The Mists Of Time Are Swirling In An Hourglass Of Mixed Metaphor

Autumn never has a bad hair day–even when the weather is wet and foggy it looks fantastic:

Then again it’s also losing that hair, and in another week or two it will be bald:

Of course autumn also means Halloween, and I’m going as someone 20 years younger by riding a fixie:

That creaking isn’t the bottom bracket; it’s what’s left of my cartilage.

If you’re looking for your own last-minute Halloween costume, I humbly suggest combing my archives for inspiration. Unfortunately for you, the Diminutive Frenchman is taken:

Having been claimed–if not owned outright–by Paul Johnson of Classic Cycle:

[Photo: Jamie Amador]

I mean sure, you could always do the Diminutive Frenchman x Jobst Brandt “collabo:”

[Image by BKJimmy]

Which you’ll find it at Spirit Halloween right next to the “Alien Holding You” costumes:

And of course as Paul reminds me there are lots of other options from which to choose:

Speaking of Classic Cycle, I am of course their Old Crap Test Pilot:

And it’s a responsibility I take more seriously than any other, which is why I’ve been logging as many miles as possible on the Nishiki Cervino:

[Yes, it can gravel. Tubulars are the new tubeless.]

This Viner-made bicycle is so rare it makes the Rock Combo (of which, at least according to legend, only 500 were made) seem like a Surly Cross-Check in comparison:

And between the two bikes I find myself considering starting a collection of extremely rare bicycles sold by extremely mainstream companies–and when I say rare I mean because only very few were ever made, not because they made shitloads but they all fell apart:

Yes, I had one, and yes, it fell apart. They all did–though incredibly here’s one on eBay with one of those bonded Shimano cranks:

Now that’s living on the edge.

Anyway, I have a long history of ironic collecting. For example, as a youth I had an ironic baseball card collection comprised of my brother’s cast-offs and based entirely on the players’ names:

I couldn’t care less about batting averages and ERAs, but if, say, a player’s last name was Beard yet he was clean-shaven (in an era when nearly every self-respecting ballplayer had at least a moustache) then as far as I was concerned that was a keeper. Sadly that collection is lost in the mists of time, but if I could create a bike collection consisting of extremely rare bikes from extremely boring companies it might begin to fill the void in my heart. As for which bikes those would be, I don’t know, precisely because they’re so rare–I mean I didn’t know about the Rock Combo or the Cervino before Paul sent them to me either. So I’m open to suggestions. Of course there are bikes like the XO-1, but that’s more of a “cult” bike, which is a whole different thing, and Bridgestone isn’t nearly boringly mainstream enough, anyway. And if you’re wondering, there are no X0-1s on eBay, but there is an X0-2:

Perhaps someone will step up and give it the alt-bike Party Pace treatment.

Anyway, speaking of the Cervino, at first I wasn’t crazy about the top-mounted shifters, but now they’re one of my favorite things about the bike. Not only do I rarely even bother to use my left hand to shift the front, but sometimes I even shift the front and rear at the same time:

I guess new bike tech isn’t all bad after all.

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