pink baby doll

Apparently, no matter how hard I try, it’s not going to go away. And everyone’s buzzing about it anyway. So, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, right?
Yeah, that’s right Valentine’s Day; you’re getting an undeserved shout-out. Happy now you fucked up, poor excuse for a holiday?
Now, now, don’t say I’m bitter, BECAUSE I’M NOT. No, really, I’m not. But judging by the sheer number of newspaper articles [whether this is really newsworthy is a completely different question, of course] advising the masochistic boyfriend on how to appease the Valentine-zilla that girlfriends tend to morph into come February 14th, the “holiday” consistently degenerates into the absurd well in advance of its celebration. Attached girls scramble to buy lace contraptions that will simultaenously push up and together while their single counterparts buy gallons of ice cream and too many cheesy movies on-demand. Meanwhile boyfriends try to devise ways not to get the life squeezed out of their balls, knowing full well that most things they do won’t cut it.


Why can’t this weekend be like any other? More importantly, why in God’s name did I have to choose this cursed holiday as the day I put down payment on my track bike frame almost a year ago?
And then I had to go with the pink cranks and rims. As if I needed another reminder of that one Valentine’s Day when - armed with courage that can only be derived from a persuasive best friend - I somehow ended up in a Victoria’s Secret dressing room in a pink, lacy babydoll. Patches of reason and logic did seep through from time to time [“what in the world am I doing?”], but it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Yeah, I know. How many bad frat boy stories have you heard that started with that line?


I suppose it applies quite well to my track bike, too. It seemed a good idea at the time to choose one gear over 21. It seemed a good idea at the time to spend too much on pink anchors for rims and a powdercoated front brake that’s just going to come off when the bike hits the track. It all seemed like a good idea at the time. Which is just another way of saying now that I think about it, what kind of drugs was I on?
Maybe a little bit of stupid, and a little bit of crazy. Or a lot of both, given the fact that I’m probably looking at a good year - two, if I stick to what I want - until I can afford to buy a solid road bike. But it was Valentine’s Day, and while I might think it’s ridiculous, no one said I was immune.
Besides, unlike that pink babydoll, I'm going to keep squeezing every drop of my investment out of that track bike. At least until knee failure.

wild thing

Going to the dentist freaks me out. Like most people, I don't particularly enjoy getting the insides of my mouth poked and prodded with sharp, cold, metal instruments. I might not even mind that discomfort, actually, if it wasn't for the lies.
Why is that? Like every "don't worry, this won't hurt" is dentist code for "grab the sides of this chair because I'm about to blast air onto your raw nerve! Woo!". And then there's the "relax, I'm just going to take a look [and pull out this wisdom tooth once you allow me access to the back of your mouth!!! AAAHAHAHAHAH SUCKAAAAA!!!!]." One can only take so much of that, and once I give up, lying in that dentist's chair placidly, my dentist will always tap my shoulder, saying "don't tense your shoulders up so much, relax," and if it weren't for the 4 different metal objects in my mouth, I'd tell him that I'm not tensing up, I just have broad shoulders, but thanks for reminding me of my manly attributes.


Even after surviving traumatic wisdom tooth extractions [it involved a hammer and chisel, and yes, I was conscious], I still cringe and whine before a dentist appointment. The association is too strong to have those harmless tooth cleaning sessions absolve the dental profession in my mind. And it's that same unforgiving ball of anxiety that greeted me as I threw my leg over the Dolan last night.


Because for once, it was out in the wild. More familiar [and lighter!] road drops having replaced the anvil that was my steel track drops, I had hoods to grab onto for dear life but I wasn't sure how that would actually translate. I remembered balancing precariously on those white-tired, pink-rimmed wheels and wobbling dangerously as I attempted to keep the track drops straight. I remembered almost biting it a block from my apartment. I remembered how it felt to tear open a few knees on asphalt. I remembered being on a bicycle and feeling slightly afraid.
So I cringed a bit, and felt a little uneasy sticking a foot into the toe clipped pedal. But with a deep breath, I pushed off and it felt easy. Maybe all that time on the rollers paid off. Maybe I just got better at cycling. Maybe riding the Dolan wasn't so terrifying as it was incredibly fun.


The Dolan's light aluminum frame slicing through the last rays of sunlight in the quickly darkening afternoon, I was almost tempted to ride it on the street more. Good thing my gearing borders on the impractically ridiculous if inclines are involved. Because otherwise, as stiff pain reminded me this morning, I may not have much knee left...


No matter how chipper I might be feeling on this day of the week, that line from "Office Space" will run through my head at least five times, in that same gratingly annoying voice:
"Looks like someone's got a case of the Mondays!"
And then there's that Swingline stapler by the copy machine that I wish was bright red and belonged to a co-worker that looked like Milton, who would mutter and stutter about the squirrels outside his window. The ones that were apparently married.
Oh, Milton. I loved his glasses, the timid muttering, that forlorn look when he didn't get any birthday cake, and of course, just his sheer geekery. Which might explain why, in a way, I love the name [and bicycles] behind Geekhouse.


And while I can't quite say that I love the people behind Geekhouse [yet], well, I'm at least in strong like of them. All [two] of which I officially met while infiltrating the NYC Velo ranks last Wednesday. After refueling on caffeine, we rolled up to a garage space packed to the brim with machines, tools, and [of course] bicycle frames, and we got to see Geekhouse at work.
I've actually been to this particular address in Allston once before [though over a year ago], but last week was the first time I got the full tour and a peek into the personalities behind the instantly-recognizable frames of Geekhouse. And though the space was vastly different from the IF warehouse we had just visited, the same intense love for building bicycle frames was crammed into every nook and cranny of the place.



From a one-man show started in 2002 by Marty, it's expanded to sustaining a full-time employee. And with frames painted in saccharine-sweet colors, a Geekhouse frame is hard to miss. Clean, simple lines and sometimes aggressive pursuit geometry, I've ooh-ed and ahh-ed at Marty's frames whenever I've gotten close to one [even though, yes, me + pursuit geometry = instant endo].
Too bad I'm broke. For the second time that day, my skin crawled with the desire for another bike. The most tempting part being Geekhouse's new powdercoating operation, too appropriately named Sugar Coat. While watching Joe spray powder onto a frame from a gun, I learned that they're now offering to powdercoat even non-Geekhouse frames. And with Marty putting together a 'cross team, I'm almost tempted to hand over that San Jose and attempt to pull off the faux Geekhouse 'cross bike look.



Okay, that would be beyond stupid. Still, you can't blame a girl who could never fit on a Bareknuckle to want a bubble-gum pink bicycle at some point [and just between you and me, I desperately wanted a pink track bike before I realized no one makes such a bicycle in my size]. True, the tank of a San Jose might not be the bike for that, but you know, it might just work.


At least until I have the cash money to throw down on a real Geekhouse frame.

candy coated

I have a friend who is the quintessential dude.
Not "dude" as in Big-Lebowski-esque dude, but the frat boy kind that hits the gym twice a day and eats protein bars everyday [which even he agrees taste absolutely disgusting]. He openly admits to feeling weird when he doesn't have at least two beers in both hands, and has a very defined concept of what girls should look like.
Given the fact that I'm no delicate flower in heels and short skirts, in my friend's eyes, I conveniently [and fortunately] fall into that gray area between "guy friends" and "girls I'd hit." Probably closer to the "guy friends" though.
Still, I've noticed that he's the only one out of my group of we-survived-studying-together-for-all-of-1L-year friends [who are all male] to actually still treat me like a girl. Just when I was starting to think I'd achieved "guy friend" status.


But despite the sometimes unasked for and unnecessary advice he might give ["if you want to impress a guy, let him watch the game and bring beer"], it's still sort of nice that someone's picking up on the fact that I'm not a total dude [yet]. I was starting to think that that was limited to bike mechanics and polo friends.
It sometimes results in awkwardness though. Like when a bike mechanic/friend excuses his language before swearing. True, people might not be fully aware that I swear like a sailor but I end up at a loss for words. It makes me start to think that maybe people think I am a delicate flower, not the tank dropping f-bombs.


That's exactly what happened when I picked up some new tires [Halo Twin Rail ones] yesterday at Boston Bicycle. Dan excused his language before he used the word "fuck." As usual, I sort of just blinked and spluttered. Awkward. Still, that didn't keep me from unashamedly dancing around my apartment in happiness and excitement after fitting the aforementioned tires to my pink rim. It's so cute. In all its candy-coated glory.
Maybe I'm starting to accept this whole "being a girl" thing more.

the birds and the v's

As pathetic as it sounds, if you had asked me last year if about Deep V rims, I probably would have assumed that you were talking about either a) some new sex move I hadn't heard of, or b) a porno.
I still sort of weird myself out every time I think "wow, I want a pair of Deep V's." It's only slightly better than my absolute dread at saying the word "lockring" in public because I know something else is bound to come out and I'm going to look like a total freak.
That hasn't kept me from wanting them though. It's sort of made me want them even more, in a perverse kind of way. I mean, how awesome would it be to get people to say "woah, look at her Deep V's"?
Okay I take that back, that sounds kind of gross.
But guess what came in the mail a few days ago?

Pretty in pink, it's sitting out in my tiny hallway, waiting for hubs, spokes, and yes, nipples. It's strategically placed so it's the first thing I see when I open my front door. It's better than the cat I wanted a few months ago to alleviate the sheer depression of coming home to an empty apartment, or the tv I've been wanting for over a year.
So when a friend asked me last Friday what I was up to after class, I naturally told him the truth:
"I'm going home to lick my new rim."

little [pink] presents

back brake

I've been on a mission since this past summer. A mission to pink out my bike.

It's kind of an odd combination - a dark green Bianchi San Jose with pink handlebar tape, pink bottle cage, pink chain, and even pink toe straps. A watermelon bike.

Don't get me wrong, I've never really been into pink. I'm not the type to pink out everything because, well, I'm not 13 anymore. But on my bike, it's totally acceptable and appropriate. Because I said so.

So when I went to the best bike shop ever to get a brake lever installed, my jaw almost dropped to the floor to come back and see that the incredibly wonderful mechanics had given me pink brake cable ends. Front and back.

And to sweeten the deal just a little bit more, I even got a pink valve cap, "ripped off an old tubular from the 80s."

Nearly a week after I had my brake installed, this still brings a goofy smile to my face. Hey, it might be freezing outside - and windy! - but my bike is awesome.

valve cap

front brake