25 October 2013

A Threepenny Atala

If you were going to turn your bike into a tribute to someone who is/was not a professional cyclist, who would he or she be?

When I rode my Colnago and Mondonico, I thought about inscribing the chainstay with "Nel mezzo del camin di nostra vita". But I decided against it when I realized it might have been too long for the short chainstays of those racing bikes.  Besides, saying that you're in the middle of the journey of our lives is kind of an odd thing to write--especially for a young person--on a racing bike. 

Then again, while I was racing and training I probably didn't encounter very many people who could read medieval Florentine Italian. And, if I do say so myself, I would have been riding too fast for them to read it anyway. 

I don't think I encountered very many people who were familiar with the works of Bertolt Brecht, either.  Such a consideration seems not to have deterred someone in California who turned a '70's Atala into a rolling monument to the German writer.

After painting the frame gray, its owner inscribed it with lines from Brecht's poems, plays and essays.

This section of the right (drive-side) seat stay is adorned with this gem, "When crimes begin to pile up, they become invisible."

The bike is for sale, minus its wheels, handlebars and stem, on eBay.  "Will make a great fixie, single speed and art school punk chick magnet", according to the listing.

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