New bike day.

NBD. Except, it kind of is.

An animated gif of me standing over my new bike. I lift my head and smile as I look over my shoulder at the camera. I am fumbling with my jacket pocket while I do this. I am straddling a purple and coral bike with silver fenders and two grey panners clipped to the rear rack.

The last time I got to enjoy this glorious day was five years ago, and I got to experience it twice within the same week when I bought my Ridley and Masi. I put in my deposit with Horse for the frame in 2019. Now, this bike is in the same room as me, and since I ride to work, it will mostly be in the same room as me. If not, I’m probably riding it.

The Masi had a good five-year run. It took me around France and Catalonia in 2018; I rode it through Acadia National Park in Maine; It’s done more than a thousand kilometers on Le P’Tit Train du Nord path; I did my first Brevet on it. I’ve also fallen off it at least three times, for it was a touch too big for me.

The new bike–the Horse–is size M, as in Me. (And whoever else has my exact measurements.) I also chose the add-ons, components, paint, and I built the wheelset. Yet, it won’t be the way I’d envisioned until mid-summer at the earliest. This pandemic had some fun effects on the bike industry, such as drying up the availability of parts. I’m not all that optimistic I’ll be able to find an 11-42T 11-speed cassette before the end of the year.

I’ve mentioned how I live at the base of a steep hill that I have to ride up every morning. Going up that hill feels silly difficult with the current gearing. I’m going to end up with Dangerholm legs.

I’d like to dedicate a post to this bike when I have proper photos. I apologize for introducing it with a low-res animated gif of me stuffing my mask in my jacket pocket.

Within a day of putting the Horse in service, I was asked if I had any names in mind. Years ago, when I got my first adult bike, I gave it a name, which amused my non-cyclist friends a bit too much. Now that I keep company with cycling folks, I’ve learned that this had been a normal thing to do all along. So, I needed to resurrect a practice I’d outgrown to fit in with this crowd. The general knowledge at work is that I’m a talented rock climber (it does help that I have the sinewy forearms of a climber), but nobody talks about my cycling excellence.

So, names? Nosferatu? No, too weird. Patrick Bateman? I’m not utterly insane. Scoops, as in the My Little Pony toy I used to keep in my bedroom? I can’t be disturbing more people.

…And this is where I disclose my wholesome history as a former tween equestrian champion! Along with those comically large horse show ribbons–their size rivalled only by those given out at dog shows–I had horse posters hanging on my bedroom wall; I owned a helmet covered in velvet; I wore t-shirts with horses printed on them. I had an encyclopedia of horses with dog-eared pages. I knew how to groom and tack horses. I smelt of hay with a touch of manure. I don’t know why this is surprising: I grew up in Langley when it was more farmland than the cookie-cutter townhouse hellscape it is now.

The names of the horses I rode were Dandy and Kai. Lovely horses, shit names. My horse era was in the 90s, so I stayed on track and quickly came up with names for all three bikes. Until I sell the Masi, their names are Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum. Based on a movie that I don’t remember all that well, but it fits: Colt is also a word for a young male horse; I’ve had a rocky relationship with the Masi; and the Ridley, being the small, cute one, gets to be Tum Tum.

Someone is checking out the Masi on Friday, but I’m not holding my breath. I haven’t had the most favourable experience selling stuff online. Once Rocky’s out, I’ll change their names to Ponyboy and Sodapop and then not use either name ever again because I don’t want to explain every time that they’re my bikes.

I explained my background with actual horses to the guy who asked if I had any ideas for names. He then outed himself as someone who probably does not read my blog when he said he’d dated a few horse girls in the past and that I seemed to have turned out alright. Yes, sure.

Animated Gif of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho saying "Did you know I'm utterly insane?" and then grinning at the end.

There’s some truth to the Crazy Horse Girl stereotype. We are people who learned how to make a 500+kg animal submit to us and do everything we command. How is that not intimidating?

The other noteworthy conversation I had that day was with two people who volunteered the information that they’d dreamt about me: a risky confession. The first said that in his dream, I’d come into the bike shop and started speaking. After admitting this, the other person was like, “Oh yea, I’ve had that dream like four times already.”

I feel like people start developing an obsession with hearing me speak when they learn of my ability. Move aside, babies about to utter their first word, the real thrill lies within hearing the grown deaf lady utter sentences such as, “Hurry! I need to poop!” SO MUCH PRESSURE FOR A SIMPLE–BUT NOT WELL-ADJUSTED–FORMER HORSE GIRL FROM LANGLEY.

I’m not implying anything, but I’m more comfortable with the idea of people seeing me naked than hearing me speak. At least I know what I look like.

This afternoon I plan on going for my first real ride on Colt. I don’t plan on Lady Godiva-ing it, but I may make horse noises as I tackle those hills.

3 thoughts on “New bike day.

  1. I’m also a cyclist (casual, or as casual as it can be in Brooklyn) and was a horse-obsessed girl in my youth— that obsession is why I’m an artists b/c I drew them *all* the time. I was in 4-H; not any kind of champion but I did a lot of shows in my tweens as well. And yes, bike folk definitely name their mounts 🙂 Colt is a good one.


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