Old Yeller

Further to yesterday’s post, instead of doing anything important or useful, today I spent some more time on the slightly-reconfigured Homer:

I am now fully satisfied that the new bar and shifter positions are significant improvements:

Though when it’s convenient I will probably change at least the rear shifter back to a Silver2:

It’s just a nicer shifter, no what around it.

Anyway, with that all out of the way, I was able to relax and enjoy the bike, the landscape, and the sense of contentment and well-being that comes from cycling. See, for me, riding a bike is a time for reflection and contemplation…though I’m fairly sure I’m doing it wrong, at least according to this promotional video for a new road bike:

I dunno, I don’t just ride twee Rivendells (that’s twee, not three…though I guess I do have three twee Rivendells if you count my wife’s); I also used to race, I still enjoy riding racing bicycles, and I’ll even push myself while riding them from time to time. Furthermore, I’m also no stranger to yelling music, and if you doubt my “street cred” in that department consider I saw Napalm Death’s first-ever show in the United States at storied yelling music venue CBGB:


I would have been in my junior year of high school at the time, and I had to endure over 18 minutes of that video in order to catch a glimpse of myself and my friend, during which I marveled at the fact that, at the time, I not only attended but enjoyed the entire performance.

All of this is to say that, despite being a vigorous cyclist with a strong background in yelling music and the life-long tinnitus that comes with it, I found the bike video entirely unrelatable, and even in my most vigorous moments I’ve never conflated the two. Indeed, even when pushing myself beyond my natural limits, I’ve never heard or even thought of yelling music or gave in to an on-the-bike temper tantrum as this rider seems to be doing; instead, it seems to drive me even deeper into introspection and contemplation, and ultimately to the same conclusion, which is that life is exquisite.

Of course, this could explain why I was such a bad bike racer.

Still, even if you are in the market for a scary testosterone-fueled on-the-bike adrenaline rush, I maintain it’s hard to square that sensibility with a full Rapha wardrobe:

It’s like being cornered in a dark alley by a bunch of Gap models:


Of course none of this is to impugn the bike company, or the rider in the video, and while the video contained no information about the bicycle whatsoever I’m sure it’s fantastic. No, it’s merely to marvel at the strange and disparate relationships we all have with our respective two-wheel contraptions of choice. Ultimately, I think we’re all riding in pursuit of the same sense of elation, though it often takes us to different places–even strange, electrified places. For example, it’s been interesting seeing what futuristic vehicles the new public EV charging station has been reeling in, and the latest catch was this electric motorcycle:

Unregistered, on the sidewalk, and (according to the Internet) capable of 70mph, it’s just one of the many new electrified conveyances with which the city’s streets are now teeming:

As a yelling music veteran who used to go to CBGB before it was a shoe store, I don’t lose sleep over stuff like people racing around on electric motorcycles. (And for all I know the owner doesn’t race around on it, maybe he’s cautious and courteous to a fault.) Nevertheless, while advocates often frame “micromobility” as this noble force that will usher in a post-car utopia, this seems increasingly naive, and it seems increasingly likely to me that, when taken to its endpoint, it’s mostly going to be about bros zipping around on all manner of wacky, hopped-up gizmos–which, again, is not causing me to lose sleep, though I do suspect it will get to a point where it really bites bike and street safety advocates in the ass, since people are gonna get increasingly pissed off about it while the advocates still cling to their naive insistence that all this is ridiculousness is somehow gonna replace cars.

Or not. Whatever. I can’t with the yelling anymore.

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