Feeling All Tingly

I was enjoying a leisurely autumn ride this afternoon when, on this very path, I encountered a buck with formidable antlers:

I approached trepidatiously, concerned it might attempt to gore me in self-defense, until I remembered I had some decent antlers of my own:

Perhaps realizing this as well, the buck ran away before I could get a decent photo, but I did get a shot of it in the woods:

What, you don’t see it? That’s because it’s camouflaged! Here’s a closer look:

Isn’t nature something?

The Colnago Bititan, on the other hand, has no camouflage whatsoever:

…unless there happens to be a Gran Fondo nearby, of course, in which case it would vanish right into it.

Speaking of the Bititan’s rack, you may have noticed the disappearance of the Avocet 40 hi-tech wired bicycle computer:

See how it’s reading 1.5mph? I’m slow, but I’m not that slow. Well, Paul just sent me the correct Avocet hub magnet ring so I could get it working properly, but I still couldn’t get it to work properly even with the ring, and until I’m able to give it my full attention I’ve simply removed it, because I can’t stand anything more than looking at a non-functioning bike computer while I ride. In fact, that’s why I eventually gave up on them until the Age of GPS; now, as long as you keep your device charged, odds are it’s gonna work just fine.

Anyway, I’ve been enjoying getting to know the Bititan–not just the way it rides, but its history and its place in the cycling firmament. I was particularly curious to know if my impressions of it matched contemporary reviews, so I was quite intrigued by this one from 1994:

While the size of the test bike is different, it offers some insight into the geometry:

The review notes that it’s “perfect for jockeying for position in the field sprint,” which is not too different than what I said about it after my first ride:

I also noted it wasn’t smooth and “sproingy” like other titanium bike’s I’ve ridden, and similarly this review says it’s “tingly,” comparing it to radio static:

Sure, I could see it. I do love the fit and the handling though, so I don’t mind that it’s a stiff bike, and I think it would be perfect for a park race.

So I enjoyed reading these 27 year-old insights, and only after reading them did I look to see who wrote the review–Garrett Lai, who died just last year:

The Bicycle Retailer story notes that he’d been riding indoors last year to avoid burdening the healthcare system:

Naturally, Lai was an avid cyclist and competed on the road and in the velodrome. A regular on Orange County’s Food Park rides in the 1990s and 2000s, he was a formidable sprinter. He went on near-daily rides from his home in Southern California, with a selection of classic handmade steel road bikes including a treasured custom Serotta. Since the COVID outbreak, he did much of his riding indoors on the rollers, saying he didn’t want to risk a crash on the road and possibly use up medical resources.

Well, here’s how he died:

To be perfectly clear, I don’t point this out to be funny, or snide, or smug, or anything like that, and if you think that I am you deserve to be beaten about the face and head with a pair of titanium downtubes. No, I point it out because it’s such a stark example of how astonishingly unpredictable life can be, and how effortlessly it can thwart and undermine our best efforts and intentions. This fundamental truth of existence is deeply unsettling, but in a way it’s also oddly relieving, in that we worry so much about making the right decisions and choices when in fact so much is beyond our control. That’s not to say we should all decide, “Fuck it, I’m gonna do whatever I want!,” but it is to say that the realm of what we can control is relatively small, whereas the realm of what we can’t control is infinite, and the stuff that’s actually in our purview is fairly manageable. More than that, it’s a reminder that we should be thankful for every single day, and that we should devote at least a small portion of each one to experiencing some joy, because while we’re powerless over so much, we at least have some power over that.

Well, that’s what I got out of the review, anyway.

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