If The Road Were Always Smooth It Wouldn’t Be Very Interesting, Now Would It?

Well fuck me.

Yesterday I posted an appeal of sorts to you, my readers, and passed my soiled ball cap down the virtual subway car. I then closed my computer and ran away in shame. But I opened it again this morning, and I’m beyond moved by your generosity as well as the good will you expressed in the comments.

All of this is to say I’m blowing it all on a crabon garvel bike and you’ll never see me again:

Just kidding:

You cheapskates didn’t donate near enough to cover that overpriced piece of shit.

By the way, in the aforementioned appeal I mentioned one of my goals was to make this blog better, so you’re probably wondering, “Why does it still suck?” Well give me some time for chrissakes, it’s been one goddamn day! Still, thanks to you the long-term forecast has certainly improved, and in the short term I can at least promise you the shame shitty baseline of service you’ve come to expect.

But yes, I’m deeply grateful, and while I’ll do my best to spare you from the tedium of being a semi-professional bike blogger as much as I can I will follow up again at the end of the week and let you know where things stand after meeting with the Board of Directors, by which I mean the cat:

It’s hard to know when you’ve truly hit bottom as a bike blogger (and as a person), but gratuitous cat pics is usually a sign you’re getting close.

Also, if you have any questions, concerns, thoughts, or ideas–or you’re willing to take the cat of my hands–feel free to drop me a line at any time.

Moving on, as of this past Monday I’d more or less completely overhauled the Vengeance Bike:

I was chomping at the bit (I use an old quick-release skewer as a bit) to ride it and assess to what degree the headset and shifter maintenance was successful. Alas, after weeks of unseasonably warm weather it finally snowed before I had a chance to do that, and I’m not subjecting all that vintage Campy to road salt–especially when the bike still belongs to Classic Cycle). So by this morning I was cowering in a public restroom with a horse of a different color:

That’s not true, I wasn’t cowering, I was simply doing what one does in a public restroom. (No, not that, for fuck’s sake, I was urinating, okay!?!) I merely like the juxtaposition of the Vengeance Bike in front of the loft-like white brick backdrop, and the Eye of the Tiger Bike before the begrimed tile of the municipal brick shithouse. In fact, the ride was far from sordid, and just enough snow had fallen to cover all the trash and fool you into thinking you were riding through a pristine landscape and not an urban wasteland:

And though I was being a complete hypocrite by riding boutique “supple” tires:

I was at least wearing a pair of cheap hiking boots:

I put these on my Christmas list and they’ve turned out to be perfect in every way: they’re affordable, they’re warm, they’re stiff (but not too stiff), they’re grippy… Though of course they’re not bike-specific, which is a big problem. See, for that they need to have a BOA system:

[Thank you to the reader who reminded me of this.]

A BOA flat-pedal shoe is like an electronic downtube shifter, because, well…what’s the point?

I’m sure plenty of you have had great experience with BOA closures, but after witnessing a failure in the field I won’t trust it. I guess I can understand it for a pair of clipless road shoes where you’re trying to save weight and you need to tighten your shoes up before the field sprint, but those have laces now, go figure:

As far as I’m concerned the whole damn bike industry is backwards. Next thing you know they’ll be reversing the order of your cogs:

Then they’ll put suspension on gravel bi–

Oh, right.

Whatever, I like my Specialized better:

I didn’t intentionally line up the ducks with the top tube, but I’ll take full credit for it anyway.

Hey, it’s tough getting your ducks in a row, but sometimes you get lucky.

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