A few hours from now, I may become Judas, betraying my beautiful savior for a modern day equivalent of thirty pieces of silver. A customer who answered my Craigslist ad will be coming to take a look at my 1990s vintage Bianchi Campione D’Italia, a celeste Italian goddess with curves that will evoke the lust of any cyclist, a double lugged steel framed Aphrodite (believe me, I picked the correct greek goddess) that is pure pleasure to ride. His desire was obvious in his email response to my ad, the lure of Venus a temptation too great for him to handle.
“How soon can I see her. I can’t wait. She looks stunning.”
I understand, you leering john. Years ago she pulled me in the same way, her vision a siren’s song impossible to resist. I was desperate, weak, incapable of resistance, my current love cruelly parting with the crack of her delicate frame at the moment I really needed her — the last two days of RAGBRAI. Unable to fully absorb the loss, my first love hangs in the back corner of my garage dungeon. So when a friend offered her to me from his stable of beauties, parading her in front of me like one his harlots, I did not even try to resist. That day I took her home, bathed her and restoring her, exposing even more of her beauty.
Our first ride was spectacular, dreamlike, one I will remember the rest of my life. Never before had a bike responded to me like my celeste Bianchi, her appreciation of the power I gave to her evident in the way she moved with my every thrust. I had never felt anything like that before. We met a group of cyclists shortly into that first ride, turned around and joined them, eager to show off my new love. That day we went the distance, more than 70 miles, at or near the front the entire way. I beamed as those riders admired my new Italian girlfriend, felt no pain as we worked perfectly together.
There were a few kinks to work out. Though appealing, her Italian components (Campagnolo Mirage) were not practical to me. For some reason, I preferred the utility of the Japanese components from my previous girl, so I stripped them from my useless old girl and replaced the Italian on my new Bianchi. To some that was sacrilege, taking some of the luster from my curvy beauty. She seemed to like me more after that, though, faster and quieter. I liked that too.
My customer wants the original Italian components, appreciating their precise appeal as a nostalgic work of art. They are still in excellent shape. I didn’t use them much.
Bianchi was my constant companion for a few years until lithe Serotta caught my eye, her dazzlingly sleek titanium a stunning contrast to the curves of my Bianchi. Not only is Serotta responsive, she is light. I knew that I had to have her the moment I laid eyes on her. From that day on, Bianchi has been second to Serotta. Serotta has my full attention, Bianchi coming out now and then just for a short ride.
If I sell her, I will miss her a lot. A lot of me wants to keep her simply because she is such a work of art, beautiful in a way most of the expensive technological carbon machines can not be. Bianchi is unique. My intent has been to keep her until the day when I can give her my undivided attention again, her ageless beauty something to be appreciated. Unfortunately, it is time. I did make an appeal yesterday on Facebook, hoping that a friend would buy her and allow me visiting privileges. One responded, saying that she is too gorgeous for the utility (winter trainer) he would use her for. He’s right.
You gave me some wonderful years, sweet Bianchi.