Opinionated Bastid.

Yes, it’s been said – and more than once, mind you! – that I am, in fact, quite the opinionated bastid. I like Jazz, Blues, Led Zeplin, and Eric Clapton; hate Rap, Pop, and any boy band. Design should be tasteful, something Miami Vice never was. Reality television is stupid. Chrome lugs kick ass. Long top tubes fit my body comfort far better than shorter, more aggressively oriented tubes. Brooks saddles are terrific, once they get broken in, but my butt still likes the fit of a Selle Regal better. Regardless of the name plate, the Brooks Cambium fits like a Regal and I like how it feels over long distances better than anything else I’ve fitted my arse onto.

All chrome bike frames just look hot. But not sexier than my red and white Gazelle AA Champion Mondial Special. No bike I’ve ridden feels faster than that Gazelle; no bike I’ve ridden climbs anywhere close to the way my 1966 Paramount does. Despite the freakishly tall gearing, I might add. Poodles and pugs and dogs with names that sound like poop are simply ridiculous; Black Labs are the bomb, and will be your best friend forever. They’re also the cleverest critter on the face of the planet. High school students will surprise you. If you let them. British bikes are simply classy. Fenders are compulsory equipment. Skinny tires are so yesterday, and thank god we’ve finally come back around to appreciating fatter tires.

Blue jeans are obligatory attire for art teachers. Especially 501’s. And black t-shirts, too. Vanilla ice cream is best. As is real maple syrup. And butter. Fuck margarine and white bread and soda pop and especially high fructose corn syrup. Diabetes sucks. An encounter with a Caravaggio, a Rothko, or a Klimt are nearly religious experiences, as is an early morning ride just as the sun is breaking over the horizon. Lycra just sort of stinks, both figuratively and literally. There aren’t enough sensible choices for riding clothes available and affordable. Most cycling gear is a marketing ploy. I have the best job in the world.

A fifteen minute afternoon nap is marvelously refreshing. Nothing stimulates ideas better than being around smart, creative, talkative people. Wide pedals feel better. Long toe clips are better, period – and by the way, it’s really tough to beat a good pairing of clips and wide pedals if you plan to ride for any distance at all. After playing around with all manner of different length crank, it has come to my attention that the French had it right all along: 170 (or in their case, 171) is the perfect length. Don’t argue with me about this, you’re wrong. Crisp, quick shifting is pure joy. Confident braking that easily modulates ain’t too shabby either. A broken chain sucks. Totally. And if it breaks when you are miles from home, double that. I don’t have nearly enough quality riding time. I definitely need to spend more time at the drawing board. Life goes by way too fast.

And chrome lugs totally kick ass. Totally.

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14 thoughts on “Opinionated Bastid.

  1. I agree with you.

    I disagree with you.

    But you know, like what you have to say or not, I can appreciate your opinion because, having an opinion is awesome. People that don’t have opinions and just agree or melt into the conversation as nodders are boring.

    Opinions aren’t boring. They spark life and interest.

    So, thanks for stating your mind.

    Oh, and I really loathe pugs too. And nice image above. Really, really nice shot.

    • A world filled with middle of the road, “good enough” is good enough, milquetoast dialogue vs. saying what we really mean and feel. I’ll opt for the richer discussion every time. We’ve got our fill of boring already.

    • Jim, that’s a darned nice looking P-15! Love that baby blue with the lug lining and chromed lugwork, too. I converted my 1966 P-12 to 700c for a while and because I’m running center pulls, a change in calipers wasn’t necessary. I did wind up going back to 27 x 1 1/4 though, when I came across a nice NOS set of wheels.

      • Thanks for your remarks. I had the bike custom painted by CyclArt after owning the bike for 20 years. It wasn’t a period correct restoration, since I wanted a bike that was more representative of an earlier classic Paramount period (up to about 1972).

        The best complement I’ve gotten on the bike was from my favorite LBS mechanic, who has worked on the bike several times. The last time he worked on it he said “I love this bike”. Hearing that, from an experienced bike mechanic, was very nice.

        I like pinstriping and the style of decals that were used during that period, the color likewise was chosen for a more classic appearance. The bicycle was purchased in 1977 and was originally painted a color called “Pearlescent Orange”. The color was nice, but it was very dodgy trying to match the paint with a touchup.color (because there was a base coat and a finish coat).

        By the way, I really always admired the full chrome Paramounts, but they had been discontinued before I purchased my bike. I remember very distinctly seeing a beautiful all chrome P-13 Paramount at an Albuquerque Schwinn dealer in about 1971. It had barcons and blue handlebar tape. A lovely bike indeed!

  2. Mr. Cranky says:

    Opinions are like anal sphincters, everybody has one. And, by George, yours is a lot like mine. EXCEPT, high school students scare me. Now 5th graders, there’s a great bunch. And if it weren’t for a highly politicized administration insensitive to teacher workload/rights and the education bashing coming from the right, I probably wouldn’t be retiring.
    BTW, here’s my 3 speed (as I got this link from the 3 Speed Society):

    Kogs Commuter with NOS '54 Sturmey 3 Sp

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