Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Tell Tale Saddle

I have been annoyed lately by a creaking sound coming from my bike saddle. It happens almost every time I hit dead bottom on a pedal stroke. This is new, my bike used to be very quiet. I took it to the guys at Turin in Evanston and they lubed the rails. That helped for a few days, but the noise returned.

At this point, I am overwhelmed by literary references. The obvious one is to Poe.

It is impossible to say how the sound entered my ears, but, once heard, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old saddle. It had never wronged me. It had never given me a sore or rash. I think it was in the rails! Yes, it was this! The rails creaked the sound of a tick--pale silver titanium rails. Whenever it sounded, my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the saddle, and thus rid myself of the tick for ever.

Of course, that is too easy. I am drawn instead to Tennessee Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof wherein the character Brick drinks until he feels the "click." The problem, of course, is that Brick is a wounded, impotent, alcoholic, head case who goes out in search of the click to get past what lies in his closet (if you know what I mean). I'm not that.

So, I went back to the shop and bought a new saddle. I got a Specialized one with a geometry to match my sit bones. If you ever have your sit bones measured, remember to take your wallet out of your back pocket.

Anyway, the new saddle feels fine. It is a few grams lighter and slightly smaller than the original. But, guess what, it clicks!

No doubt I now grew VERY pale; and the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was A LOW, DULL, QUICK SOUND -- MUCH SUCH A SOUND AS A WATCH MAKES WHEN ENVELOPED IN COTTON. I gasped for breath. The noise steadily increased. Why WOULD it not be gone? I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung off the bike upon which I had been sitting, and pressed upon the saddle, but the noise arose over all and continually increased as I grappled with the seat. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! Others could hear it; others would judge my bike inferior. Anything was more tolerable than this impending cyclist derision! I could not bear those condescending glances! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! LOUDER! --

"Villains!" I shrieked, "tear off the saddle! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of this hideous titanium rail (or maybe it the seat post)!"

Whatever. I need to get it fixed before it makes me nuts.

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