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Monday, June 6, 2011

I Love Bicycles: Part Two

After the divorce, Bec started bugging me for a new bike, something called a "mountain bike." I'd seen a few around and wasn't impressed with the bulky frames and strange looking tires but I let her drag me back to Wheaton's for a sales pitch, close inspection and test ride.

The first thing I noticed was that they weighed a lot less than my old steel-framed 3-speed. The second thing was that more gears meant easier peddling, and the knobbed tires didn't slide around in gravel like the narrow "English" tires on my old bike.

So I gave in to progress -- and Bec's whining -- and bought a Trek 750 for her. Then I bought one for myself.Why be a Luddite??

We took them back to the store and she took off on a ride while I dug out a spray can of flat black paint. Bec liked how pretty her bike was but all I could think of was what a shining target for a thief mine was. Flat black over the whole bike cured that, and it rode and handled just as well as it ever did.

Bec and the folks at the bike shop were appalled, but I was happy. I have always valued performance over appearances and I was less paranoid this my now-ugly transportation parked in front of the store.

When Bec's bike was stolen even though it was padlocked and mine wasn't, I felt justified.I may have even rubbed in the value of obscurity and my smart decision and how wise I had been.

Unfortunately Mr. Murphy heard me, and decided to walk up and bit me in the butt. My bike was black, ugly and locked up so it didn't get stolen, but the tires/.rims/etc disappeared from it one dark night.

After I looked at the price of replacement parts and looked at the wear, tear, and souvenirs of crashes on the frame of my 750, I went back to the bike shop and got an 850. And painted it black again. And was quite happy with what I'd done till the deputy sheriff interrogated me about the possible possession of stolen property. Somehow a brand new bike with a fresh coat of black paint struck him as suspicious.

Luckily this was one of the few times that I could find a receipt when I needed to.

TBC "Memento mori" (Me)