Shifting Into The Weekend

It’s mid-September, and there’s an autumn crispness in the air, like piercing the skin of an apple or cracking the binding on a new school textbook. Yes, this bracing sensation confirms what you already knew, which is that summer’s over and you’ve got to start wearing pants again, which is kind of sad, but it also means peak riding season is upon us, and that you can finally wear wool and climb hills without sweating your [insert your preferred genital way here] off:

By the way, can you spot the wildlife in that photo?


Here’s a closer look:

I don’t know anything about hunting, but is it the time of year when you can shoot these fuckers yet?

By the way, shortly I took the photo above (and finished urinating–you can safely assume most photos on this blog were taken during pee stops, sorry if that makes you uncomfortable), the deer and a partner galloped into the road and into the path of an oncoming car behind which I was closely following.

Just one more thing to be cognizant of whilst riding road bikes, I suppose:


Good thing the cyclist was wearing a helment…and the deer was wearing antlers.

That’s why I never ride a bike without first putting on antlers.

Speaking of riding road bikes, and the Cervino in particular, I’m not almost certain that my one-handed shifting theory is correct, because it’s almost starting to feel natural to do so:

It was harder to take that photo than you’d think…and no, I was definitely not urinating at the time..

Indeed, the entire bike is starting to feel quite natural, and I’m growing very fond of it. But do I like it as much as I ended up liking the Vengeance Bike?

I never expected to fall for the Vengeance Bike when I received it mostly for ironic purposes in the spring of 2022, and it did take me some time to warm to it–but by September of that same year it had become my favorite road racing-type bike, which I know because that’s when I decided to take it to Switzerland with me:

I think the story will finally appear in a certain mainstream publication shortly, but basically I got invited on some big ride in Switzerland last year, and by that time I’d become so fond of the Vengeance Bike that of all the bikes I own* it was the one I wanted to take with me–42×21 low gear and all.

*[Actually, the bike I really wanted to take with me was my A. Homer Hilsen, but I knew everyone else would be on road racing-type bikes and that I’d need the extra speed.]

Now it’s almost exactly a year later, and as I climb up the deer-infested hills of suburbia on the Cervino–which also has a low gear of 42×21–I find myself wondering, “Would I take this bike to Switzerland right now?”

I dunno. By that time I’d had the Vengeance Bike for like five months, and while I didn’t fall for it right away, I ended up developing a weird and frankly disturbing affinity for it that troubles me to this day. (Again, I wound up liking this ridiculous hunk of ancient plastic so much that I took it with me to Switzerland. Without changing the gearing. And I don’t even regret it.) Meanwhile, it hasn’t even been two months since I took delivery of the Cervino, so perhaps it’s premature to draw any conclusion at this point. It could be that come January (that’ll be five months since it arrived) I’ll have become similarly attached to the Cervino–certainly among the very finest vintage bicycles to have come under my purview. Or maybe the Vengeance Bike simply touched my inner Lone Wolf in a way no other bike has or ever will again:

We don’t always choose our bikes. Sometimes they choose us.

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