Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is me cleaning "Torque." My 2001 Specialized Aqua and Sapone zebra stripped bike.
All good machines have names. Dad always referred to the car, no matter which one, as "Bessy." I have no idea why. Cold winter mornings:
"Come on Bessy!" Up a steep hill: "Come on Bessy!" On the side of the road: "%$#(*&*^%@# Bessy!"
It's not easy to come up with a name for a bike. You don't buy it then name it. It takes time to show itself. I've had lots of bikes and have found that if I don't have a name for it in a few weeks, it usually ends up sold. It shows I'm not in love with it the way folks fall in love with mechanical objects. Of course, any real bikie will tell you a bike has a soul and a personality.
Torque does.
Torque is short for Tomas de Torquemada. He's the monk that organized the Spanish Inquisition.
It's named Torque because I suffer on it so.
Not a (insert whiny voice here) "oh my legs hurt and lungs are going to bust" suffering. But emotional, gut wrenching, soul laid bare stuff.
It's a pro quality frame that I bought from a friend some years back. The whole bike, with race wheels, weighs 15.5 pounds. It climbs like a machine possessed and descends like it was born for the 9th circle of Hell. It's comfortable to ride and springs to life when I get out of the saddle and kick it with the spurs. won't let me stop. A ride comes to an end and it calls to me and demands to be ridden more and I give it a few more miles. I've ridden it all night and all day in sleet and rain and baking sun and it still demands to be ridden more...On it, I have been frozen and wet and cold and hungry and miserable and sad and angst ridden. On it, I have actually cried. On it, I have been tortured. The two wheeled rack of pain. Like "The Machine" in the movie "The Princess Bride" it can suck the life out of me. In the end though, I am "only mostly dead."
I love cycling, and I love Torque...the way that humans can love machines and I wouldn't have it any other way... even though I suffer on it so.

One week to Ironman Lake Placid. and the training is over pretty much. A few more evenly spaced workouts and rest days and that's it...hence the bike washing today before a final trip to The Bicycle Escape for a last mechanical check. I always like a shop to look over the bike one last time, in case there is something I've missed and the guys there are always spot on.

I'll post again on Tuesday with a few final thoughts before next Sundays tomfoolery!

1 comment:

  1. Hey man, Nice bike. How did you and Torque fair?