Playing The Slots

Like mobsters, politicians, and other morally bankrupt people, we semi-professional bike bloggers will often call in favors. Alas, in sixteen years of cranking this crap out I’ve managed to alienate almost everyone with whom I’ve been fortunate to come into contact. Nevertheless, there are still a precious few entities who “have my back,” so to speak, and one of those is fancy clothes maker Vulpine:

Now that I’m commuting to a place of business a couple times a week, I’m letting my inner dandy emerge. Not only am I riding a fancy lugged bicycle, but I asked Vulpine if they’d send me a few items to get me through the dog days of summer, and they were gracious enough to agree:

That’s the Merino Polo and the City Shorts:

Obviously you don’t need special clothes to ride a bike around the city, but I’VE PAID MY DUES GODDAMN IT, and at 17 miles each way my commute is long enough that I appreciate stuff that’s designed with riding in mind, and that “wicks” and dries quickly, and that is cut so that your underpants aren’t showing:

This is especially useful not only when it’s hot, but also when it rains, as it did for my return:

In New York City everyone feels entitled to use the bike racks, and as you can see I’ve acquired a neighbor in the form of this large receptacle:

Luckily they did not run their cable through mine, or I’d have been stuck:

Of course if they had it wouldn’t have been too difficult for me to disconnect my brake cable and free myself, but I’d have absolutely found someone with bolt cutters and paid them to cut the laundry’s cable instead.

Traffic was light on the bridge, though there were a few hardy souls:

Cunningly, I always keep a fancy rain jacket in my pannier:

By the time I hit the Greenway it was raining pretty heavily, so I stopped to deploy the rain cover that was included with said pannier:

Between my lights and my lime green jacket and bag I was nothing if not visible.

North of 59th Street the Greenway runs under the parkway for a bit, and if only the whole thing were protected from rain like that we’d really be onto something:

Further to yesterday’s post, I also noted that the city wants to know what people think about e-bikes in parks:

By the way, just to remind you how surveys work…

Moving on, by the time I became a “serious” road rider we were very much in the throes of the Aluminum Revolution–or, if you’re British, the “Aluminium Revolutioninium.” (The tooth-rattling properties of early alumin(i)um frames took a particularly devastating toll on British riders due to their notoriously poor dental standards.) As such, the bikes of my formative road-riding years were fat-tubed Cannondales and glued-together Treks, not lugged Italian steel. But now I have a pink Faggin…

and a Japanese Viner!

And if that makes you giggle then it’s entirely on you.

I may have to tell Paul at Classic Cycle to stop sending me bikes he knows I’ll fall in love with because it’s really getting to be a problem. By the way, not only does the Cervino’s seat tube bost a groovy vertical Nishiki decal, but it also lacks water bottle bosses:

That’s because back then they still understood a second pair of bottle bosses was almost as lame as a freewheel that went lower than a 21.

Speaking of the Cervino, I finally got to try the shoes this morning:

They are a considerable improvement over sneakers:

They’re cut lower which lets your ankle flex more freely, they fit better inside the toe clip, and of course the sole is designed to be used with these kinds of pedals:

Not only do the molded-in slots help you position your foot, but you don’t feel the pedal digging it on climbs, and yet they’re still perfectly fine for walking. (Or at least the limited amount of walking you’re going to be doing on a road ride.) The multiple slots mean you’ve got options, though like a notched seatpost clamp if your preferred position happens to fall between two detents then you’ve got to settle for one or the other. Also, they don’t offer foot retention so much as they offer foot guidance, and even with the straps tightened it’s pretty easy to get your foot out of the pedal:

However, for casual riding and vintage bike cosplay this is arguably a feature, since it’s easy to get too carried too away with your Viner, so you always need to be ready to pull out quickly.


Anyway, I like them very much as a sneaker alternative, though these just arrived and I look forward to trying them next:

Maybe someday someone will invent a pedal that doesn’t require a clip and a strap.

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