Friday Group Ride #416

Friday Group Ride #416

We are fetishists, most of us. Oh sure, we’re cyclists, but if you’re reading these words right now, you don’t just love to ride bikes. You LOVE bikes. You like to read about bikes you’ll never own. You like to look at pictures of bikes. You like to consider, in minute detail, the pros and cons of things like headlights, pedals, and bar tape.

I know your eyes in the morning sun
I feel your touch me in the pouring rain
And the moment that you wander far from me
I wanna feel you in my arms again

I have a half bathroom (I think they call them powder rooms now) in which I’ve sequestered most of the bike art, old ads for bikes from the 19th century, posters for Dutch city bike companies, some stencil art featuring Fausto Coppi and Raymound Poulidor. There’s a magazine rack in there, full of, you guessed it, peloton and Bicycling and Road Bike Action.

And you come to me on a summer breeze
Keep me warm in your love and then softly leave
And it’s me you need to show

It’s insidious really the way the bike worms its way into every part of your life. Working in the industry, I’ve had to become proactive about not accepting t-shirts from every rep I meet. I have kits from shops I’ve worked with, overstock from brands we’ve partnered with, samples from custom kit suppliers who want our business. I have hats, too. I could be a walking billboard, but mostly I opt for plain Ts.

How deep is your love
I really need to learn
Cause were living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to you and me

I’m not here to judge. I’ve been that guy. I’m still a huge of fan of cycling poster art. And I try to spend some money to support people I know and admire in the industry.  There are endemic brands I like, like this one, this one, and this one. But I hew to the plain and simple, because if you’re not careful you start to look like this.

I believe in you
You know the door to my very soul
Youre the light in my deepest darkest hour
Youre my saviour when I fall
And you may not think
I care for you
When you know down inside
That I really do
And it’s me you need to show

I’m like a lot of bike nerds. In my basement you’ll find select treasures from bygone eras, posters from races that no longer exist, photos of riders who’ve long since gone to fat, memorabilia of things that no one remembers, including me. The right thing to do is pitch it all and ride my bike, but some of it I just can’t let go of. I’m a fetishist. I love the bike. I can’t help it.

How deep is your love
I really need to learn
Cause were living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to you and me

This week’s Group Ride asks, are you a fetishist, too? What are your favorite bits of bike merch? Do you buy cycling art? Do you have nothing in the dresser but Mavic, ENVE and Fox t-shirts? How many wool off-the-bike pieces do you have (I have about 6)? How deep, the Bee Gees and I want to know, is your love?

Original Image: Eddie Sanderson

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4 comments

  1. scottg

    More of a Lucinda Williams fan…..

    Sittin’ in the kitchen, a house in Macon
    Loretta’s singing on the radio
    Smell of coffee, eggs, and bacon
    Bike wheels on a gravel road

    [Verse 2]
    Pull the curtains back and look outside
    Somebody somewhere don’t know
    Come on now, child, we’re gonna go for a ride
    Bike wheels on a gravel road

    [Chorus]
    Bike wheels on a gravel road
    Bike wheels on a gravel road

  2. Aar

    I’m hardly the least bit a fetishist. Don’t accept or buy much in the way of collectibles and promptly dispose of used up stuff.

    That said, I have two Speedvagen pieces – t-shirt and stainless pint glass – that I use regularly.

  3. Tominalbany

    Not a fetishist in that way.

    I tend more towards the ‘not wanting to buy a new bike because it feels like cheating on a lover.’

    Thanks for the BeeGees. Haven’t heard that one for a while. I sang right along…

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