Like the moon, an insect, or a petulant teenager, I tend to go through phases, and for the past few days I seem to be in a drop bar phase:

However, I’m also in a friction shifter phase, which means I’ve been alternating between the Normcore Nostalgia Bike and the Vengeance Bike:

The former I ride in jorts and sneakers–an approach I like to call “Dirtbag Road”–and the latter I ride in wool shorts and other vintage or vintage-inspired attire for maximum pretense…though I do think wool wool shorts are due for a comeback, and I am completely serious about this.

Anyway, the Silver2 shifters are a good fit for the bike, and with the clip-on filth prophylactics and handebar bag the bike almost has a certain elegance:

But not quite:

I do continue to hold out hope that I will singlehandedly catapult the value of bonded aluminum Treks into the stratosphere:

But those outliers notwithstanding this is more reflective of what the market will bear:

Actually I don’t even think it will bear that, though the green highlights together with the slammed saddle and intact reflectors are all simply outstanding.

One reason I’ve been on the road lately is that first it was rainy, and then it was very, very hot, so I wondered if it might be better to roll smoothly past the landscape instead of churning my way through it:

Yet ironically in so doing I had multiple snake encounters:

Sadly, the diminutive demi-serpent above was one of the few that were actually alive, and the larger models seem to have met with death by auto:

At least I think that one was dead, though I did brace myself in the event I was mistaken:

By the way, I’m sorry if you’re troubled by the sight of dead snakes, but it’s not my job to shield your delicate sensibilities from the harsh realities of life:

Don’t like it? Go watch “My Little Pony.” The world is full of snakes and death, and also stuff like this:

Deal with it.

Speaking of phases and cycles, my coffee can was full, so I also used the Normcore Nostalgia Bike to engage in a cherished ritual:

That being a pilgrimage to this magical machine:

Which transforms my useless scrap metal into real money:

I don’t want to tell you how much I made, but let’s just say if I do this like 150 more times I can finally buy that new gravel bike I’ve had my eye on:

The new Specialized Crux is claimed to be the world’s lightest gravel bike, boasting a 725g frame for a 56cm bike.

Despite its stunningly low weight, the Crux is a real joy to ride and makes no serious concessions to practicality in pursuit of feathery figures. However, the price is… well, it’s a lot of money, isn’t it?

My S-Works Crux test bike comes in at a whopping $12,000 / £11,300 / €12,200. This sort of price is not unheard of these days, but it’s still pretty hard to get over.

Time to start digging in the couch cushions.

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