Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A great bike and a great beer

The past weekend was decidedly mixed. My injuries are slowly healing up but late Sunday evening I was struck with a mild flu like illness that added more misery and is only now starting to clear. Before that happened however, I did have some great weekend moments.

First we picked up a new bike for Alistair, courtesy of Above Category. They built him a Moots Vamoots, which looks and feels totally spectacular. I am not one to go overboard on bike esthetics -a bike is after all just a machine that allows us to do certain things more efficiently- but the MOOTS is a beauty to behold. It has that coveted super cool brushed titanium look. What I find the most appealing about the bike though, is its simple esthetics. No oversized anything here, no beefy bottom brackets, specially reinforced this or that, or grossly misshapen tubing.
The new MOOTS

It is strange how people's perceptions change over time. I remember the days when Cannondale first came out with their oversized aluminum tubing, eliciting aversive reactions from most everyone I knew.  Even those in favor had to admit the bike looked different.

Now look around you. These days nearly every bicycle has oversized or oddly shaped tubing. Some have gone as far as making it appear as if the down tube was just bent back at a 150 degree angle to produce a top tube thereby totally obliterating the shape of the head tube. To say nothing of the "beefy bottom brackets," a source of endless ridicule for the infamous bikesnobnyc.

These days, bicycles have tubing that is larger in diameter than most cyclist's arms. But for one reason or another we have all gotten used to it. Just like we have gotten used to overweight people and think of them as normal. Only those who are grossly obese now strike us as being overweight. Supersize me is every bit as relevant today as it was six years ago.

On Sunday I went Christmas shopping with my daughter -well mostly window-shopping that is- and later topped it off with some seafood from Whole Foods, and a Westmalle Triple.  The Triple tasted so good -or maybe the alcohol got to me so quickly- that I almost finished the bottle before thinking about taking a picture.
Westmalle Triple
The Westmalle is an authentic abbey beer, as evidenced by the hexagonal seal on the neck of the bottle. Many consider Westmalle to be the trendsetter among Trappist ales. Purists in Flanders will never forget to remind you that Westvleteren is the real stuff -but maybe that will change once Westvleteren is for sale at Colruyt, who knows?- but in my opinion, Westmalle Triple can stand its ground. Especially when it comes to blondes.

The triple is a golden blond ale, i.e. a darker shade of blond but still blond in my opinion, with a refreshing citrus taste and a seriously heady alcohol level. A good beer for the holidays, and one to enjoy after a good ride. I wish my injuries would heal quickly so I can go on a long ride and top it off with another Westmalle soon.

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