Here's my newest Fred bike:
I greatly enjoy to ride this Fred bike, and naturally it became my default Fred bike from the moment I accepted delivery.
This Fred bike is equipped with one of those "PressFit 30" bottom bracket shells, which is what all the cool people who ride custom bikes are using now. It was also equipped with a certain type of bottom bracket adapter so I can use a pinchy bolt-type Shimano crank, which are the only cranks I want to use in the world. (I do have bikes with other kinds of cranks, but that's exactly why I only want to use the pinchy bolt-type Shimano crank. The other cranks, for one reason or another, suck.) Everything was working just fine together.
However, I recently overhauled the bike, and it was time to pull the bottom bracket since the bottom bracket shell was full of all kinds of disgusting scum and frumunda which is something that happens to bikes. Naturally, the bottom bracket adapter was not supposed to be reused because it was plastic and this is the bike industry, so I replaced it with one made from metal that seemed like it would be a lot more better. And I rode. And rode.
The new bottom bracket adapter thingy was not more better. The crank kind of wiggled in there no matter what I did. So I called the company that makes the bottom bracket adapter thingy because they're the kind of company you can just call and be like, "Hey, duders, like, my bottom bracket's got like all this play in it and I'm totally bummed because it's not epic." That's what I did, and company was all like, "Oh, yeah, duder, we know what that is," and they sent me these new bearing cover thingies to put in the bottom bracket adapter thingy, and I put them in, but the crank was still all wiggly in there anyway.
By this time I was staring down the barrel of the Rapha Gentlemen's Race. I did not want to spend 130 miles being irritated by the sensation of having slightly wiggly cranks on an otherwise dialed bicycle, nor did I want to spend the days leading up to the ride installing the same type of adapter I had previously had in there and getting that all dialed in. I wanted to, you know, ride a bike and not think about anything else.
So ultimately I just said "Fuck it" and decided to use my old Fred bike.
Naturally, I still haven't gotten around to sorting out my PressFit 30 bottom bracket issues, because I'm lazy and have a million bikes. Instead, I've still been riding my old Fred bike, which is made of plastic because back when I got it I was still nominally a bike racer and even stupider than I am now. And last Friday I headed out on my plastic Fred bike for a short afternoon ride:
It was a very pleasant ride, with the wind at my scranus, my crank stable and secure in my threaded bottom bracket shell, and the crunch of the 17-year cicadas under my tires:
Yes, the road was literally crawling with these orange-eyed fuckers.
Anyway, on I rode:
And then on the way back to my mansion I stopped at this outdoor grill shack-type establishment to pick up a sandwich, and I did that thing where you jauntily prop the bike up on one pedal on a curb. As I was waiting for my sandwich and salivating, the bike decided it wanted to fall over, and it fell right into a pole. I didn't think anything of it because it's a bike and they fall over and get scratched and who the hell cares, but as I got back on it I noticed this on the top tube:
On a normal bike this would be just a scratch, but this bike has one of those scary plastic top tubes that you can squeeze between two fingers, and I can't tell if the thing that looks like a crack is just the clear coat or the crabon itself. So I Tweeted it to the company whose decals are on the bike, and I got the following reply:
@bikesnobnyc Hard to say from the picture. I would recommend taking it to the dealer and have them do a proper inspection. Have a great day!"Have a great day!" my scranus.
— Specialized (@iamspecialized) June 14, 2013
So these are Fred people problems: endless futzing with your goofy bottom bracket system and wondering if your plastic frame is toast because it gently brushed against something.
I do not like PressFit 30, and I do not like plastic bikes.
See, once you start getting old you want bikes that can fall over a lot and that you can remove and replace parts on repeatedly.
If only there were some way to combine a frame made from metal with a traditional threaded bottom bracket shell...
Oh well, maybe someday someone will make a road bike like that.
In the meantime, my course of action is clear: 1) Replace the adapter on my metal bike with the previous type of adapter that was working fine; 2) Put a sticker on the ambiguous crack on the plastic bike; 3) Sell the plastic bike frame on eBay and put "Never Crashed!" in the description.
And fortunately, I do have a mountaining bike with metal tubes and a threaded bottom bracket, and that's what I spent all day Father's day riding:
It was fun.
In other news, I've learned via Twitter that you can go to Berlin and rent this to get around while you're there:
Can people not live without their ridiculous vintage affectations for more than a week? This is like those hotels where they put a turntable in the room for people who need to listen to crackly records from the 1970s every second of their lives, even while they're on vacation. Clearly there's a market for this though, which is why someone needs to launch a comprehensive "identity share" program:
("The Bootsy" is just one of the thousands of identities from which you can choose.)
It's a great way sample an identity you could never pull off at home.
Lastly, here's someone who sucks at riding a bike and at life in general:
I'm very sorry I hit you with my bike - w4w - 24 (Murray Hill)
Hi, I'm the stupid white girl that hit you with my bike today.
I wish I could say that I'm the type of person who always does the right thing, but clearly I am not.
However, I am someone who can admit when they've made a mistake.
I'm incredibly sorry that I didn't stick around to make sure that you were really OK and allow you to file an accident report with the cops if you wanted to. You seemed like you were OK, but I've been feeling sick with guilt all day with the anxiety that I might be wrong.
About an hour after our accident I went to 2 police stations to see if I could file an accident report after the fact. At the first station I went to they told me that I had to go to the precinct closest to where the accident happened to see if anything had been reported, and when I went to that station they told me that no one had filed a report about being hit by a bike. I really hope this means that you're totally fine.
Regardless of whether or not you were hurt I really want to apologize to you, there's no excuse for the way I handled the situation, I was dazed and freaked out, and I acted irrationally and recklessly in my rush to make it to work on time.
You are an African American woman with short hair who looked to be in your 30s or 40s. If this is you or you know who this person is, please contact me immediately. I hope there is some way I can make it up to the woman I hit. Please list the street and cross streets where the accident happened or some other details about the accident to prove that you're not just someone trying to scam me.
I know that this posting doesn't make me less of a terrible person.
Oh, please. The only valid excuse for a bicycle hit-and-run is if you need to dock your Citi Bike before the additional charges kick in.