Dispatch from Packwood, fleeing the evil blue shirts

The passage through the benighted woods should have been a pleasure, but the sorry contraption that I had made my escape on was such a bizarre assemblage of home-made parts (a lever for the front derailer!) and obviously handmade lights I was not able to find my legs.

The tubing choice in the frame was simply not to my liking. The bike became as vague as if in deep gravel rather than tarmac when descending in a spirited manner. It were as if the cycle were some sort of yoga practitioner the strange contortions and bendings the frame could get into. I often found myself thinking of the plow or the lion yoga positions, never once becoming centered in tadasana.

If I were not expert at descending in the dark I surely would have collapsed at the roadside a whimpering wreck of damaged nerves. The tires were curiously cushy.

It took me forever to find the damn light switch – luckily I nudged the steer tube cap when I was reaching for the retro-grouch down tube shifter (my kingdom for a brifter!) and I lighted my escape route via that ultra-vibratory front generator hub. The saddle was so worn out my ass was raw in ten minutes but I found some straw at the roadside and stuffed the underside of the saddle to bolster it and tied it in place with some twine I found in the ‘sacoche de guidon’.

After several miles and countless hills I found shelter behind a 24 hour gas station. At dawn’s break I woke and sought my repast within the store. I inquired if any cyclists had passed recently. The wizened old buzzard behind the counter stated: ‘Whal, I did see one or two american youths escorting several chinese biker tourists earlier. I think there were nine of them total. Funny how those chinese tourists could speak english so well, but they paid good american dollars so I have no truck with them.’ I enquired about blue shirts and he just gave me the evil eye. I paid for my fruit pie and asked for the restroom key.

The restroom almost did me in – I have only encountered worse at denny’s restaurants on easter mornings after a few fleche teams had passed through – never follow a cyclist (even touring cyclists) when using the restroom, as to do so is to take one’s life in one’s hands. In a swoon from the fumes I neglected to return to the store ask for Postum and sought the fresher air of the road.

I crashed a few times on the center line paint while descending, but I could tell that the owner of this flexy flyer has crashed a few times in the same manner and I felt no guilt. The exposed brake wires from the levers constantly interfered with my rummaging in the ‘sacoche de guidon’ – damn retro poser cycle! My kingdom for my own bucephelus, a decent, constructeur built machine.

Approaching the cycle every time I stopped for sustenance or a nature break I was confronted with the poor assembly and fender line of those bumply fenders. A few of the parts became loose and I was force to replace a creaky bottom bracket with a decent tried and true BB-UN51. Those boutique bottom brackets and heavy and unreliable IMHO.

As I approached a minor highway heavily traveled with global warmers (autos, to the ignorant) I was ready to give up the uncomfortable flexy flyer and seek employment as a dish washer so I could purchase a decent Magna or Roadmaster when I heard her voice.

Dear Clarissa’s voice. Speaking words of affection, but not to me. At the sound of her voice I stumbled, darkness enveloped me. I remember no more.


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