(backdated -- a post that was written last week)
Winter came today. There were snowflakes whitening the sky and making the streets wet when I went back to my office after a morning meeting.
My decision to get the Julep back into shape was timed nearly perfectly. Last Friday night the Dork Bike broke. Just a few blocks from home the rear wheel completely seized up on the poor little girl. I could not force the wheel to turn in either direction, and realized it was beyond my abilities without tools. Jonathan rode back to his parked truck while I locked the Dork Bike to a sign. We drove up to my friends’ place.
I’ve been busy, so I haven’t so much as ridden past the disabled Dork Bike. I hope she is OK – but I also expect that I will stable her for most of the Winter.
I’m still not totally comfortable with the Julep and I feel myself relying on her front brake more than I used to. After the laziness afforded by the Dork Bike, the Julep in comparison requires so much focus and anticipation to ride. While physically easier (or at least faster) the Julep demands a lot more mental energy to assure a safe ride.
Several times while riding to meetings or even walking alongside a colleague while rolling the Julep with us, I’ve gotten appreciative nods from messengers. On the way home one night a girl on a road bike inquired if I was a messenger, too. I don’t know if she believed me when I said I was a lawyer, because she snorted and snipped, "yeah right, me too."
After a summer of being a dorky rider, it feels good, in a vain sort of way, to shed that skin and don some street cred. I really, really love the contrast of wearing the lawyer clothes and riding the Julep downtown. While I enjoy the contrast, for all I know it could be a signal to those much hipper than I of the death knell of the fixed gear: "Fuck – it was bad enough when the posengers and wannabes all decided to ride fixed, but now even the suits have fixies!"