20080123

this guy is smiling for a reason...



I'm not a bike guy.

Or, rather, in the spirit of Korzybski's general semantics, I have never exhibited traits that would typically be attributed to a "bike guy".

I've always filed bike guys in in the same drawer as photographers. Great to talk to individually, but avoid groups at all costs. I suppose that's unfair; nothing is as bad as a group of photographers.

I have, however, seen the light. The bicycle light.

I blame John.

You see, John recently lent me his Gary Fisher single speed (a nice bike). I'd never ridden anything as light or as nimble. It's graceful. It's got one gear; there's no shifting. Upon seeing this, I was dumbfounded; how would I ever make it up a hill? You just do. It's a thing of beauty.

I'm not sure why John lent me the bike. It's not a disposable bike. It's not a cheap bike. It's not a bike you lend to someone as prone to alcohol-induced memory lapses as me. It was--to be sure--a generous act of faith. I can't thank him enough.

I'm not sure, but I do have my suspicions as to why he did it. I think these bike guys are on to something, and they want to share it. Like a Taoist that doesn't proselytize, but simply acts in a manner that others might emulate, I think John is spreading the Good Word in his own way.

So now I'm building my own bicycle. Like the yuppie in the picture, I'm the proud owner of a 1973 Schwinn Continental. I didn't pay a damned dime for it; some hippy left it in my backyard. It's going to be, in the inimitable words of Ms. Hilton, hot. A single speed. With a coaster brake (yes, just like you had when you were four). No brake cables to route. No shift cables to run. No derailleurs, no tensioner, no kickstand. A bare frame and two wheels. Perfect.

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