Hot and Sandy

Travel writing, pictures and stuff for people I know. Quite a lot of cycling talk, and some semi-controlled ranting. Hiking, outdoor and two-wheeled stuff, perhaps a little computing when it's worth talking about. Meandering thoughts.

Tuesday, May 15

Spend spend spend!

I've been busy again. In the last few weeks I've bought a sofa, some curtains, some blinds and a giant fake (or more politically correct "faux") fur beanbag. I have also been stung in the arse by the outrageous pricing of BMW servicing. I was quoted £350 plus parts and any extra labour for a service on my '02 R1100S. Ouch! I ended up riding 100 miles to a good guy I know, who I'm hoping will fix me up, not stitch me up.

My cunning plan was to leave the primo bike with him and ride the rat bike. Only when I got back to the 'beater' it was in a sorry state, so that will also have to have money liberally sprinkled over it. It's a 1989 Honda Dominator, in blood-red and black. If there was a 2-wheeled Toyota Hilux, this baby would be it. It's the bike equivalent of 2x4. Rugged, basic, simple and oddly pleasing. Sure, it uses a bit of oil, smokes a bit and feels a bit like riding a tank to work, but I love it. I've embraced it, covering the fairing with gaffer tape and slinging some knobbly tyres on. I'm ready to be antisocial.

The upshot of all this ramble is that I'm skint, so one of my bicycles has to go. I was going through the garage the other day - it looks the same as it did on the day we moved in - and I saw The Box. It contains some jewelly bike bits. They include some Paul Components track ends, a Cook Bros Racing MTB chainset, some mid 90s Dura Ace parts, and some achingly beautiful Chorus monoplanar brakes. I also have some peloton-issue Rock Shox Roubaix forks, some Pace carbon rigid forks and a lovely old Kona Cinder Cone MTB frame lying around, alongside 5 or 6 pairs of road wheels. I should sell all this stuff. But I can't.

The lo-pro track bike's going instead. Sacrificed to the gods of overdraft and credit. My thinking is that it's a pretty extreme bike. It was lovingly made for a proffessional in the mid 80s, the years when coureurs were doped up to the eyeballs; practically superhuman, performing on a knife-edge. A glorious but unsustainable knife-edge. Pro bikes were 7-speed at most, but some pros still preferred fixed-wheel in the flat TTs. Contre-le-montre. Against the clock. Having been stored for 20yrs, this frame was bought by a bike messenger and cycle fetishist, to start a short, bright life as a bad-ass courier machine.

Times change, eh?


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