As promised, I’ll be rolling out some Reader’s 4th of July stories today and tomorrow. Here’s the first in the set, Mr. JD and His Hot Tubes:
“This is a photo of my Hot Tubes Track bike that, until recently, was under the care of my good friend Andrew in SF. I thought, initially, that there wasn’t too much of a connection to the 4th of July to it other than the totally obvious fact that it is painted in a red, white and blue (with stars!) fashion. But, as I thought more and more about it a few other themes came to mind. One of those was “freedom,” a word that permeated the BBQ that I attended yesterday, so I guess that worked too. But that wasn’t it either.
I was thinking about how I wanted a new bike. It happens all the time. Especially this time of year. Then, at the same time I started to lament the days where we passed around bicycles. Remember when that was the way to do it? How you got your first “good” bikes? The ones where Mark passes on the Lemond that almost got a cross threaded bottom bracket because I didn’t realize it was Italian. Or that beloved Pinarello that The Godfather passed along to Peter that became a Frankenbike Messenger whip. The Igleheart that had a few homes. A Fat Chance with new dropouts. Even the well used Raleigh cross bike that thoroughly made its way through the “scene” that is Boston Cyclocross. What a slut.
Then, there it was — the Stars and Stripes Track Bike that might have won a National Title or two — that definitely was bought out of the back of a van late at night. What happened to the sluttyness of these bikes? When did they stop getting passed around and were instead traded up for something new, thereby ending their reign of shared experience? The shared experience that not only carried with it a connotation or two (“you better race the shit out of that bike, it deserves to be ridden that way”) but also a sense of history and place that, in my humble opinion (or ATMO if you prefer) only comes from the actual change of hands that goes with these bikes.
So, thanks goes out to you John Prolly for keeping it real, sure, but also for asking that we push the boundaries a bit more in all aspects.
Plus, it is just great to have this little slut back between my legs, so I’m excited about that too.
Thanks, and Happy Birthday America!
Happy birthday America indeed! I’ll give you guys another day to submit your photos and stories. Initially I said a paragraph but as the above entry proves, sometimes you need a little more to describe your day!