The In Crowd

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In addition to being a Cool Mom, I’m also a trendsetter:

 

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For example, since last November, I’ve been riding a 1989 Specialized RockCombo:

Now look:

Did I even know there was such a bike as a RockCombo before Paul from Classic Cycle sent one to me? I did not. Nevertheless, I take 100% credit for placing this bicycle squarely in the middle of the popular cycling consciousness and single-handedly making it fashionable again.

In fact, given my innate ability to serve as an unwitting zeitgeist bellwether, we can also logically conclude that fixies are poised to make yet another comeback:

And that step-thru frames are about to become all the rage:

It’s hard to be this cool, but somehow I manage.

And let’s not forget about that other deeply-uncool bicycle, namely the rim-brake road bike. Between the gravel bike and the aero road bike, good old-fashioned skinny-tired road bikes made out of metal have been consigned to the office wastebasket of history:

Despite this, I’ve spend the last two days astride such a bicycle, so given my unerring compass for bike fashion direction you can bet that they too are on the ascendant:

While I’ve been increasingly drawn to be-jorted sneaker rides of late, I generally favor the road bike in wet conditions for the following reasons:

–It’s not like I’m going to be riding on dirt when it’s raining, so I might as well enjoy the skinny tires

–I generally prefer riding in “regular” clothes these days, but if I’m going to get stuck in the rain I’d still rather be wearing stretchy clothes and cycling shoes

–Road bikes are fast, so if conditions really deteriorate I’ll get home that much faster

Fortunately that last scenario was not the case today, and in fact the sun broke through and dried out the roads, which obviated the need for fenders. Nevertheless, I was quite pleased to be on the Milwaukee, which has served me extremely well as a true workhorse in the six years that I’ve owned it. Perhaps its best feature is that it takes medium-reach brakes, a component that is sadly going extinct in the Age of Discs:

Yes, it does have some rust spots (I credit my extremely corrosive perspiration as well as my penchant for extreme neglect), but overall it has proven to be quite robust–and that includes the components. Apart from the obvious consumables (chains, tires, brake pads, that sort of thing), and the derailleur pulleys (which, while not obvious, one can argue are still consumables) I’ve only changed the crank–and the only reason I did that was because the chainring was worn out, and while I didn’t have any replacement chainrings in that size I did happen to have a whole crank, so on it went:

Oh, also note the pedals, which Paul sent along with one of the bikes he’s graced me with over the years:

I like to think the “Test Me” is meant either to taunt competitors or to urge the rider on, but I think they’re quite literally test pedals meant to lure unsuspecting Shimano riders to the strange and exotic world of Time.

I’m even using the wheels that originally came with the bike, though the braking surface is displaying considerable concavity. Indeed, the wear indicator is long gone, and so I conducted the old straight-edge test:

I have no idea how to interpret these results, but I’m guessing it means I’m about to die:

When I do, feel free to ridicule me for not using life-saving disc brake technology.

Anyway, on that note, I’ll bid you a hairy farewell (hairwell?):

Now go ride your bike or something.


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