July 23, 2014

The Injustice of Speed

It happens to me at least once a year.  The need... for speed. 

"Talk to me, Goose."   Shortly after that, I find myself in the garage, starting silently at my bike and some of the old frames ​resting in the storage room.  Blast.  
Here we go again.

Stuff that hangs from my bike suddenly looks out of place, heavy, as aero as a​ fallen​ log, bulky as a bag of leaves.  Why does this happen?  Why is the bike the first place I look for speed?
I think we all do this, as cyclists, once in a while.  For me, the goal is to get out of the garage before I get the tools in my hands.  At the worst of times I had managed three complete bike builds in one weekend, the last one being the re-rebuild of the bike I'd started with.  See, Ieventually listen​ed​ to reason... b​ut only after swapping parts across three frames. 
 Exhausting... and time better spent riding, instead of thinking and lamenting.

I find myself, however, at a unique crossroads now.  The Kogswell has been static for a while now, as I've managed to calm the restlessness of the past.  The repeating cycle of winter bike projects has, meanwhile, freed up the old Trek 450 frame set​ (again)​ - which IS fast.  As I think further about my plans for Dirty Kanza next year, I begin to wonder if I'm asking too much if the Kogs...

​then...rhetoric ensues....​

Would the Trek be a more fitting choice for dedicated randonneuring?  Would fenders fit with my new fave tires?  Why did I get rid of that 27.2 Thomson seat post? ​ Would it allow me to repurpose the Kogs into more of a commuter-steed / gravel grinder?  Would the headaches of fit-matching two bikes again be worth it?  (Crud, I only have one good saddle...)

One more item on the wish list pushes the notion into the budget-improbable category.  By the time I make my plans, the result is a pricetag bigger than that awesome-looking, complete, ready-to-ride Surly CrossCheck I found online last week.  Grrrrrrr.....  Cycling is not a cheap hobby, and I prove it to myself time and again, despite my best efforts to repurpose old parts and legacy frames, I'm not getting exactly what I want, and I have still spent money I don't really have.  As much as I love OLD steel, NEW steel starts to make a lot more sense.  As fast as the Trek would be for rando, it's wheelbase is too short for even my small panniers to avoid heel-strike - and it won't do double-duty with larger tires like the Kogs.  

Why am I so dead-set against keeping the Kogs around?  <-- always="" else="" grass="" green="" he="" i="" is="" says="" so="" somewhere="" the="" thinks="" why="" wondering="">

It isn't.  It's STILL not about the bike... and on an email chain last night, another riding buddy came crashing to the same conclusion in his garage.  It's truth... and it's out there.

The wrenches are safe, as are the bikes.  
The budget for a new rear wheel will remain earmarked for a REAR WHEEL... as opposed to redundant parts to support a 2nd bike, which I ultimately won't keep in service.

Speed, the injustice it does to us cyclists every season... 
 I need.... (lighter, faster, tricker, newer, shinier)

The bags aren't the problem, nor is the flaking paint, nor is the ancient quill stem.
The problem is the engine remains in need of a tune-up.
This shoulder needs to heal... I have work to do.

Justice is served.

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