Foggy Mornings and Apparitions.

So the last couple of Melbourne mornings have been high on the fog-o-meter meaning that visibility has been lower than usual on the morning commute. This morning it was difficult to see 20 metres ahead at some points. I had no camera with me, but thankfully someone did so I can show you the conditions.
Princes Bridge May 22nd 2009

It varied from pea soup to chicken soup, but it was pretty soupy for most of the ride. As I was stopped at an intersection waiting the Green Light of Go, I noticed a fixed gear cyclist who had pulled in front of me sussing out my bike. Now admittedly, my bike is a bit daggy. It has little flair. It is functional and I do like it very much. And despite it being a single speed freewheel, I have no aspirations to become a fixed wheel freestyler. I have two brakes, one on the front and one on the back, and my rims are designed to accommodate them. So anyway, I was being sussed out by a chromed up fixie with bright green Deep-V rims as the lights turned green. I was then lucky enough to witness a sight which I had assumed I would never be lucky enough to see again.

To my right flew past an apparition of mixed-metaphors. I had seen this cyclist once before and had assumed that it was some kind of once in a blue moon occurrence, but here he was again, right there in front of me. The Cyclist Who Cannot Be Named. Now this gentleman was dressed appropriately for time trials or other such serious cycling business. He had on full lycras and and rather aerodynamic helmet. The amazing thing was the steed he was riding. Now the first time I saw him, I thought he must have had to take his ride to the shop for some work to be done on it, and was forced to ride his sister’s bike, or some such scenario. But this morning I saw him once more. The same outfit, the same bike. I was too shocked to actually notice the make of his ride, but I couldn’t overlook the front and rear baskets, each filled with bags, so therefore very practical. I also couldn’t help notice his rusty, creaking mudguards, clunking away as he rode off. The radical juxtaposition of pro-cyclist style coupled with the get-about-town-with-your-groceries was a little disconcerting for an early morning commute through heavy fog, and the image has been burned upon my retina.

This cyclist is an amazing example of serious practicality. Just as the fixie guy was sneering at my dual-braking capacity, along came the modern saviour of all practical cyclists everywhere. As mentioned before I was sans-camera, so I have used my “skills” to mock up something similar to the melting pot that is this amazing cyclist.

Now I can understand the gravity of publishing images and concepts as revolutionary as this, and am prepared to offer online counseling to anyone who feels that this information is too much for them. In the meantime, spare a thought for this saviour of practical cycling. He may pass you at an intersection of cool, and provide the light you need to move on to the next step of the velolutionary chainring of salvation, as he did for me. He may be real, he may be an illusion, but he lives in my heart.

PS. Any resemblance to Daniele Nardello is probably because I nicked a photo of him for the mock-up.


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