Patience has never come naturally to me – I’m more Calvin than I am Hobbes in that regard. Yet I am meticulous and demanding of myself and those with whom I journey through life. It is a conflict that has caused its fair share of grief; my childhood is piled high with memories of incidents where I made choices and mistakes that robbed me of the satisfaction of a job well done.
One such episode involved my eagerness to have bar-mounted shifters in the early nineties. STI had just come on the market, and they were priced so high it would require disciplined saving in order for me to afford them. Rather than patiently saving, I spent my money on lower-cost options which differed in their implementation but shared in their failure to quench my thirst for STI. At one point, my father pointed out that with what I’d spent on cheaper compromises, I could have already bought what I really wanted.
Some lessons in life are easily learned, but to practice them is another thing altogether. While I have learned patience, it is often stretched to its limit as I have also become more exacting in my expectations. What The Prophet giveth, he taketh away.
I have finally reached the point in my life where I enjoy the journey as much as I do the destination. I can’t imagine buying a complete bicycle and forgoing the process of hand-picking the kit to dress it up in and embarking on the quest to source it. For me, a bicycle begins as an idea which slowly materializes through the curation of its frame and components. The process of assembling it is a ritualistic undertaking, a kind of spiritual offering to the Elders on Mount Velomis. The assembled bicycle marks the end of a journey during which we’ve already bonded.
Only as this journey comes to a close are we ready to begin a new one, one where we evolve through prolonged exposure to The V. The path to becoming a Velominatus is built on taking the time to do things correctly, and building our machines is no exception.
Vive la Vie Velominatus.