Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Paul Shaffer and the band played the ribbon-cutting, but all you get are the photos

I personally think we need a new futon. One made by Selle Italia in fine celeste-colored leather. With carbon armrests and titanium legs. This old furniture just isn't gonna cut it with such shiny new appliances gracing the dwelling. Some people hate celeste. I, personally, never used to get it. It doesn't match anything, I thought. But, that's precisely the point. And the Italians, they don't care. Look at Bianchi paint schemes over the years -- celeste with yellow, red, blue, gray, black, white -- brights, pastels, matte, metallic flake. You either get it, or you don't.

Bike sites always list the ultra-geeky particulars. So, here goes! Frame: Bianchi San Lorenzo, Scandium (that's a fancy name for aluminum, I'm told) with carbon fork; Drivetrain and brakes: full Campy Chorus 10s with Skeleton brakes (they're purty!); Crank: FSA K-Force Carbon 53/39; Bars: Deda Newton; Stem: Deda Zero 100 metal finish; Seatpost: Chorus carbon; Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Ti; Wheels: Campy Zonda with Vittoria Diamante Pro rubber. Weight: light. Price: "I told you I'm selling my old road bike, okay?"

Have I ridden this beauty yet? No. Why, you may ask? Well, if you added the combined daily (high) temperatures of the past couple days, you wouldn't get a positive number. We seem to be having a real MN winter after all. Two more inches of snow today. At least when it snows at -2 it's not very sloppy. The commuting has been divine. You layer up (not too many, mind you) and cover all exposed flesh. Sticking mainly to side roads and residential lanes it is very quiet and peaceful. This morning the flakes falling were huge and light and not too sticky. Each one seemed to be humming a gentle song. It's just you and the snow and your tires softly crunching through the powder. No pedestrians ignorantly clogging the bike path gabbing to neighbors about their latest trip to the MOA. Motorists generally give a wide berth since they are certain you're a friggin' lunatic. Even most other cyclists (Buddha bless their non-souls) have mothballed the lycra. If you do see another biker, you know: "Yeah, they're just as much of an introverted freak as I am! Yippee!" And you honor their experience as well. Oh, blessed winter in Minnesota.

Here's another photo. This is what I like to see: chicks on bikes. Well, I mean, my chick ... err, partner ... on my bike -- smiling! When I look at this photo I think about what it might just be like to win my first race. Maybe I'll recollect his photo when I'm cranking up some brutal climb ready to heave over those graceful handlebars which are so lovingly caressed by my dear one. Maybe the image will dull the sting of roadrash the first time I lay this sculpture-on-wheels down on the pave. Maybe I'll just be happy the bike looks so good when I finally realize a new bike hasn't made me any faster than I was on my old bike last year.

Two months and one week 'til the first road race in MN. It's actually held on gravel farm roads. They call it a classic (a la "Belgian classic"). It was fun last year with one hell of a steep climb. Yes, for yea who doubt, we do have hills in our grand (mostly flat) state. I didn't see any puking last April. But I did see the stitches of a fellow rider who went down in a corner and was sutured by a spectating doctor. Thrills and spills. And beers afterwards. Bring it on!

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