It’s Friday! Do NOT Read This Post! Go and Ride Your Bike!

by Bicycle NewsJanuary 24, 20190 comments
Further to yesterday’s post, a commenter asked:

Anonymous JLRB said…

The old post you linked to included the following – have you exceeded stage four and returned to stage 1?

1) Fresh

This is when you’re an utter dork who’s like totally super-stoked on bikes and you fall all over yourself because Shimano figured out how to squeeze another cog onto a wheel and you do stupid stuff like wake up at 4:30am to do hill repeats so you can crash out of a Cat 4 race;

2) Refined

This is when you’re like totally too cool for school and you’re keyed in to what the current proper sock height is and you think you’re the opposite of a Fred when in fact you’re just a Fred who has figured out that the key to roadie-dom is color coordination and acting like you have a frame pump up your ass;

3) Exhausted

This is when you’re totally cynical about bikes and think the epitome of marketing gimmickry is Shimano figuring out how to squeeze yet another cog onto a wheel;

4) Dork

This is where you come full circle and return to dorkdom, but now you covet Rivendells and think Grant Petersen makes a lot of sense when he says it’s totally fine to ride in underpants.

JANUARY 25, 2019 AT 12:52 PM

Indeed I have–although I haven’t so much circled back to Stage 1 as I have broken through to a new stage of Fredness in which I occupy all four stages at the same time and have gone Beyond the Infinite:

From Foodhall to Bikehall

The upshot is that I can enjoy a stretchy-clothes ride splayed out on a crabon road bike as much as I can an underpants-and-jorts ride sitting bolt-upright on the Jones.  As for the bikes themselves, I’m simultaneously enamored with and indifferent to them: most of the time I’m fine with whatever, but then circumstances conspire to put me on a new bike and I’m like, “Holy crap this bike is amazing!”  It’s funny how that works.  When I was riding that Drysdale I kept thinking, “This is incredible, 70 years ago and we basically had it all figured out, what more do you need really?”

From Foodhall to Bikehall

Then I try a handmade wooden bike with Di2 or a crabon Fred chariot with the latest Dura Ace or something and am agog over how good it is…and then I rent an aluminum bike with Tiagra on a trip to Portland and am impressed at how good that is too.

I suppose this is why I could never be a real bike reviewer: I just like riding bikes too much.  The truth is most bikes are excellent, and it takes a lot of work to fuck them up–though plenty have managed over the years:

From Foodhall to Bikehall

Wow that bike sucked.

Along those lines, this comment also caught my attention:

Anonymous said…

Seems the Snob’s been kidnapped again and some industry shill is tapping out this shit until the ransom is paid. Free the Snob!!!

January 25, 2019 at 8:49 AM

I’m not bothered in the least by these sorts of digs.  After all, I’ve been accused of “selling out” or “jumping the shark” since probably around my second post.  Still, I suppose there’s some truth to this particular comment, inasmuch as as a middle-aged Fred who has come full circle it’s kind of hard to be mad at the bike industry, and I want pretty much everyone involved in it to sell lots of stuff and be happy.  When you really think about it, they’ve done pretty well by us: the sheer variety of bicycles and parts available is stunning, and for every ridiculous five-figure douche wagon there’s an affordable “entry level” bike more capable and refined than most people will ever need.  Sure, they’re always foisting new standards and new spacings on us and blah blah blah, but at the same time I’d wager there are good quality, affordable replacement parts available for pretty much any bike you happen to be riding.  (No, I don’t want to hear about your French-threaded porteur bike.)  And when you look beyond the bike industry and take inventory of the sheer fuckery going on in the world today, you realize that the worst thing pretty much any bike company is guilty of is, you know, trying to sell you a bike.  It’s not like any of them are committing crimes against humanity…the company who made this excluded:

From Foodhall to Bikehall

What a fucking abomination.

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