Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Ride, Some Acquisitions, and an Anecdote

The ride in question was to Goodwood from the Scarborough Zoo on Wednesday. It was 18 degrees on Wednesday—a gorgeous day, and the warmest so far this year. In the picture on the right you can see the suddenness of the warm weather: that's ice on Musselman lake, and lots of skidoo tracks.

I rode Niles, which was a bit exhausting, especially on the way home when we had a tailwind and the group was moving at about 45km/h. My legs often felt like they were going to fall off.

Most of the riders in the group were in their sixties and seventies. I want to be in such incredible shape when I'm their age!

Below is Niles in good company at the bakery in Goodwood. That's Mike Barry's Mariposa "Mountain Bike" in right behind him—the model for the bike I'm going to start working on this week. (It looks like Olivier and I will be making fire in the shop this week some time; our hoses and torch tips have finally shipped.)

I also made some considerable equipment scores this weekend, pictured at right. Yesterday I visited a local bike co-op and found in their junk bin four dirty but unused 6-speed 13-24 Uniglide cassettes. This isn't quite a lifetime supply, but it will keep me going for quite a while.

And today I bought a pair of nearly new 36-hole Mavic MA-2 rims from someone on Craigslist. This coincidence of acquisitions more or less decides the rear wheel debates I was having with myself; I'll sell my Phil "Riv" hub and build up a 36-hole 6-speed Uniglide cassette hub into one of my new MA-2 rims. (I must say, while these are gorgeous rims, I don't like that sticker!)

Finally, here's a good anecdote from a book I read through this week, Greg Curnoe: Life and Stuff:
Curnoe described bicycles as a form of functional collage; through a limitless refining of the component parts (which Curnoe itemized in pencil notes on the surface of the watercolours), the cycle afficionado could produce a lighter and lighter machine. This became something of an obsession for him. Pierre Théberge remembers that when he took Curnoe and [his wife] Sheila to Venice in 1976, the year when Curnoe represented Canada at the Venice Biennale, he could not engage Curnoe in looking at the art and architecture of the city or the art in the other pavillions. Instead, he had to indulge a day-long outing to the industrial fringes of the city to visit the Campagnolo cycle-parts factory. When they arrived, the factory was locked and Curnoe was desolate. (80)

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