Whether we admit it or not, gear is as much about design and fashion as it is function–we need the objects around us to look good for the same reason we need the food we eat to taste good. So I always think it’s refreshing when a gear manufacturer openly embraces the fashion side of their business–and what better way than to team with a fashion designer? That’s just what Mercian has done, joining with designer Paul Smith to roll out a line of track and touring bikes with Smith-design color schemes.
In turn, Smith uses a coat of paint to highlight those little details that distinguish artisanship.
Hat Tip: The Goat.
Ahhhh the New Year. I would like to officially give the finger to AD 2006 and welcome Two-double-Aught-Seven into my arms.
My body is currently under viral assault from whatever illness has been leveling all my friends and co-workers. Maybe the 5 nights of Jolt Cola-fueled manic activity prior to New Year’s Eve lowered my immunity. Maybe the imperial gallon of nigori sake (champagne is for the plebes) I consumed on the Eve wasn’t healthy, and maybe I didn’t need to go riding in the freezing rain the next day but I couldn’t think of a better way to start off a smashing new year. I may be bed-ridden and coughing up bits of my internal organs, but even that won’t dampen my spirits.
I guess it’s tradition to start of the new year by expressing one’s wishes and resolutions:
I have many wishes for the next 12 months. Of the ones that are printable, my number one wish is a bike tour of Japan. I wanna ride from Kyoto to Tokyo, passing thru Nagano. To live on beer and ramen for a few weeks, ride in some cool places, and mangle the language.
I also wish that people would stop calling my bike shop and asking how much bike XYZ on eBay is worth. The answer is obvious: it’s worth whatever a fool like you would pay. Let the buyer beware of himself!
I wish that a swank track bike had the same chick magnetism as a motorcycle .but just in case, I have one of those too.
Another wish would be less media coverage and more clothing coverage for Britney Spears’ crotch. Strangely, I think I once wished for the exact opposite set of conditions maybe 5 years ago, which only goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for.
I resolve to never again crash 20yds after giving a car driver a two-finger salute (the UK-style bird, it feels more natural when I’m really annoyed). In actuality, the guy ran a yield and pushed me over a couple lanes, but then my chain jumped off the cog on my fixed-gear while I was sprinting thru a turn. I ended up going down faster than a Craigslist crackwhore. Yeah, it was a full-on yard sale across the asphalt. Talk about embarrassing. Lesson: use 1/8-inch cogs and chains on fixed-gears if you are going to push the limits.
I resolve to ride two centuries this year. I’m not much of a long distance rider, so this is actually a big deal for me. I’m thinking about doing Seattle-to-Portland, so as to get it all out of the way in a weekend. On a fixed-gear, just to prove how stupid I am.
I resolve to race at least seven nights out at the velodrome. I’d do more, but several of my goals are competing for time.
I resolve to stop buying bike crap unnecessarily. Eee-yaaah, sometimes I think that me working at a bike shop is like a junkie running a pharmacy. There’s a lot of cool things on the market, but I need to be realistic about my needs. I’m putting a moratorium on bike purchases just as soon as I upgrade my 3rd road bike to 10-speed and buy a new track bike yeah, that should about do it.
I resolve to stop recommending chain lubricant to bike shop customers on the basis of smell. It just confuses people and gives the impression that I just don’t care about their crucial drivetrain issues. Really, it’s not that I assume that people are overly optimistic about the consistency and competency of their own bike maintenance, it’s just that I really like the smell of Tri-Flow. Mmmmm, smells like banana syrup. Yummy!
I resolve to not exceed more than 5 bicycles in my stable. I once declared that 5 bicycles was the upper limit to sanity, and by that standard of mental health I just have to get rid of a couple of frames and a track bike to achieve well-being. I’ll be selling the excess schwag on eBay. How much is it worth? A BUTTLOAD of money, my good man, let me assure you…
Also, if you’re in Illinois, you should read about Matt’s Law, and consider calling or writing your representatives about it. If enacted, it would stiffen penalties for distracted drivers, after Matthew Wilhelm was killed in September 2006 by a driver downloading a ringtone to her cellphone. Jennifer Stark, the driver who killed Wilhelm, was fined $1,000 and served just 6 months of probation.
What do I think about on rides home like last night? A ride with constant, soaking rain for an hour straight on a road edge filled with debris. Apart from the non-stop thought of “can they see me” I usually find myself day-dreaming about the good rides I have to look forward to.
I’m lucky enough to have a nice long vacation planned to Brisbane, Australia. I’m still working out the logistics of the bike and whether or not I need to buy a travel version, but I’m eagerly counting the days until sun. It makes the wet rides that much more passable.