Together At Last

It’s been a turbulent year. We could all use a little cheering up this holiday season. Fortunately, White Castle has some fantastic news for you:

The simultaneous return of both mac and cheese is the sort of rare and fortuitous event most of us get to witness only once in a lifetime, like Halley’s Comet or [underdog sports team] winning the [important sporting event]. So cherish it.

After spending lots of time on the Eye of the Tiger Bike last week, Saturday brought rain, and so I undertook a little urban cruise on my Midlife Crisis Fixie:

This bike sort of fell into my chamois awhile back because I wrote about it for Bicycling–you know, being an “expert” and all:

Anyway, I resolved not to invest any resources to it and to enjoy it entirely as a no-frills locking-up bike. Now however it’s entirely clear to me this will be the jumping-off point for some sort of Midlife Crisis Fixie Mark II, not only because I’ve been enjoying the bike more than I thought I would, but also because no bike dork with a bin full of spare parts is capable of leaving well enough alone. Plus, working on bikes like these is so satisfyingly simple–like putting together Legos or making English muffin pizzas–that tinkering with them is well-nigh irresistible.

But Sunday the sun returned, and so I returned to the Rivendell:

So smooth and comfortable is the overall comportment of this bicycle that getting on it after riding the Eye of the Tiger bike and the Midlife Crisis Fixie back-to-back was like sliding into a bathtub full of warm mac and cheese. Generally by the time I get home from a ride on this bike I’ve hatched a plan to sell my many others and devote myself to it–plans that immediately dissolve like dreams upon awaking as soon as I put the bike away, but for those few hours its the only bike that matters.

Finally, speaking of the holidays, and midlife crises, and stuff with wheels that is satisfyingly fun to bolt together, the other day I headed over to All Hail The Black Market and got myself a little present that arrived yesterday:

It came with detailed instructions:

Yes, you’ve probably figured it out by now:

I’m acutely aware that every time I step on one of these things I run the risk of some injury that could keep me off the bike, so I only do so conservatively, approaching it like a fine Scotch–though if I drank Scotch like I rode a skateboard I’d dribble half of it down my shirt and repeatedly drop the glass. Still, the feel of a skateboard beneath my feet (to the extent I’m able to keep it there) transports me in Proustian fashion to the halcyon days of youth, which I suppose is a potent enough intoxicant that I’m willing to risk its powerful ability to literally transport my ass directly to the pavement.

Hey, riding fixies and skateboards may place me squarely in the “desperately clinging to the past” category, but as far as youthful affectations go it’s gotta be better than smoking and video games, right?

In the meantime, I need to get some grip tape, but maybe I’ll just wrap it in cork handlebar tape or even Newbaum’s instead:

I mean it’s already got the twine…

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