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Jef Mallett (aka Frazz) gets it

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Jef Mallett (aka Frazz) gets it

Old 06-08-19, 09:31 PM
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Jeff Wills
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Jef Mallett (aka Frazz) gets it

I enjoy Jef Mallett's Frazz comic strip enough that I have it on my Facebook feed. Today's posting hit really close to home:

"Most bicycle nerds do this, and most of us who do it are fully aware of it: We purchase yet another expensive, probably excessive bicycle with the promise to ourselves that itís the last bicycle weíll ever buy. Or need. Both are untrue, and we know it. Weíll likely buy another bike after that one, and we likely already own the last bike weíd ever need. And it doesnít matter."

"Thereís another category, it occurred to me recently. Most of us donít think of it because itís all but unthinkable, but thereís the last bike youíll ever get rid of. I think I realized what mine was the moment I got it, but it took me a while to recognize it. The bike is my (Iím guessing on the year) 2006 Torelli Piste. Itís a track bike modified ever so slightly for road use, meaning it has a brake. Itís a fixed-gear bike, meaning it has just one gear and direct drive ó you cannot coast. Steel frame, top drawer but nothing exotic. I think the only carbon fiber on it is the behind-the-seat water bottle cage holder, an aftermarket leftover from my triathlon world (so of course itís carbon fiber) because no self-respecting track bike frame has water bottle bosses. When I got it, I already owned or had owned plenty of ridiculous, high-end race bikes. And I loved them. All sorts of carbon fiber, elegant shapes, crisp and plentiful gears, and speed, speed, speed. They were a joy to ride, and if I didnít go sonic-boom fast it wasnít any of the bikesí fault. They were all kind of expensive. And the bare-bones Torelli was not."

"But the Torelli was the one I found myself choosing for most of my rides, for any ride I could. It fit perfectly. The spring of the steel was exquisite. Thereís joy to be found in the connectedness of the fixed gear. It was way easier to clean and maintain. And it was just plain fun. The other bikes were tools, maybe even weapons. That Torelli, I came to realize, was art."

"I donít bicycle the way I used to, not since I moved to the sprawl of metro Detroit. And Iím finally admitting that as long as I live here I probably wonít. Some of my best bicycles are on unofficial permanent loan to friends who will use them the way they deserve to be used. But I still have, and by definition will always have, the last bike Iíll ever get rid of."


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Old 06-09-19, 04:47 AM
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Yes, he nailed it, although Iím not sure which of my bikes would be the last to get rid of. Probably the DeRosa. Maybe the Raleigh Professional.

Iím sure the female equivalent is clothing and/or shoes.
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Old 06-09-19, 05:26 AM
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Heh, talk to a guitar player!
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Old 06-09-19, 05:36 AM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
Heh, talk to a guitar player!
Or a violinist!
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Old 06-09-19, 06:45 AM
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Or a fountain pen fanatic ...
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Old 06-09-19, 07:31 AM
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Or a watch collector.
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Old 06-09-19, 04:50 PM
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Nope. I think I'm done. In fact, lately I've been thinking about paring down the fleet. Then again, I'm over 60, so I consider myself '80% done with life' . Don't get me wrong, I still like to ride -- but just not so much in cold, rain, fog... I ride only on days where there is a good expectation of staying dry. My bikes are all classic DF steel rides. All have freewheels. Only one isn't 27". I'm a Luddite, a Dinosaur...

My Univega Viva Sport was rebuilt to near same-year Miyata 710 specs, then I bought a newer real 710, so the Uni is superfluous could go...

My old Fuji -- well, it is an old friend, bought new 40+ years ago, so that stays for sentimental reasons.

Univega Gran Tourismo? Unless I somehow can finagle going on an extended bicycle tour (not likely at my position in Life), that can go bye-bye as well.

'64 Schwinn three-speed? Someone make me an offer...

My three MTBs are just beaters and I can let them go without any thought or regrets... One (the Mutt) was built expressively for riding the C&O/GAP but now that my sister has moved from the DC area, there is no reason...


Oh, and it isn't just cycling... I'm paring down the car fleet as well. Just no ambition ...
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Old 06-09-19, 06:43 PM
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Check my sig. I'm five weeks out from my 67th birthday, and I have six nice, functional road bikes, one of them yet to be built up. The last four have been jewels. And the fifth is close.
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Old 06-09-19, 09:14 PM
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With 8 in the garage (two being restored / built) I have self realized my addiction. Over the next year will try and get down to 2 or 4 (maybe) ...
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Old 06-09-19, 11:44 PM
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@Jeff Wills, have you read "Roadie" by Jamie Smith (aka EventServices) yet? Also illustrated by Jef Mallett. When I first saw the cover, I figured the publisher had just picked a comic illustrator to help the book look less "serious." I'm coming to learn that the two have a lot in common!
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Old 06-10-19, 06:12 AM
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My favorite comic strip by far, found Frazz a few years back when someone here on BF posted a link to a strip they had enjoyed, like the one @Jeff Wills posted above. Had a good chuckle at the strip above last week too. Every morning when I read my, "followed", set of comic strips I always watch for his t-shirt, under his coveralls, just to see what arcane/famous brand, or musical reference he has shared with us.

Bill
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Old 06-10-19, 07:31 AM
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To ride, to enjoy, to give away.

I have Mr. Marchand on my wall who retired from setting Hour Records at 106 to remind me that at 67 there's nearly 40 years left to ride and that riding a bike means many many ways to do so.

I come into my little office and see beautiful design, the soul of art/master craftsmanship and this lifts the spirit brings a smile. These bikes have changed through the years, but the ones left all do this for me.

I chased grandsons two weeks ago, they/re ready to lose training wheels, move from a Big Wheel to a balance bike. Granddaughters already ride. The days of riding slow, riding like a child are coming. Yet they will grow, perhaps some will continue to ride and each of these bikes is waiting for such a child to choose them, or, make some young man/woman in high school have an "Oh Wow" moment when for" ride to school week" they win the essay for one of these bikes.

The wheel turns, stay in the middle and enjoy the journey.
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Old 06-10-19, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
@Jeff Wills, have you read "Roadie" by Jamie Smith (aka EventServices) yet? Also illustrated by Jef Mallett. When I first saw the cover, I figured the publisher had just picked a comic illustrator to help the book look less "serious." I'm coming to learn that the two have a lot in common!
No, I haven't. And gosh darn it, my birthday was last month.

(FWIW: I'm getting a new bike. My wife has approved my purchase of a replacement since my favorite bike developed a cracked head tube. Aluminum, so it's not getting fixed.)

I'll have to pick up a copy the next time I'm at Powell's: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781934030172
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Old 06-10-19, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Wills View Post
No, I haven't. And gosh darn it, my birthday was last month.

(FWIW: I'm getting a new bike. My wife has approved my purchase of a replacement since my favorite bike developed a cracked head tube. Aluminum, so it's not getting fixed.)

I'll have to pick up a copy the next time I'm at Powell's: https://www.powells.com/book/-9781934030172
I saw the thread(s) about your dear departed Gold Rush, but didn't have anything I could add. Hope you find a replacement that makes you even happier!
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Old 06-10-19, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I saw the thread(s) about your dear departed Gold Rush, but didn't have anything I could add. Hope you find a replacement that makes you even happier!
I'll post pictures once the new bike arrives and is built up. Apropos Jef Mallett's comments that started this thread: this may be my "last bike". I'm getting to the point where my aging physiology might not allow anything further so this one might be a "do everything" bike. It'll have fenders and lights but it definitely won't be "vintage". Cie la vie...
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