I seem to be somewhat out of sync with trends in the bicycling world.
I recently acquired a new (yes new) bike, equipped with STI shift levers. Now I had resisted innovation ever since index shifting came on the scene. I scoffed at these newfangled contraptions and in fact dialed out the indexing immediately on the first bike I bought that had them. Several years later I decided that the were in fact a Good Thing. I had the same misgivings about integrated shift/brake levers like STI. At least the old index shifters could be reduced to friction shifting if the need arose, but these new things, who knows what would happen if they crapped out, you’d be stuck forever in your 13 tooth cog. But I immediately took to the STI levers, and wondered how I ever survived without them. I was extolling their virtues to a rider recently who pointed out that they had in fact been around for about eleven years and I was not exactly in the vanguard. Well, I just wanted to wait until the technology was proven.
After all these years, I finally acquired a messenger bag. Actually, I have two messenger bags. After agonizing for a while on whether I needed Yet Another Bag, Nashbar was having a sale on them so I bit. Shortly after that, I won a very nice Timbuk2 bag at the NEBC banquet (my other bike club). I had been experimenting with a homebrew version, basically a generic garment bag with a shoulder strap. It worked sort of OK, but since it wasn’t designed for this sort of service, kept flopping around and sliding to my side rather than staying on my back. The secret, of course, was that real bags had this additional strap that runs transverse to the main strap, and keeps the bag in place. It took me a while to figure that out. New bag #1 did not come with instructions, and I first thought the extra strap was meant to go around your waist. The bag was set up to be flung over your left shoulder, but for some reason, my shoulder of choice was the right one. So it too, flopped around a bit until I realized that you could in fact move the strap to the other side (never occurred to me to use the other shoulder). By the time bag #2 came along, I was a messenger bag pro, and immediately flung it over my left shoulder, and all was well. So here I was Mr. Cool Messenger Bag Dude, when I read in bicycling magazine that backpacks are back and messenger bags are out. Oh, well, cool for a day.
A while ago, I started standing more on hills. My previous modus operandi would be to stay seated, grunt and struggle until the hill was over. Standing up seemed to make things somewhat easier, and besides, that’s what all the cool racers did. So I began standing at the slightest provocation (which occasioned even more bag shifting before I figured out the trick). Then I read in Bicycling magazine that standing wastes energy and the right way to get over those big hills is to keep your seat and shift down. Another bubble burst.
But I hear bellbottoms are coming back, so maybe I have a chance in the fashion world.