Thumbing My Gears At The Establishment

Further to yesterday’s post, I completely forgot to highlight the most salient aspect of that vintage bonded aluminum Trek:

Specifically, not only is it virtually untouched, but it has apparently spent the last 33 years hermetically sealed in a “man cave:”

1988 trek 1000 aluminum, so. 56, ridden once in as new condition. This bike is 100 % dead stock original except for the seat. There is one small tear on the bar tape, and one cap missing on the plug where the bar tape plugs into bars. This bike has been stored in my man cave as a piece of art and looks like it was taken out of the box 33 years ago. This makes for an awesome conversation piece for the collector. Bike will be professionally boxed by my local bike shop.

Granted, I don’t live in the suburbs, and I’m also only barely a man, so I know very little about man caves. Still, aren’t they supposed to be places where you can drink and watch sports and stuff without being bothered by women and children? (Damn women and children, always bothering you while you’re watching sports and taking up all the prime seating in life rafts!) Who hangs art in a man cave? Real men don’t even like art! You hang a giant TV and maybe the autographed Pamela Anderson poster you’ve had since high school, not a mediocre road bike from the 1980s. Right? Or have I totally been misunderstanding this whole “man cave” thing all these years, and it’s really just a place to secretly admire handicrafts and to drink different teas? Also, man caves notwithstanding, if you’re going to ask over $1,000 for a bike you can get for like a quarter of that on your local Craigslist, wouldn’t you at least replace the missing bar plug? Who knew the bonded aluminum Trek subculture was so confusing…

Speaking of which, I was thinking about the normcore Trek, and how cheap bikes like it can be (unless you’re looking on eBay, of course), and how much I’ve been enjoying riding it in sneakers and a t-shirt, so I tweeted the following:

I’ve been writing about bikes on the Internet for a long time now, and there are three (3) things you can always count on:

  • Someone commenting, “Where’s your helmet?”
  • Someone commenting, “Needs fenders”
  • Someone getting defensive about Lycra

Yes, oddly, when you try to be inclusive and anti-elitist by pointing out that it’s totally possible to ride a bike without wearing Lycra, people will act like you’re somehow being exclusionary and elitist by suggesting you can ride a bike without wearing Lycra:

I suppose it’s even ableist too, since not everybody has the mighty taint callus necessary to ride big mileage in jean shorts.

And yes, everything above was simply an excuse to type the phrase “mighty taint callus,” which is easily the best band name I’ve come up with this week.

Speaking of cheap cycling clothing Amazon, I’ve been seeing a lot of this lately:

I am not trying to make fun of people who wear cycling clothing they bought on Amazon, and people should absolutely wear all the Lycra they want if that’s what they find most comfortable (Lob knows I still have closets full of the stuff), but I will say that “Sponeed” does sound like the medical term for a taint callus.And so it shall be from this moment on…at least on this blog, anyway.

Interestingly, nobody on Twitter pointed out the obvious, which is that it’s completely hypocritical of me to say how cheap cycling can be when I’ve got more fancy-schmancy bicycles at my disposal than some people will ever own in their entire lives. But I do ride them to Target:

And then I ride them to the country (or at least the suburbs…or, if you prefer, Where The Man Caves Are):

And I don’t even put on special clothes first:

Unless you count the shoes:

Probably 20 years ago a friend and teammate predicted that by the time I was 50 I’d have a gut and a Rivendell, and not a day goes by where I don’t think about just how uncannily right he was.

Anyway, some might think the downside of riding long distances in t-shirts and jorts is that it causes Sponeed growth, which can eventually require surgery. However, lately I’ve learned that the biggest risk of being a generally unkempt regular-clothes cyclist is that when you look like this people will often stop and talk to you about what’s wrong with the government. In this sense, the only real difference between dressing like a roadie and dressing like a bike bum is that nobody tries to recruit the guy in head-to-toe Rapha for the local militia.

Maybe I’ll just buy a $1.5 million cottage and live off the land:

Speaking of my fancy-schmancy bicycles, after 26.66 miles of road and trail I can officially declare the new shifter configuration on the Platypus to be a major improvement, both in terms of accuracy and ergonomics:

Between the cockpit rejiggering and the pedal swap it’s in a very good place, and I daresay it’s even in contention for my Summer Vacation Bike, which is as high an honor as it is possible for a bike to attain. It takes spirit, and it takes fortitude. But more than that, it takes Sponeed.

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