Stay Classy

I was perusing a New York City “micromobility”-themed subreddit when I came across this:

Really? Is making it home the goal? Or is making it into orbit the goal?

I read further and learned that the Human Cannonball rides an e-scooter capable of hitting 53mph, which…holy crap. This is not to suggest people should or shouldn’t ride these things, or to pass judgment, or to opine on whether or not they should be formally integrated into the streetscape. (I mean of course I have opinions on that, but I’m not in the mood to get into them here, and anyway there’s an Outside column somewhere in the pipe in which I address all that stuff.) It is merely to point out that the ecosystem of human locomotion is not only rapidly evolving but also ebullient to the point of absurdity, and that our innate compulsion to transport ourselves swiftly with minimal effort manifests itself in increasingly strange ways.

It’s also important to remember that we’re all biased towards our preferred modes, and naturally I feel smug that I ride this instead of dressing up like George Jetson’s proctologist and zipping around on a rocket board:

Once again it is that time of year when I pick a bike to take with me on my summer vacation, and while this is subject to change until the very moment I start loading up the Wagon Queen Family Truckster, the A. Homer Hilsen is currently the front-runner:

No bicycle has everything, which is why I have so many of them, and why I’m always bouncing from bike to bike. However, of all my bikes, this one probably comes closest to incorporating all the attributes I prize into a single bicycle:

Those attributes are, in no particular order:

  • It’s sporty and playful…
  • …yet it’s also stable and comfy
  • It’s great on pavement
  • It’s also great on “gravel”/dirt
  • It’s aesthetically pleasing
  • You can ride it in regular clothes and sandals
  • You can carry stuff on it, or not
  • It’s geared low enough to climb pretty much anything
  • It’s got a dynamo hub
  • It’s an equally sensible choice for riding 100 miles or riding down the street

Yep, the Homer is a head-turner:

It’s also no stranger to vacations, having accompanied me back in 2020:

Though in 2021 I opted for the Jones:

Going back to the Homer means I’d forfeit the deep-woods full-on MTB capability in favor of a more refined road-riding experience. Last year I told myself if I returned with the Jones I might try doing so with a smoother and lighter tire for road days, but that would involve both money and effort:

Then again, I’ve been very tempted to make some other parts changes on the Jones too, so anything’s possible…as is exploiting a one-bike loophole and bringing the Jones “as my son’s bike,” and the Homer as my own.

Wild cards also include the Eye of the Tiger Bike, though I’m not sure I want to go through the admittedly minor hassle of de-fendering it:

Or else just bringing a road bike as I always used to do, though the more dirt I find up there the less inclined I am to limit myself to skinny tires.

Obviously I need to just buy a summer house and keep a full complement of bikes up there, but there’s no way I’m liquidating my investments amid all this economic uncertainty:

Speaking of investments, here’s a highly speculative asset:

People sure are asking big money for vintage Kestrels! I’d take full credit for this, though I’m sure it’s more a case of my having paid zero attention to the used Kestrel market until I took possession of one.

Alas, it’s merely another “Crotch Down” bike, though it does come with the aero urine flagon:

Still, if you’re serious about investing in classic bikes you’re better off going straight to the source:

[Photo: Classic Cycle]

And sticking with steel, of course:

[Photo: Classic Cycle]

I think I’m developing a vintage bike problem.

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