Thursday, November 20, 2008

Chainless Bike

I haven’t ridden my bike in over a year. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with my bike since the first day I climbed from Fremont to Phinney in that big, beautiful, painful gear. My bike, built mostly by Irish Paul with limited help from me, was one of the sexiest on the streets of Seattle in its day. The handlebars were bare aluminum and less than 2’ from end to end. This wickedly increased the coolness and instability of the machine. Turns were a force of will, and pumping up hill was an exercise in futility. Baby blue with white highlights on the saddle and head, she streaked through the city at breakneck speeds (partially due to the ridiculous design of only having one break, located on the back rim for optimal coolness and dangerous. It started slow, stopped long, couldn’t turn and had the potential to gore a hole in me had I ever tossed it. But, despite all that (and the insane speeds which could be reached on the downhill morning commute), she lived into old age. Now, she sits in the garage and likely dreams of the morning dew splattering against her frame.
I’m not sure when my love of the machine passed into one of my many used-to hobbies. I still love riding, I’m sure. Now that I’m healthy again, Fremont doesn’t look nearly as intimidating. But, my live isn’t worth risking on such a dangerous machine. Seriously, of all the compliments paid that bike by passersby, commuters, and bike messengers, the sentiment was always the same: that looks so dangerous.
Maybe I would enjoy a new machine. The geek in me that relished every episode of the first three seasons of Junk Yard Wars longs for this new hotness. It’s a chainless bicycle that uses similar technology as motorcycles use. No more slipping or grimy fingers from reseating the chain. My beautiful bike was notorious of dropping the chain, mostly like due to the unnatural gear ratio.
Best yet, these new bikes come with two breaks.

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