27 September 2012
Diamontes Aren’t Forever
The Cyborg took his new 00 status very seriously, and started including longer base-level training rides in his routine. This involved longer, more boring rides of a set intensity on a road bike along smooth paths - foreign ground for the Cyborg, but a necessary measure to get some decent kays (kays, of course, being the appropriate term for kilometres, or distance, in roady lingo) in his legs. And what better way than through an alternate commute to work - a journey that must be done, combined with training, to save time!
What’s more, whilst performing his research into the Beard, the Cyborg discovered that he didn’t actually train apart from commuting to work, and he’d achieved some spectacular results in events on a singlespeed! Imagine what the Cyborg could achieve with a similar training method, and gears! In fact, the Cyborg had occasionally seen the Beard during his commute.
It was during such rumination that found the Cyborg a million miles away, so it took him a while to notice the roady was riding very rough indeed. Looking down, he saw the front tyre flat as a tack, just as he was reaching the top of the climb of Athllon Drive! For years he had been riding mountain bikes through all sorts of terrain, and could count the number of punctures he’d had on one hand. A few weeks on his roady, and he was already onto his fifth tube! (Actually, in truth, the number was closer to 10, the Cyborg had a habit of puncturing tubes as he put them into the roady).
The Cyborg was about halfway through his struggle to remove the tight roady tyre, when the Beard himself stopped by. Always known to be a bit garrulous, the Beard started to chat:
“Looks like you’re having a spot of bother.”
“The Beard!” the Cyborg exclaimed, which was met with a knowing smile by the Beard, “Yeah, bloody roadies. So much more hassle than my mountain bike. Hey, you know, I always wondered. I read an article that you don’t train, you just commute to work every day.”
“That’s right matey”, the Beard replied, watching the Cyborg wrestle with his tyre, “Training’s a bit too serious for me.”
“But, don’t you live over there in the 26’s?” the Cyborg inquired as the tyre lipped back onto the rim again...
“Well, yes, I do.”
“... And don’t you work over with the 26’s?” continued the Cyborg, as he looked in his backpack for a hammer.
“Well, yes, I do.”
“So, why does your commute bring you down here to the 29’s?”
The Beard let out a laugh before replying, “C’mon Man, everyone knows 29ers are the way to go. 29er singlespeed is even better! But seriously, work is so close to home, it’s hardly worth getting the bike out, so I like to add a bit of a loop to my commute.”
“So you come down to Tuggeranong?”
“Well, yes. In the morning I head to Dickson via Yass, and in the evening I head home via Cooma.”
“I don’t know, that’s sounding an awful lot like training! Do you do that on your singlespeed?”
“Absolutely. It’s the way to go. Cleaner, simpler. It’s just you, your wheels and the path. Pure riding pleasure.”
“Unlike trying to change this tyre,” noted the Cyborg as his tyre finally popped off the rim - half the job done. “I just don’t think I could go without gears,” he continued as he felt around the tyre and popped out a slither of glass.
“Oh,” responded the Beard, “You get used to it quickly. Really. It teaches you a lot about your riding, and less can go wrong.” - his words came just as the tyre the Cyborg was trying to slip back on popped off. “It just makes riding much simpler. Have you read our manifesto?”
“‘Beers, not gears’? That’s a slogan, not a manifesto!”
“Who are you, Russell Howcroft? It’s memorable, and simple - just like singlespeeds! Give it here,” the Beard replied, reaching out for the wheel the Cyborg was still struggling with. The Cyborg passed him the wheel with the half-on tyre.
As he looked up at the Beard, the Cyborg noticed the sun was setting behind him, casting a slight glow about him; with the wheel held up around head level gave - from the Cyborg’s point of view - the impression of a halo. Barely had he touched it than the tyre popped on without a fuss; so easily the Cyborg would almost go so far as to call it miraculous...
“Look, I’m sorry, I don’t mean to sound preachy," the Beard started handing the ready-to-go wheel back to the Cyborg, "I’m just a bit passionate about singlespeeds; it may not be your thing, but it works for me. In the end, you should just do whatever keeps you riding. Now I’d better go and race the sun home.”
“No worries, and thanks!” the Cyborg replied to a rapidly fading Beard as he sped down the path, pondering just how M could consider this man threat enough to warrant investigation.
Stay Tuned: Cyborg’s Adventures continue in Part 5: RedWrist