I have a friend who is borderline OCD. He’ll sometimes wash his hands dozens of times a day, doesn’t like sticky stuff, cats drive him to antihistamine hell and there is a place for everything, with everything in its place. This can be annoying, not only for those around him, but especially for himself. It’s not a great place to be.
The upside is his bikes are always meticulously maintained, fully Rule compliant, or they are in a state of tear-down having last week’s grease freshened up and each ball bearing individually polished. He’s gotten it under control quite admirably these days, and while a chip in the duco of his beautiful steel frame will still understandably piss him off, there’s not the slightest hint of sending it back to Italy to be re-sprayed by the 78 year old artisan who originally painted it, who inconveniently happened to retire in 1984. But you can rest assured the touch-up job he’ll do himself is of paintshop standard.
But I’ve never seen him muck around with his seatpost height. Not once it’s set, anyway.
This poses the question: did The Prophet have OCD? To this observer it seems so, if numerous viewings of Le Course En Tete and A Sunday in Hell are any reliable indicator. The guy was constantly fiddling with his seatpost height. His mechanic must’ve been ready to throw his hands in the air proclaiming “Merde, Eddy! I’ve measured it three times already! Why do you not trust me?”
It seemed to matter little to Eddy that poor Charly had adhered to the numbers scribbled on the lid of his toolbox, taken the slide rule and spirit level to every possible surface and angle, and used his impeccable line of sight to position the saddle just right, exactly where it was requested to be. “How’s that Eddy?” “Is perfect.” “Then why are you borrowing a spanner from RDV’s team car? Hmmm?”
If he wasn’t adjusting his saddle, he was adjusting his stem. If he wasn’t adjusting his stem, he was squirting water from his bidon onto his brakes. If he wasn’t doing that, he was simply laying down the law. The law of The Prophet.
Obsessive? Yes. Compulsive? For sure. Did it affect his ability to waste all comers? Not likely.