Freshly French-ish

I have to say I am not very good about letting intersting new parts sit around unused for long.  The parts I received yesterday and wrote about this morning are now on a bicycle.

Not sure why I am attributing to the Nitto Promenade bars French origins, but it feels right.  Don’t quote me, though.  It could be a vintage Japanese design.  Maybe American?  They do remind me of somewhat squarer versions of the bars Mike Flanigan puts on rides he calls scorchers.  Whatever.  I like the bars.

The brake levers don’t trace the lines of the bars as much as I had hoped, but they feel good and look fine.

 My view.

Another highlighting the pretty levers with anodized red inserts.  Fancy, right?

Update:  I have ridden twenty or so miles on these bars and it is clear that I could remove as much as four inches from the ends.  I am bolt upright when grabbing the bars forward of those last four inches (so there is no real advantage to having my hands on the ends–just that much further from the brakes).  Also, when pedaling out of the saddle, my legs make contact with the ends.  Finally, I think the ends look too long.  Now that the bars are wrapped, I probably won’t undo it all to chop off the ends.  I must remember in the future to test ride new set ups before adding the bar wrap and twine!  

Moving on.  I’ve decided now is a good time to begin hoarding Shimano Crane GS derailleurs.  I like none more, they are still somewhat affordable (generally cheaper than new ones that are less attractive and not any finer) and they won’t be showing up for sale forever.  This one showed up in the mail today.  A couple of scuffs, but otherwise it looks and feels pretty minty.What else?  I had a wonderful ride on the country loop this morning with a friend.  Three days in a row!  Just making hay while the sun shines.  Nothing more.  My companion has a decade or so less on the odometer, so I pumped up the Vitus‘ tires to 100 psi and hoped he’d show up on a poorly maintained pre-war balloon tire bicycle.  The Vitus didn’t let me down, but he showed up on a super spiffy Land Shark with very nice parts.  He called the wheels heavy, but I am sure that is compared to his carbon fiber tubular race wheels.  The pace was spirited but thankfully not soul crushing (he is kind).  I won’t soon forget stopping short to avoid a quickly approaching car and bringing him and his wonderful bicycle down (sorry again!).  I’d sooner fall myself than cause someone to go down.  He was a good sport about it and I take him at his word that he and his bicycle are ok.  I did suspend my elder privilege rule of I draft you don’t for the rest of the ride.  It was the least I could do.

At a different friend’s home last night I put on my plate something that looked like sad and soggy zucchini bread.  I always aim to appreciate everything (edible) and no one else was taking any.  Within a second of the first bite I realized I was eating meatloaf.  My first animal flesh in any (not) appreciable quantity in over a decade.  I’ve had cheese dozens of times when it shows up on accident.  I’ve found bits of flesh in baked beans and shrugged it off.  I sometimes don’t ask about lard in beans if I am just passing through.  Sometimes I just want to eat.  This seemed different.  A whole mouthful of meat all at once.  I swallowed and chewed.  It wasn’t terrible.  I wrapped the rest up in a napkin and put it in my backpack.  Frida is enjoying it a bit at a time with her meals.  Then today, as if by coincidence, I get an email from yet another friend relating Bill Clinton’s new veganism.  Who knew?  he is doing it for health reasons, so I suspect he still buys wool suits and leather shoes (he looked awful spiffy in the interview I saw–then again he probably has 100 suits in his closet and I never divested), but I am not going to quibble over details when a former President starts talking about his rad new diet.  Come on folks!  If Bill Clinton can do it, well, you know the rest.  This happy turn of events encouraged me to check wiki for celebrity vegans.  I hadn’t checked any list in a decade (the last time I checked it was a paper list–in my paw–remember that?), so there had to be some new converts.  I was happy to see the list of celebrities in the USA is hella longer than England’s.  I was happy to see that Weird Al found a way to make himself weirder.  I was not happy to see that three of my favorite actresses were now in the category “Former Cases.”  In reference to that, my friend said “it’s as if either being vegan in the first place, or changing one’s diet after the fact, is a pathological condition or a state of concern.”  A regular Oscar Wilde, that one.

Raining now.  I hope it clears convincingly so I can pedal my Promenade barred Trek to the corner bar.  Friday, don’t you know?

Have a great weekend.

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2 responses to “Freshly French-ish

  1. I seem to have the reverse problem to you when it comes to new bars. When I built my bike up last year, I put the bars on the stem and thought I should go for a test ride before taping them up. I’ve been riding all year and still haven’t gotten around to putting the tape on. I keep thinking maybe I need a longer stem, or once I get around to getting a new saddle I might want a different stem, or….

    Those bars do look lovely, though. I enjoy the swoop.

    • Funny! So long as you are still pedaling, there is no shame in that. If it is uncomfortable, though, maybe wrap your bars with something without adhesive (so you can easily undo it). An old tie? Ribbons from presents? Super thick yarn? Makes me want to go to a fabric store and see what I can find.

      Thanks for writing. Keep pedaling!

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