27 January 2009

Bike check, one two what is this?

[This is an old post that never made it out of draft status.]

When I was 21, my life pretty much revolved around politics. I was seriously dating a girl at the time and we connected heavily through politics. I was of the anarcho-punk ilk and she was of the 'graduated at 20 with a double major and speak 3 languages' ilk. We actually discussed at one point the feasibility of going to Chiapas to fight with the Zapatistas (yeah, yeah, I know how ridiculous that is).

I have this vivid memory of being on the train in NYC with her, coming back from visiting my father in Brooklyn, and I said something about having five bikes. Not that I had them at the time, but that at some point in the future there were five different types of bikes I would like to own. She laid into me about how hypocritical and consumerist that would be of me. And how it went against so much of what I was about. What the hell does anyone need five bikes for?

Her and I did actually go to Chiapas, but we remained unarmed (mostly went to bakeries and bought Marcos dolls). Eventually a bike would come between us; when I rode cross country she broke up with me. What does this have to do with a bike check? Well, even in my over-zealous idealist youth, I was willing to make exceptions for bikes. I really had no idea at the time how much of a medium they would be in exploring and experiencing the world. But here we are.



Cool kid bike.
A one-off custom frame from Trystan Cobbett and Bernard from Seven. It has the Ritchey break-away system. Pretty much the only time other bike kids talk to me is when I'm on this. I've long grown tired of that front wheel. My original fondness of it was more of a nostalgia for BMX mags.



Roadie. Custom Seven, sans stickers. Say what you want about those wheels, but they are the lightest, strongest wheels I've ever run. Over 10,000 miles logged.


Single-speed 29er. Kona Unit, fully stock minus the seat. $450 plus paint job. Super fun. I run a 32-20.


Bianchi Reparto Corse cyclocross (2002). Bianchi sent me this after I broke an Axis. It's closer to a road bike than any cross bike I've ever seen. Here's it is set up for off-road.


Terrible One Barcode. Sees very little action, unfortunately. Occasionally I'll take it out and 180 some boxes.


7 comments:

mollycameron said...

The Zapatistas would hang you and your Seven out to die in a tree no?

The guilt trip the punks gave me when I started bike riding and racing... wow. You would think I was out killing babies. I was shunned.

We could draw parallels between touring bands and owning music equipment, parents and having children, kids collecting vinyl. All of which are seen as more acceptable than owning a few bicycles.

Oh the ex girlfriends who broke up with me because of bicycles...

I'm rambling, I should go.

michael said...

I love bike checks!

zak said...

actually had a lengthy argument with someone when i was still in pittsburgh about being a bike snob vs. a record snob and this was even before i raced. and +1 on the ksyriums.

Jen said...

What do you commute/ride around town on?

ironvegan said...

Dawg I think I my kids and I have you beat.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_k2K5xQmoCUs/SYUjvYl8h2I/AAAAAAAAD_k/exM_0zjp9Ms/s1600-h/newhouse+065.jpg

razor sKooTer
plastic convertible trike $10 on craigslist
kettler scooter
plastic car - awesome
kettler adjustable trike
16" rei bike
12" target bike
tonka dump truck (lil guy can ride in back)
radio flyer "push bike"
radio flyer wagon

this does not show:
my old specialized allez ultegra road bike
my old hardtail specialized stumpjumper xt mtb
my wife's voodo wanga xt mtb
rei "trail-a-bike"
probably forgetting something else, oh yeah a phil and ted two kid stroller

the factories in far far off lands and many small towns have worked to produce this extravagent garbage for us.

Matt! said...

I ride the cross bike around town or the fixed gear, mostly. I'm pining for a single speed with mustache bars and a small rack but I obviously don't need it.

steve-o said...

for sure on the ksyriums. I put those on my nre road bike, and the are more responsive than the "race only" wheels i had. I sold those ones i was so stoked on the ksyriums.