He's either having a really tough time peeling a tubular tire off a rim, or else he's pausing for a quick "Roadside Cipollini."
I should also point out that when I finally have finished going through my trove of digital images you'll be able to read all about it on the Brooks blog, which is only fitting because: A) They made my trip to L'Eroica possible; and 2) I am a Brooks "guest blogger," at least until I finish repaying Eric "The Chamferer" Murray. (Pro financial tip: Never accept a loan when the lender tells you the APR is "I'll fucking cut you mate." There are subprime loans, and then there are subcutaneous loans, and Mr. Murray specializes in the latter.)
In any case, I'll keep you posted.
Speaking of Brooks, it's been just about one year since I started riding a Cambium, so I think it's safe to declare that I stand behind it both literally and figuratively:
(See that? I'm literally standing behind the saddle! I got a degree in English from a state university!)
Comfort obviously varies from scranus to scranus, but the Cambium happens to get along exceedingly well with mine. The rubbery shell also has a bit of a suspension effect, which I particularly appreciate because I often ride this bike on unpaved surfaces even though it is not technically a gravel bike.* The only problem I have ever had with it was an occasional creaking sound, which I traced to the rubber shell occasionally making contact with the rails, though it has now gone away entirely and issues nary a complaint. (Hey, it's a Brooks. Something has to break in, right?)
*Disclaimer: NEVER ride a non-gravel bike on a gravel surface. If you are ever tempted to take your road bike offroad stop riding immediately and visit your nearest Specialized dealer to purchase an appropriate model.
Also, the cotton top is still in excellent shape despite being repeatedly subjected to my massive power output and formidable flatulence:
And I should point out that Brooks now has a narrower, "racier" C15 version, which is the sort of thing you learn when you hang out with people from Brooks for days on end:
So there you go.
Anyway, yesterday afternoon I took a little spin to shake all those air miles out of my legs, and I'm pleased to report it's getting pleasantly autumnal around here:
Fall is really the best time to ride in the New York City area. It's even better than the springtime, because as pleasant as the spring is there are too many Freds venturing out for the first time on wobbly legs, but by September they've mostly burned themselves out and moved on to golf or "rolfing" or whatever else it is they do. Really, the only problem with fall is that the squirrels start to experience seasonal depression and become suicidal. Clearly the word was out yesterday among the squirrels that I was using bladed spokes, because they were all trying to leap into my front wheel and bisect themselves. I tried to take a picture of this behavior, but the best I could manage was this one scampering up a tree after having second thoughts:
I then turned my bicycle upon the strade marrone, which looks like the strade bianche after a few wash cycles if you're lazy about separating out your whites:
While it's been a year since I started riding the Cambium it's been over three years since I took delivery of my Ritte von Finkelstein bicycle:
And here's how it looked back in the year Two Thousand And Eleven when it was new:
In that time, I've switched the saddle to a Cambium, the cranks to a compact, and I ride pretty much exclusively on 28mm tires--all of which to say that over the past three years I've officially become an old guy.
I will most likely offer a more thorough write-up in the not-too-distant future, as I think after three years it's finally acceptable to begin evaluating a bicycle--as opposed to the "legitimate" bicycle press, which believes that after three years your bicycle is obsolete and you should go visit your nearest Specialized dealer.
Speaking of the press, there are publicists out there laboring under the misapprehension that I am a journalist, because I recently received the following email:
Would you be interested in writing an article about the HEXO+, a flying camera drone? I believe cycling enthusiasts would find it valuable and timely.
The HEXO+ is a Hexacopter designed by Squadrone systems and it is capable of independently filming a subject when biking. It can also be controlled through an app installed on a smartphone. The project was publicly funded through Kickstarter and it is set for a release by May 2015.
Oh come on. Are you kidding me? This is like asking the class clown if he'd like to try out the new Stereophonic Digital Fart Synthesizer 2000! I think the idea of riding around while being filmed by a drone is positively abhorrent, but I also think the comedic possibilities of testing such a drone are virtually endless, especially if I manage to crash and destroy it. Naturally I've replied in the affirmative and indicated I would like to try it, though I suspect the publicist will soon figure out her mistake so I suspect the device will not be forthcoming.
If, however, by some miracle they do send me one of these things, my first order of business will be to see if I can plant a bicycle, allow it to be stolen, and have the drone follow the thief--or, failing that, follow some celebrities with poor bike-handling skills so I can sell the footage to TMZ and retire:
Yikes. She really should take that urban cycling skills clinic Alec Baldwin is teaching, because his bike-handling is razor-sharp:
("Get that fuckin' baby outta the way!"--Alec Baldwin)
Sadly though, as New York City gets gentrified and bike lane-ified the city is quickly turning into one big suburban cul-de-sac, as this "Missed Connection" shows:
A thankfully missed connection with white guy cyclist in coral red pants - w4m (bike lane at the intersection of Sands St & Gold St.)
There you were, meandering north from Gold Street in the crosswalk as it intersects with the Sands Street bike lane around 2pm. You appeared to be admiring your coral red pants, perhaps assessing the attractive color contrast made with the blue-grey pavement. Regardless of your motives, you were staring straight down and wobbling in an aimless manner towards the bike lane that I happened to be hurtling down.
As I was faced with a slow moving distracted cyclist (you) who was slowing down further and directly in my path, I raised an impassioned cry of warning ("yo, duuuude"). When you then inexplicably stopped in front of me, my braking and skidding swerve almost caused me to fly off my bike into an intersection with oncoming traffic. And with my road bike in the shop, I was riding a citi bike that with its tank-like figure and handlebars comparable to the wing-span of a condor, would have totally destroyed you.
My point is this, we all get distracted, make mistakes etc. and whether you like it or not, in those moments you're depending on the people around you to pick up the slack, so the important bit is what you do after you f*ck up. When I turned around and asked you if you were ok, you stared at me blankly and wobbled off up the bike lane. That's what made it so sh*tty. No apology, no thanks, no response. Good luck with that whole living thing, Asshat.
I'll bet you a used Brooks Cambium the woman who posted this was basically coral red pants guy one year ago.