It’s so simple, really… just eight tubes bonded together. It’s just two triangles on wheels. The bicycle is the single most efficient machine for forward motion the world has ever known. The bicycle is: forward motion.
The bicycle is uphill, downhill, across country. It’s in a pack, diving into corners, slicing through the rain. It’s steel, it’s carbon fiber, it’s alloy or titanium. It’s two narrow contact patches licking G’s into banked turns. It’s a fetish.
It’s staying up way past midnight cleaning sprockets and truing spokes before tucking fresh-shaved legs into bed the night before a race. It’s a weekend spin to a way-out bakery. It’s clicking through the gears, Campagnolo’s pistol-cock, Sram’s space-age superlight, Shimano’s electric slide. It’s line-drying bibs like fresh photographs. It’s chamois cream and embrocation.
It’s the tan lines. It’s the bathroom scale, numb toes in winter, salt-stung eyes and acid burning legs. It’s fingers pointing out potholes, glass, the joe with a dayglow parka. It’s sunglasses backwards on the helmet. It’s espresso. It’s vacation. It’s lunch break and first thing in the morning. It’s just a little past sundown.
It’s Watts and KPH and cadence. It’s mental long division. It’s the big guy pulling up front, it’s the friendly push on the final climb. It’s words painted on concrete, the bicycle sign, the county line, motorpacing and solo fliers. It’s hooks in the garage, and over dorm room beds. It’s sticky waterbottles, CO2, gluing tubulars, and sprinting hard. It’s pinning numbers. It’s recording the Tour. It’s heat exhaustion. It’s ordering pizza and sitting with the legs up.
It’s a Pinarello’s sweep and a Parlee’s spring. It’s an heirloom Pegoretti and a Moots’ resonant hum. It’s Lightweight Wheels and Chris King headsets and the white Assos box from Switzerland.
It’s the parts and the whole, the lifestyle, the urge, and the obsession. It’s forward motion. It’s simple.
It’s just eight tubes, or two triangles. It’s just a bicycle.