Sunday, December 6, 2009

So True

First snow of the season in the Pioneer Valley yesterday, and this a.m., the trees all glimmer and gleam against a cobalt sky. If it really does get up to 35 degrees, I’ll pop out for a ride to enjoy the beauty. Whether I’ll need the face-mask remains to be seen. (Don’t laugh, youngsters; as Mel Brooks, playing the Two-thousand Year-Old Man, said, “We mock the thing we are to become.”)

I’ve long since hauled out the winter bike, and have been enjoying giving it overdue TLC:

Stock photo of winter squeeze.

Some links in the chain were a bit stiff, but then, I guess you could say that about me, too. Also, the Giant and I took a fall a couple weeks ago, fooling around on the branch-strewn grass, and my wheels got out of true. That part actually made me happy, because I'd had real fun and suprising success truing the wheels on my main (cycling) squeeze this summer:

Decidedly non-stock photo of summer squeeze.

Of course, those are Ksyrium Equipes, with the low spoke-count; the Alexrims on my Giant have the traditional spoke-count and present a bigger challenge. Well… I did it, no problem, and on the bike, too. (I don’t own a truing stand.)

There’s something soothing about truing. It’s purely tactile, so different from the conceptual, high-pressure work I do day-to-day. I like the cold metal of the spoke wrench against my fingertips, the “ting-ting-ting” as I tighten and loosen, the zongg of the spokes when I pluck them to check the tension. Best of all, I love spinning the wheel and seeing the smooth, fractional gap between rim and brake pad when I’m done, and the reward of knowing, without doubt, that my task is complete. That's hard to find in this life, eh?

So here’s to trueness, freedom, and the cyclistic way.

And a warm winter.

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