Found Money & The Fucking Rules
Nostalgia has it's own gravity.
Nobody ever happens upon a wad of cash, dropped by someone else. It may of course have happened once or twice, but when this occurs it is so rare as to be nearly improbable, and hence we can just agree that stumbling upon wealth simply doesn't happen. So it goes that if you were to find some money in an awkward or obvious place, the first reaction may be a bit like discovering a baby floating down a river. Hmm... What Tha!?... Then we look about us for the hidden camera, or someone who has a twisted sense of humor. Of course there will always be the case where someone else says, "I saw that first!." and swoops in, cause hey, "Free Baby!"
In all cases this context notwithstanding, the prankster, or the poor sap who pulled something out of their pocket and dropped the wad of cash will soon discover it missing, and become upset. But "wealth" can be something else.
One time in Paris, a gypsy street hustler played the wedding ring game with my brother and I and we decided to go along with it for a moment, and once the person pointed the 14K stamp in the ring, for the second time, we simply pocketed the ring and ditched him. So whereas the scam which nearly always works on the right foreign mark, conscribes a tourist to split the money with the gypsy, we simply took the ring, and the con ended.
It is normal to be skeptical of others, and their pranks. It is desirable to have the good sense to anticipate their moves steer around the pitfall, and work the scenario forward to its logical conclusion to wiggle out of the set-up before becoming trapped in the game.
So what I'm about to say may appear to conflict with a Critical rule. Rule Number 25: The bikes on top of your car should be worth more than the car -- Or at least be relatively more expensive.
...And so You do not immediately persecute me for outlandish blaspheme, remember that this rule operatively states "Worth", more than your car. "Worth", like beauty, is value weighed by it's beholder. (this is not always a Dollar, Pound, Euro, Peso equivalence scale).
If you are lucky enough to have a bike then you are lucky enough; And if you have several bikes then you are a bit obsessed. Bearing in mind that many people agree that the correct amount of bikes one should own is 3, there is another way to look at this equation, and it is well foot-noted in The Rules.
Rule Number 12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
Keeping the N+1 equation in check, is a daily struggle. Where "N" is the current 'allowable' Number of Bikes to be brought home, and "+1", the quantitative tipping-point. As an equation and a cautionary pitfall, "N+1" is well recorded in Bike lore, and is heretofore subscribed to as Rule #12 in the Velominati Rules, otherwise referred to simply as "The Rules", This equation is best also written as S-1, whereas "S" is the number of bikes owned, that would result in separation from your partner.
So it goes that we often need to thin the herd, or merely be mindful that both relationships and mental health are crucial considerations when considering such logical problems.
So, here is a great, if futile way to save 10K today.
Imagine a day in the past when lean men, with wholly unscientific diets worked in factories, making shoes, or as a plumber. The same lean citizens entered a challenge a few times a year to prove themselves to their neighbors and family. These black and white peasants climbed aboard equally thin steel diamond-shaped contraptions amidst other wiry men dodging and lunging up and down hills as if fish schooling in a pen to trick a predator.
After a lengthy but indeterminate amount of time and exhaustion, they'd each stop for a big fat lunch, sipping a few glasses of Bordeaux , before a cigar, then coffee, and then remount their ordinary single geared bikes to endure an extended afternoon of punishment amongst their peers. Over snowy passes they rode on crappy crushed gravel and piss-poor pavements sun-stroked, frost-bit and exhausted, they'd close the day after dark with a dinner similar to lunch, but perhaps with a whisky, and they'd count sheep. By the next dawn, they'd gather again and continue the ritual for the rest of the week, likely collapsing, crashing, or dropping out, but always doing their best.
Whether the winner or one of many many losers, they'd return to work as Brick-layers, Chimney-sweeps, and the like and use the same bicycles to deliver and fetch groceries, Fuel, and tools. Their bikes were unremarkable, their spirits doused, but their resolve unfettered.
"Next Year...", they would say.
Amidst a Grand Tour, Short Chase, or a Fondo, A rider reluctantly becomes one with their bike. For a short while these riders were not riding bikes to deliver firewood, coal, or feed, but they were floating above their bikes, their ordinary lives like phantoms, majestic, mock champions. Pressing into that envelope of prickly air, to stab forward. It is unclear whether the feeling of riding at this pace is otherworldly, or merely a brief disentanglement from the plane of the ordinary, but one never forgets their first experience of floating locomotion. Alas, "Coming down", as they say, is always the hardest thing. But if the next day someone were to ride that very same bike to work, or church, they will assuredly recall fondly the "Almost" moments when the race, and it's victory were within sight. For most of us, that is before the gun-shot, and we know how this typically devolves.
In the unremarkable lives of so many spectacular people who rode hard in all weather and all conditions to savor the pipe-dream of the podium, only to pedal the same bike to church the next day and reflect... It is poignant that 3 Bikes is two more than so many champions who came and went.
To be a great rider, as with a skilled Carpenter, Mason, or Smith, is to do the work well, and to maintain and respect the tools of one's trade. For this, we rejoice in the mere opportunity to have a ride, and that feeling, above the tools, where the skillset is planning pace, timing, and breath, but never the tool. The tool in the work-day of a race is independent of the craft. Once the motor winds-up one floats seemingly above the bike straining and coasting. breathing and spitting. Today will be a far better day if you bank the money for a new bike and air up some neglected friends for a spin as if for the first time. Celebrate the opportunity to ride them, wipe them down, and consider your luck. When you have another steed sitting in a cart, and you are a click away from people on the other side of the planet rushing about to dispatch it to you, consider your fortune, your time, and your collection, and if nothing else consider it's use. Considering the supply-chain shortage... if you are the fortunate person at the bloody threshold of S-1, then maybe take a pass.
We hold these truths to be self evident:
If you are lucky enough to ride a bike, then you are lucky enough. If you have 3 or more bikes, then you are surely winning, -- But if you ride none of these sexy bikes, and your legs are not broken... then -- I'm afraid you are a simply a dickhead!
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Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.