Saturday, August 2, 2014

Chameleon



You Can't Always Get What You Want
Enigmatic lyrics from a different century echo through my mind as I stand here typing at five in the morning. I am home now, home for the first time in twenty five days. August is upon us and that means lots of heavy rain and even heavier heat but what of that? This is Florida. This is what happens here in the last half of summer and if ya don't like it, move to France or Mars or one of those places where everybody else lives. Me, I'm a Trailer Park Cyclist and bad weather and sultry realities are part of what makes up the wild ride I am on and bicycles, too.

What About the Bicycles?
Miss Daisy the Yellow Dog (ever a steadfast companion) is fixated on a chameleon that is driving her mad, changing colors and dashing about the trailer in an effort to escape her stern doggy gaze. This lizard is big and lithe and overfed, an obvious recipient of my open-hearted generosity. There are holes in the screens, you see, and when you abandon a crappy trailer for weeks at a time in the heart of a Florida summer, There Will Be Bugs. I only mention the chameleon in context with the bicycles. Here is what happened. Daisy, banging through the bike shop/living room in pursuit of this slithering lizard ghost, knocked over the recently painted frame of Little Miss Dangerous, my 1981 Schwinn Super LeTour dream machine. Immediately recalcitrant, she bows her head in apology but then thrusts forward yet again, ever in pursuit of this rascally reptile who I know; I know this lizard, it has been hanging out around my writing table for quite awhile now and he is welcome here, in my home. I really don't seem to have a choice in the matter, chameleons come and go at their own discretion and if only I could get my Yellow Dog to grasp that all things not-canine are not necessarily adversaries I think her world and mine would be a far more peaceful place.

Hang In There
But dogs and lizards have their own agendas, as do I: sitting here on the table next to the antique (XP!) Dell 6000 computer that I utilize for my ramblings and ravings, sitting here in spectacular black leather glory is a Brooks B-17 Imperial bicycle saddle. I have the wrench and the kooks at Brooks also included some red white and blue lacing tied to the rails. I don't know what these lacings are for or if Brooks does this for every customer but for now I will imagine that it was done just for me.

Home Again
It all ties together, this bicycle seat and the knocked-over frame, the chameleon and the dog...it all ties together. Stripped of parts, Little Miss has spent the last three weeks baking in an un-air conditioned trailer. Her new paint, a silver and black metal-flake rattle-can job applied by a pro (me) is really cool and a a diametric opposite of the flat black of two years ago. The flat black was sweet and murdered-hip, but it was also soft and easily scratched and this will be, probably, the last rebuild for Little Miss. So she gets a snappy-shiny paint job and about ten coats of clear gloss spray and she gets all-new drive parts; here on my bench is a new crankset and chain and derailleur and tires and everything. Everything. This bicycle has changed my life. I owe her a lot, really. The first post of this Booger, Coyote Brings Me A Bicycle (Project), tells all about the way I found a new path and new friends and in many ways a new reality.


And Again
Meanwhile, the fat chameleon has sneaked around and sits here now, inches away, glaring at me. I am his friend, but he doesn't know that yet. The Yellow Dog is outside on the porch, greeting the new day. Me? I'm out of rum and beer at sunrise; a new day is dawning and I am without beer and rum but I am ready. I am ready and Little Miss will soon enough be decked out in her new array and it will be a good last half of this year, this future-time, this 2014.

Of this I am certain.

Yer pal, tj
Whispering Pines Trailer Park and Reptile Refuge

August 1, 2014

24 comments:

  1. Pictures Pictures! I am eager to see the spiffy LMD in her new paint glory and of course all those nice new parts. I think "New bike day" are about the coolest 3 words in the english language. Have fun with the build Velo brother.

    RR

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  2. Always, me brother. There will be pictures and complaints and plenty of fun. Little Miss deserves everything I got and so do you. I have been three weeks on night shift and I am goofy from it; booze and free library movies and lots of sleep will cure it, I think...sequestered here in my little 10x10 back room, the only one air-conditioned in the trailer, I will de-compress and wait.

    tj

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  3. BTW I think your Brooks Imperial did come with special laces -you got the red white and blue laces, when mine came I got the stock factory set of blue red and white....

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  4. The rhetoric of everyday; good writers can make a story of anything. Good stuff TJ. As I land back in the Eden of the NW summer, it is nice to hear how life is unfolding in another man's paradise. Glad to hear LMD is getting a little face lift and will soon be ready for a night on the town. Cheers and welcome home.

    Matt

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    1. Same to you, Matt. I have enjoyed reading about your summer adventures and your far-ranging travels...Viet Nam, a place I narrowly escaped a few decades ago, has long been a favored destination. One day...

      tj

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  5. Tim Joe,

    Nothing like looking over at your bike and smiling. Enjoy the rebuilt LMD and get in some miles in the cool of the morning.

    Steve Z

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    1. Soon, Swampboy, soon...she awaits her coats of clear and the Goose is without brakes, due to a broken cable that I am inexplicably unable to repair. But now that you remind me I will be busting an order on Amazon for some cable/housing cutters. Pedro's, methinks...

      tj

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  6. Glad to hear all's well at the Trailer Park! Waiting with bated breath to hear all the rebuild trails and tribulations and ensuing cycling adventures. Best wishes to you, Little Miss, Daisy the Yellow Dog and the unnamed rascally reptilian.

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    1. Working on my bicycle has always been almost as much fun as riding it. Right now the weather is not cooperating, the humidity is too high for the clearcoat...some kind of tropical storm or something...plus a new work project will interfere...ten hour days...meanwhile I see I need to catch up with your wanderings, Anna. I'll be by your pages later.

      tj

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  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  8. A Stones reference is always good for a blog and the everyman who reads along.

    LMD is represented by your chameleon roommate. I am envisioning that she is transforming into this all-purpose romp about town vehicle. Damn the riding surfaces and damn the torpedoes........ride on!!

    I would be hard pressed to call the lacing I got blue, more red, white, and turquoise. Everybody is special when it come to your Brooks saddle.

    I have always wanted to have a sit-down talk with my dog. Explain to her that when the siren from the ambulance or fire trucks are making her howl, it is not the coming of the apocalypse but just somebody else's problems.

    Thanks for posting....oh and tell that spammer Semen to pedal his boats elsewhere

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    1. Jim, she is definitely being outfitted as a town bike, with a strong dash of S24O. But also, this will be a kind of tribute-build, if you will...should a new bicycle find its way into my stable, and if Little Miss finds herself hanging on the wall more often than not, I want her to look her best.

      I talk to my dog constantly. She likes it. Then she goes on being a dog.

      I deleted the unfortunately named Mr. Rendi. How did he get past captcha? Whatever. Thanks for dropping by.

      tj

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  9. What a pleasant surprise, a new post from TJ! Been SO very busy lately I hardly have time to check in...glad you are home again with your family (yellow dog, lizard and LMD). When I lived in Hawaii we had gecko's all over the place...took some doing to convince the wife it's NOT a bad thing to have them crawling around inside the house...(they eat the every-invading bug horde).

    I like working night shift when I travel, but coming off it back to 'normal' is always a strange affair. Good luck w/ LMD and her transformation...new parts is always a good thing! Something about having 'new' stuff that re-invigorates the riding passion...she'll be a different ride now and you'll have to get to know her all over again. (is the Brooks saddle new? If so there'll be another part of you getting to 'know' her too...but when she's broken in it'll be SO worth it...and will fit you for life!)

    Hang in there thru the humidity and heat,...I'll be anxiously awaiting pics and details of your future LMD-sorties. And WELCOME HOME (both here and the park)

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    1. Matt! having just spent all of July (and the Tour) in a semi-coma of eat/drink/work/sleep I was only vaguely aware of the goings on in France...then while reading your comment it occurred to me that I get my Tour news from your Blog every year and that's when I realized Inane Asylum was missing from my Booger List! Where did you go? I put you back on the list but now I wonder who else is missing?

      I look forward to the pain of the Brooks break in period. It has been too long since I got Way Out There and I can feel it; I can feel the pain of not riding and it hurts. This has got to be fixed and it will be. I'm working on it now.

      Give the puppies a trailer park hug for me.

      tj

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  10. Hey TPC!
    Always glad to see a new post. As with most summers, I too have been enjoying my road bike and logging the miles. Although in Colorado there aren't any flat roads around so it seems like I'm always going uphill. It's slow going but rewarding at the top.
    My dad caught the bicycle bug last summer at the prime age of 63. It seems like cycling dominates most of our conversations these days. We went on vacation in FL over Christmas and got to ride together everyday. We dont go too far, and we dont go too fast, but we always have a great time. I'm headed home to Indiana in a few days to spend a week with my family. I cant think of anything cooler than exploring my childhood roads on a bicycle with my dad.
    So here's to a great 2nd half of 2014. Cheers!
    Jason from Colorado

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    1. Jason, that journey home and the rides with your father sound like a great guest post. Think about it and let me know at trailerparkcyclist AT gmail.com

      Have a fantastic visit, J from C!

      tj

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    2. Hey Jason, Not to blog-jack your reply but I just had to comment. My Dad also found the bike bug late in his life and we shared a couple of rides together. We always had great times playing golf together and some bike time added to that. All I can say is.....enjoy the hell out of it, enjoy the crap out of it...precious memories of that time with my Dad.
      Jim

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    3. You're a good man, Coach. Keep it up. There ain't many left.

      tj

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  11. Always a pleasure to see a new TPC post, TJ! I'm very glad to hear you are well and LMD is under re-construction; mmmmm, new bike parts. My heart flutters at the very thought.

    You've inspired me to order my own Brooks saddle. I got to ride one of my son's bikes and that's all he will ride. I admit, it felt great even without my own break in.

    You missed quite a Tour this year. Lot's of great stories, more crashes than a NASCAR race, and apparently no doping. How bizarre.

    Best to you sir!

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  12. I only got the Tour news that made it to the civilian press, which means just the crashes. I'll have to go to You Tube for some highlights.

    While I am a compulsive record keeper, I can't say how much I spend on bike parts. I don't want to know. I may be in some form of denial about my bike parts buying. But I don't do drugs so I figure the money I save being drug-free might as well go to the habit I do have, which is wearing out bike parts.

    As always, Brian, thanks for dropping by. I got my Imperial on sale at Modern Bike. My coworkers cannot believe I spent that much on a bicycle seat. The foreman on the last job spent alot of time telling me all about his awesome Walmart Mongoose he bought used for half the amount I paid for the Brooks.

    I just smile and nod my head.

    tj

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    1. Only someone who spends much time in the saddle would understand why another would spend that much. I've never seen a cheap saddle under a real cowboy.

      And one man's trash is another man's treasure, they say.

      I prefer not to check how much I spend but I bought mine at Performance because I had $53.06 on my frequent buyer's club account to apply toward it. I know that's 10% of what I've purchased since the last time I cleaned it out.

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  13. ..."But if you try sometime you might find -You get what you need"

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    1. It's better than blowin' a fifty amp fuse...

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