. However, ideally you’d want to pair a bike like this with more colorful footwear, and I’m pleased to report a certain Barry Wicks has just come to my rescue.
You most likely know Wicks as a bike racer of considerable renown, but he also draws on stuff, and I’ve shared the deerskin gloves he sent me on numerous occasion:
At first I thought they were kinda silly, but I wear them all the time now–partially because it turns out they’re awesome for riding, and partially because I’ve decided that as the world’s only surviving bike blogger I’ve totally earned the right to ride around in obnoxiously monogrammed leather gloves.
Anyway, given this, I was intrigued when Wicks reached out to me some weeks and asked me if I wanted some bedazzled Vans. I confirmed that indeed I did, and yesterday these babies arrived:
Oh sure, they may be a little exuberant for a crotchety old fusspot like me, but I can assure you that both my kids were blown away, and they make a bold statement both coming…
Also, Wicks is at least two grades ahead of me as an artist, as you can see from this diorama I made with my son a couple days ago–and when I say “made with” I mean “made myself while he barked orders and critiques at me:”
And yes, I am fully aware that Santa bears more than a passing resemblance to Eric Cartman.
Meanwhile, look at my shitty background, and then check out this dazzling landscape:
Note how it really comes to life when you put a cartoonish dinosaur in front of it:
I may have to Gorilla Glue that baby to the shoe.
And yes, you’re goddamn right I’m actually going to wear these–not only because I’m way into sneaker bikes now, but also because my current Vans are both dour and worn:
Indeed, if I keep trying to pull off the occasional pathetic ollie on my skateboard to impress the kids I should be down to bare skin by 2026:
Amazing to think there was a time in my life where that would actually happen to me…and even more amazing that after all the time I still suck at ollies. But hey, back then I was an unkempt kid in drawn-on shoes, and now I’m an unkempt adult in drawn-on shoes, so in that sense my life has come full circle. (And if you want some for yourself or someone who could use a spring in their step reach out to Barry Wicks using the Instagram above.)
Finally, speaking of looking like you just stepped out of one of those psychedelic Beatles cartoons, look what else came in the mail:
You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I did lick it, and I proceeded to trip balls for 14 hours.