Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Bike is Sexy

As I was unlocking my commuter bike from the rack yesterday, I noticed that there was something stuck in my front wheel. Here it is:

Those might be hard to read. Sorry, all I've got right now is my cell phone camera. It's worth it to click and see the bigger version -- someone spent some time on it.

Now, I've never gone in for the spoke card phenomenon. The only adornment on my bike is a string of "I voted" stickers on my rear fender. But this, I must admit, was kind of flattering. Someone had deemed to tell me that my bike -- a lated 80s low level Bianchi (celeste, natch) converted to fixed gear -- was sexy, and stuck a spoke card in my front wheel to let me know. Alright. I was feeling "the love," to use the language on the card.

But it kind of got me thinking. I am, shall we say, not the kind of guy who gets a lot of unsolicited compliments about his sexiness. I'm not fishing here -- we all have our talents, or lacks thereof, and I made my peace with this particular lack long ago. And as Pirate has reminded me (more than once), I'm happy to have married above my level in this particular regard.

But as I reflected, I realized that the few generous comments I had received over the last few years had all come while I was on my bike. Some have been welcomed, some ... less so. I'd like to take this moment to thank publicly the two young women in the convertible at the stoplight who removed my last lingering phobias about wearing spandex in public. On the other hand, I kind of wish I hadn't encountered the guy who flagged me down after passing me and told me that he "knew it took a lot of hard work to get legs like that" and would I like some "arty photos" to remember them by.

But this card made it clear: those comments I'd received, it wasn't me that they were complimenting, IT WAS THE BIKE.

Well crap.

Like a member of a pop star's entourage, the best I'd done was to acquire a little residual glow from the sexiness of my bike. Even worse, I didn't even realize my bike WAS sexy. Hell, when I converted it to fixed gear, fixed gear was about (the now sadly late) Sheldon Brown, not indie bands.

The card tells me I'm supposed to "pass the love along by putting this card in the spokes" of "another bike that catches your eye." Oh-kay. I've been married for almost double digit years. I have a distinct suspicion that telling strangers their bikes are sexy puts me more in the "arty guy" category than the "stoplight women" one. And if there's one thing I hope in this life, it's never, ever ever, to call anything "arty."

So here's what I'm planning: the first time my wife rides her bike to campus, I'm going to find it and stick the card in her spokes. Hey now, that bike IS sexy: Miyata's top touring frame from the early 90s, the best that was ever made, the same frame that gives Rivendell readers wet dreams, in their own weird mix of Anglophilia and Japanadoration. Double panniers, uh huh uh huh. (If you're dense, I'll spell it out for you: I bought it and put it together for her.) And the best part is, she has NO CLUE what a spoke card even IS. SHHH! Don't tell her.


Yes, I know, my sense of humor is only matched by my sexiness.


DukePirate said...

First post win.

That's pretty rad about the card, really. Were you on campus?

Hey, how did the Ace race go? said...

we think you are sexy adam....... especially pirate.

curveship said...

Yep, had it locked up outside Lilly Library. If you follow the link above to the sexybikerevolution blog, it looks like I may have been one of the first nominees.

Ace = good and not so good. In the Bs I came in second. That makes the second time in a week I've come in behind Walter Bixby, who seems to come out of retirement only to win B races. In the As, I was feeling pretty good, even working a break or two (OK, maybe only one) until disaster -- two guys crossed wheels and slid out. I was on the rail and had no place to go but over top of them. Nursing some scrapes, bruises, and a possibly broken left ring finger right now. Nothing serious, and I'll be back on the bike tomorrow.

co2cycle said...

So Lance was wrong: it IS about the bike.