Thursday, July 31, 2008

Now I'm It, Apparently

Michael tagged me.

If you could have any one – and only one – bike in the world, what would it be?

Do you already have that coveted dream bike? If so, is it everything you hoped it would be? If not, are you working toward getting it? If you’re not working toward getting it, why not?

I own eight bikes, currently. I love bicycling, and whatever I'm going to do, I will find some way to do it on a bicycle. So specialization is the reason for that high number of bikes. Because there are always trade-offs in bicycle design (e.g., a bike built lightly and responsively enough to race probably won't carry a load very well), the first question is basically asking me what I would stop doing on a bike.

Having said that, if I had to live with just a single bike (...with just a single limb), I would choose my Ti Bacchetta Aero. It is the best tool for facilitating the type of riding that is the distillation of what I love best about it: exploring remote, quiet, and beautiful roads. The aero features a sublime combination of speed and comfort. It is equipped to protect me from rain (with fenders) and dark of night (with Schmidt hub and E6 lights). I can load it down with enough baggage to undertake short tours without complaint. There is not another bike made that I would rather ride.

If you had to choose one – and only one – bike route to do every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?

This is a working definition of hell. Riding for me is, at its best, about exploration. Pedaling through an area that I was previously unacquainted with exposes me, unmediated, not only to its sights, but its sounds and smells. The fact that I'm being conveyed by my own muscle power communicates to me exactly what the terrain feels like. I absolutely crave that kind of intimate introduction to the world around me. They say that you never step in the same river twice, and that's fine when you're talking about rivers. It's bullshit as far as roads go, though. If I could only ride one ride every day for the rest of my life, I'd quit riding -- might as well be on a stationary.

What kind of sick person would force another person to ride one and only one bike ride to do for the rest of her / his life?

Well, that's my sentiment exactly. What kind of person are you, oh mysterious interlocutor?

Do you ride both road and mountain bikes? If both, which do you prefer and why? If only one or the other, why are you so narrowminded?

Ostensibly, I ride both. However, the Santa Cruz doesn't see much action these days. Being car-free in Portland is a fine thing, but it definitely limits your opportunities to enjoy good single track.

Have you ever ridden a recumbent? If so, why? If not, describe the circumstances under which you would ride a recumbent.

Up until about 3 months ago, I liked to kid my diamond frame riding brothers by asking, "Can those things go downhill? It seems like you'd catch a lot of wind." Now I have a road racing bike of my own and my respect for folks who can ride them fast and far has gone through the roof. Riding an upright is hard work. It's a fun toy, but it'll never be my chief conveyance. I certainly won't be doing anything longer than a 100k populaire on it.

If it ain't bent, it's broken.

Have you ever raced a triathlon? If so, have you also ever tried strangling yourself with dental floss?

No, I've never raced a triathlon. I also grew frustrated with neopolitan ice cream at an early age: why dilute perfectly good chocolate ice cream by adding bland strawberry and boring vanilla?

My overindulgence of choice is in ultra-cycling.

Suppose you were forced to either give up ice cream or bicycles for the rest of your life. Which would you give up, and why?

My my, you're all about limiting options, aren't you? If you're so diabolically clever as to be able to conceive of and implement a scenario where I would be forced to give up either ice cream or bicycles for the rest of my life, why not use your awesome powers for good, rather than to make me miserable?

Oh, if you must know, I'd give up ice cream over bicycles. Obviously. But what would I put on my pie? Tri-flow?

What is a question you think this questionnaire should have asked, but has not? Also, answer it.

In what part of your bicycle enthusiasm would you say that you are the most "faddish"?

Well, I don't race cyclocross, and I don't ride a fixie or a single-speed. I guess it would have to be my general BOBish-ness. I like wool, wide tires, Carradice bags, and Brooks saddles. It's amazing the extent to which all that has permeated hipster bike culture, at least in Portland. It's also ironic, because Grant Peterson started the whole thing as a sort of "anti-fad" response to carbon fiber, integrated shifting, and suspension forks. It'll be fun to see how it all plays out.

You’re riding your bike in the wilderness (if you’re a roadie, you’re on a road, but otherwise the surroundings are quite wilderness-like) and you see a bear. The bear sees you. What do you do?

I'd start singing. "The other day... I met a bear... a great big bear..." If it joined in, I'd know I was in trouble, because then it would have known to bring its tennis shoes.

Now, tag three biking bloggers. List them below.

Nah. If you're a biking blogger and you're reading this, go ahead and answer if you want. Or if you're procrastinating (like I am.)


Post a Comment

<< Home