Monday, November 3, 2008

R.I.P. Mr. T. (the bike)

Building up a bicycle is a process not unlike I assume childbirth to be. It's painful, time-consuming, costly, patience-requiring, and greasy. And after all the work (or labor to resume the matador), you get to bring a beautiful, innocent new presence into the world, likely to immediately begin systematically abusing and mistreating it.

I suppose one could just purchase a complete bicycle from a shop, and have a professional mechanic do all the work. We've already been over what I think about that. You can't tell heroic stories about walking to a store and making a purchase. Missing out on the full experience of building up a bike yourself nullifies bragging rights about your grueling hours of labor, much like getting a c-section might be. If there's one thing I've learned about bicycles, it's that you must know how to brag about them. Because bragging about physical strength is frowned upon, cyclists must channel all need for incessant one-upmanship into their equipment. If nobody is going to covet your skills, you absolutely must present something more tangible for your friends/opponents/the jones' to be jealous of.

As finishing a new bicycle is like taking home a newborn baby (as it can be both bundle-y and joyous), taking apart one can be like dismembering... an old person. Presently I'm unsure as to the correct simile, however I am sure that discombobulating a bicycle is in a sense, ending a life. Bicycles live quiet yet noble lives of dedicated servitude, and for this they deserve deference.

Join me in saying sayonara to my heavily guilded Tommasso 3-speed:

...which I dubbed "Mr. T"

Mr. T the bicycle was christened such for both its ostentatious affinity for gold and its munificent mercy of morons, or pitying of fools.

Since I would indeed be a fool (or foo', if you're not staying in schoo') to let a beautiful, steel, hand-made Italian road frame sit around unused, I have decided to promptly resurrect it. It is being rebuilt into something more along the lines of what it was originally intended- road riding. Here is the bike in an inchoate stage, and as it is yet unfinished I've added a fig leaf to protect its modesty:

Now to answer the question that always comes next after the announcement of a having a bike-in-the-basement: if you look closely you can see that the pedals are in fact pink.