24/02/2010

Mid bike crisis



Scene: me and my classy vintage fire engine red Koga Miyata in a narrow Amsterdam stairwell, third floor, just outside my apartment. It's been a long, dark and cold winter so we haven't spent much quality time together of late. I see her everyday when I leave the house or come back home. The Koga has endured the bad weather rather stoically, silently gathering dust in the stairwell, looking out the window at the rain and snow. Somehow she got a flat, she looks neglected but still proud. Patiently waiting for me to fix her and take her out for a spin on the first sunny day. Trusting my love, love for the first bike I ever truly loved.



Me: *sigh* (look at the Koga, feeling sorry for her, apologetically I stroke the still perfectly lacquered bar, red like my fingernails)
I should have gotten a new inner tube when I was in the bike shop today, I forgot.. damn. It would have been a good day for racing today, the first decent day of the year! It's not cold at all, and I got a new rain jacket and gloves, it would've been great.. just a short trip, the Abcoude-Driemond circle to start with.

Koga: ...

Me: We should start training for the hills of Limburgs Finest soon, 150km this year. It's going to be really tough, we need to be in good shape.

Koga: ...

Me: Then again I was rather busy today.. I was at Pristine. It's this new fixed gear shop that opened up a while ago. It's full of shiny rims, crazy coloured saddles, all brand new stuff, beautiful really, in a hipster cool kind of way.

Koga: ...

Me: All high quality stuff, mind you. Cinelli, is one brand they sell. Nice classy old Italian brand. Classy and beautiful like you.

Koga: ...

Me: Maybe you've noticed I've been a bit distracted lately. Any other winter I would've made sure you were ready to race at all times. Maybe you wonder why I didn't take you to this beautiful new bike shop?

Koga: ...

Me: I'm not sure you'd like it there to be honest. You know what they do with vintage bikes like you? They strip them of their gears and brakes and wheels and everything! Until only the frame is left. And then they fix the frame with the coloured rims and grips and maybe a little frog leg brake on the front wheel. Sometimes a nice new spray paint job. They turn vintage bicycles into really sexy naked modern objects of desire, it's fantastic! *exited now*

Koga: ...

Me: I would never do that to you, you understand? I love you just the way you are. I love your gears and I love your brakes. You got me through the hills of Limburg remember? Man that was great.. how we beat some guys on really expensive new carbon frames, aaah... *reminiscing smile*

Koga: ...

Me: You're my first true bicycle love you know that? There have been others before you but they didn't mean anything to me. You were the first one I really wanted to be seen with. I first realized I loved you when I imagined someone had stolen you. It broke my heart just thinking about it. This was when we raced the Classico Boretti. When we came over the finish line, triumphantly, that was our marriage. I've loved you ever since and I love you still.

Koga: ...

Me: I'll always love you. Nothing will change that, you understand?

Koga: ...

Me: This pink Mercier that entered the house is no threat to what we have. You know the one, she arrived about a year ago, I stripped her and put her on the wall, just a pretty thing to look at, nothing more. She's useless to ride anyway, you're a much better racer.

Koga: ...

Me: But she is the perfect candidate for a Pristine make over I realized as soon as I found her.. I thought that if she had some work done she would really shine! Not race long distance, mind you, but really shine when I take her for a spin around Amsterdam. Nothing special, for long rides I would still take you, always.

Koga: ...

Me: So I've been spending some time with the pink Mercier at Pristine. Well it's been such a shitty winter so I couldn't take you for a ride anyway. Sure you don't mind staying inside in weather like this.

Koga: ...

Me: She's been fitted with white rims and tyres, white spokes, white handlebars and, listen to this... a GOLD chain. It's crazy really, completely over the top. But that's what she's like, you understand. A pink frame to start with, she has ditzy bling polo playing trash written all over her. She's starting to look real good now, in a proud ghetto kind of way. Not classy like you but I have to admit it's pretty fucking cool to have a pink bling baby like this to cruise with.

Koga: ...

Me: I think I'll need some practice learning how to ride her properly without getting into horrible accidents but I'm sure I'll get used to it. There's this whole gang that plays bike polo that I like to hang with, they can teach me how to do tricks as well! Also the whole summer long there'll be an exhibition about these fixed gear bikes in Mediamatic, it's super cool, I'll be spending a lot of time there.

Koga: ...

Me: I'll make sure to plan enough time racing with you to prepare for Limburgs Finest but that's not until June.

Koga: ...

Me: I'm going to move you over a bit so there'll be space for the pink Mercier when she comes home from her extreme Pristine make-over on Saturday.

Koga: ...

Me: I hope you don't mind her moving in. Rather, I've been secretly imgagining you two becoming good friends. No need to look at me as if you're the Queen of England now. She has a decent vintage background like you, she's not all vulgarity and not as superficial as first impression would have it. Let's not forget I found you on Ebay as well!

Koga: ...

Me: Please... don't give me the silence treatment. You know you win that one.

Koga: ...

Me: You know sometimes I miss being a world travelling young and free and wild bike messenger. I love my job but it's in an office. I was hoping that the pink Mercier would give me back some of that being free in the mean streets feeling, the feeling of playing outside, the feeling of being so alive you think you'll live forever.

Koga: ...

Me: I'm really sorry if I hurt your feelings.

Koga: ...

Me: I appreciate your wisdom and understanding. Only age and having been together for a long time can build a love like ours.

Koga: ...

Me: I love you too

2 comments:

  1. :) what a great read to start my Friday morning with ! Loved it..and please post pics of the new lady in the house ;)
    Deb

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