Obviously, cycling is fraught with fashion-based politics. A "violation" as minor as a misaligned tire label or a backwards front skewer is enough to have you banished from some circles. This is to say nothing of the contempt the various cycling sects have for each-other. The roadie hates the mountain biker; the mountain biker hates the fixter; the fixter hates the triathlete; the cyclo-tourer hates the triathlete; the recumbent rider hates the triathlete; and so forth. Indeed, the tool that can break this chain of hate has yet to be invented, and as much as I long for a day when we can all live in harmony and mutual respect I fear that day lies far in the future.
Still, I maintain that we can learn a lot from the "lone wolves" of cycling. These are the riders who follow no rules but their own, and their independence should serve as a source of inspiration. If we sectarians can't respect each-other, then we can at least join together in our mutual respect for them. You may be disinclined to wave to the roadie with the spotless white booties and matching shoe covers, or to the fixter with the expensive jeans and the handmade man-purse, but you can certainly find it in yourself to doff your helmet or cycling cap or flat-brim to a fellow like this:
We met this rider on Monday, but another reader has sent me this photo of him actually in motion, and I'm sure you'll agree that the sight of him in flight is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Notice how he uses the forearm pads to achieve a more upright position. Notice also the golden fleece, which matches his tires, as well as the radiant white sneakers, unfettered and unmarred by toe clips. He's also staying hydrated, thanks to the handlebar-mounted cupholder. It's difficult to ascertain how fast he's going; while the hair would indicate speeds in excess of 30mph, the bundle of paper flyers he's got resting on the aero extensions isn't aflutter. Speaking of unflappable, his facial expression belies a state of inner strength and confidence that few of us will attain in his lifetime--aided, no doubt, by the motivational audio he's listening to on his iPod.
Of course, he can afford to be confident. He knows that his arch-nemesis, Bart Kaufman, is miles away, locking up the World's Greatest Madone as he gets ready to either buy a suitcase, or visit the chiropractor, or pick up some sushi, or take a Bikram yoga class, or cut up the rug at Dance Connection:
These two riders have four things in common: impeccable taste in bicycles; a bitter rivalry; a penchant for white sneakers; and a love of motivational audio. As you can see, Bart's also listening to an iPod, though he's more into money-making than ass-kicking. I literally get chills when I imagine what it would be like to see these two riders in head-to-head competition. It would be more powerful than a hundred Alpe d'Huez Tour de France finishes multiplied by a thousand Tours of Flanders, yet still somehow reminiscent of the movie "The Bucket List." Cycling really needs a Don King who can set this up.
Speaking of inspirational rides, check out this one on The Great Trek Bicycle Making Company's Levi Leipheimer TOC micro-site:
Unfortunately, I think Trek really missed the mark here. Firstly, where's the rack?!? Secondly, as far as I'm concerned, there is only one bear-themed bike, and all others are just cheap imitations:
"There are no cables because the brake is in the pedals." It doesn't get much more aero than that. You'd think that after all that wind tunnel time Trek would have figured it out by now.
By the way, I'm pleased to announce that, in addition to having discovered the World's Greatest Madone, I've also discovered the World's Smallest Seven. Actually, it's less of a Seven than it is a Six-and-a-Half:
37cm Seven Cycles Aerios Titanium Road Bike W/Full Dura Ace - $1100 (Brooklyn)
Reply to: [deleted]
Date: 2009-02-24, 11:47PM EST
37cm Seven Cycles Aerios Titanium Road Bike W/Full Dura Ace
Here is your chance to own your dream bike for less than purchasing just the frame and fork new. This bike is in excellent condition. Full Dura Ace 10 Spd Group The Aerios is Seven's most popular frame in the extensive lineup because it is both light weight and responsive making it great for club riding, group rides, centuries, and everything in between. The Aerios Double butted Ti tubing featuring the top quality, U.S.-sourced seamless 3-2.5 titanium and proprietary butting technology.
Frame size 37cm c.c
Top tube length- 46 cm
Frame-Seven Aerios 3-2.5 Titanium
Fork-Seven Reynolds Ouzo pro
Derailurs- Dura Ace
Wheel- AmericanClassic Sprint 350 650
Cassette- Dura Ace
Seat- Vitesse Fizzik
Actually, $1,100 seems like a pretty low price for a Seven--even a really small one--and it's possible that this is a scam. Either that, or the bike was stolen from Dave Zabriskie's house. (It's too small for him, but it might have belonged to one of his Marvel Sideshow statues.) However, if it's legit, I think the owner of the Seven with the giant head tube should purchase it as a companion piece:
Then he can take a picture of it with his cat using the litter box in the background.
Incidentally, the ad specifies "full Dura Ace," though the bike has Ultegra shifters and a non-series compact crank. Maybe this is the new Dura Ace 7900, which I understand Shimano actually specs with Ultegra shifters now due to the current state of the economy. Also, the bike has a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost. Many people don't realize that unlike the Thomson Elite post, the Masterpiece requires a proprietary grease:
This will not only keep the post from seizing in the frame, but will also make it delicious. They even make a special compound specifically for crabon frames:
It's also guaranteed to liven up your next "Peleton" sandwich from Boneshakers.