I don’t know and I don’t care

Bicycles can be so boring. If you want proof just watch any group of bike dorks salivating over the latest groupset.

The problem for me is fellow cyclist often think I’m going to share their enthusiasm for bike dorkage. Obviously I’m someone who takes an interest in bikes. I’ve even been known to write crap about them on the odd occasion. So I must be a weight obsessed, techno-dork right?

(Bike porn for roadies, unless you’re a Campagnolo purist, in which case you wouldn’t spit on this shit.)

Some of these misconceptions are caused by the fact that they haven’t read my blog. If ever they had they’d realize I’ve never been much of one for facts and figures or latest whatevers. The nearest I get to quoting weights is saying this one felt a bit heavy or this one climbed well enough despite being a bit porky. That sort of thing. As as for other tech–well there’s only so much tech you can discuss with a steel frame composed of three triangles and a fork and on only one gear. (In fact, there’s probably plenty you can discuss about the nature of the bike and cycling in general, but very little of it can be quantified into simple bike techno-crap.)
Often the bike dork reads my blog but sees it through the veil of their own dorkage. What usually happens is, upon finding a new source of bike drivel (in this case my blog), they gorge themselves on it and lean back in a post-binge haze of bike lust assuming they’ve consummated with someone of a like disposition. In their euphoria they completely fail to realize that all the bikes have one gear and that I’m a misinformed bike idiot and that the blog is called Single Speed Gold Coast. Next time they corner me they can’t wait to discuss their latest project bike, groupset find or impress me with knowledge of the Giro. (Apparently it’s on at the moment and I should be staying up late to watch it. Not sure why I’d deprive myself of sleep to watch a bunch of guys ride up hills now they’ve taken all the drugs away. I just can’t wean myself off the super-human feats of 90s tour riding. It’s all so disturbingly dull these days. I miss the grand mountain stage breakaways, the failed tests, the refused tests, the sit ins and the theatre of the drug era.)

(That’s some sweet SRAM groupo you got there.)

Expressing my ignorance doesn’t actually dissuade these bike dorks. I can discuss the Giro for 30 minutes with a bike dork just by grunting agreement every now and then. Feigning the correct quantity of exuberant joy over an 11-speed groupset is easier than you’d think. You only have to meet the bike dork half way. If you can get half excited they’ll assume the rest for you. After all, as bike dorks they’re not actually interested in you or your opinions, just a (supposedly) knowledgeable sounding board to talk at. If only these guys had a wife to talk to (or a blog to write). Maybe then they wouldn’t be such inexhaustible bike dorks when someone showed the slightest interest. Hmmm, maybe. Probably the bike dork is truly inexhaustible and having a fellow co-dependent bike dork at home would only fuel the fire.
The worst bike dorks are the newly converted. Because they know fucking everything. And they’re eager to prove it. If they can catch you out on any slip of knowledge they’ll push their knife in there and twist. Too bad if you’ve already said, I don’t know and I don’t care. They’re deaf and dumb to anything but their own desire to prove what worthy bike dorks they are. The problem is, it’s hard not to engage them because (even with my willful ignorance) it’s difficult not to pull them up when they’re talking crap. And once you’ve done that you are effectively challenging their knowledge and it’s you against them to prove who is the biggest bike dork. I get pulled in by it even when I’m so at pains to protest my none bike dorkiness.

People always want to show me their bikes. That’s doesn’t make me special. Everyone who has ever ridden a bike is good enough audience for someone with a new bike. Most bikes are pretty good so it’s not normally a burden. But some are downright ugly. If you’ve read this blog you’ll know I have a special disdain for those half-breed hybrid things. There are also some contraptions called bike that barley qualify for the name. They have seats broad as dust bin lids, frames designed specifically to lower step-over height to moronic levels (as though someone who is incapable of throwing a leg over a normal step-through is capable of actually riding a bike) and the handlebars are so high I’m sure you’d have to actually reach up to grab them. But they’re only the obvious ones. I was shown a bike the other day that was from an era when chunky slab tubes were popular. What I saw was some dog-ugly slab tubes and some of the nastiest most offensive welding I’ve ever seen. There was nothing about this bike that indicated anyone had ever cared for it’s design or construction, yet the owner was showing it as his pride and joy. Thankfully he also had a nice single speed to help wash the taste of sick out of my mouth.

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