Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Smell of Love


I was in a hunting store with a friend of mine a number of months ago. He was showing me the different cleaners and lubricants he uses for his guns. It was here that he lifted up the most plain-looking, non-descript bottle of gun solvent--I believe it was Hoppe's No. 9. He opened it up and said, "Smell this." I did. It smelled like some sort of oil/solvent/cleaner. "This is one of my favorite scents of all time," he said in my fuzzy memory/flash-back. "If they made a perfume just like this, I'd totally make my wife wear it."

My new rule for buying bike supplies/parts/accessories is simple: Throw in a tube for good measure. I recently placed an order for a new cassette and some helmets for my two oldest children. Of course, I threw in a tube.

I love new road tubes. Mountain tubes, I could care less. But road tubes are so light and compact; so easy to fit into a tiny seat pack or jersey pocket.

Also, I love the smell. Now, I'm not sure I want the woman in my life to smell like butyl rubber, but there's something about the smell of a new inner tube.

For this purchase, I decided to go with a Michelin AirComp Ultra Light tube. Now, fortunately for me, all my tubes are made of the same material, I've got a pretty good feel for the weight based on how compact it is. This one? Well, although it seems quite small, I've had smaller. So, is it light? Yes. Ultra? No.


Now, the cassette I got. It's just a plain old Ultegra (6700) 12-25 cassette. However, a new cassette--pristine, unspoiled, dry--is a beautiful thing to me. I mean, just look at it.

See what I mean?

And that got me thinking more about my love of bikes. Evidently, it goes beyond transportation or riding. For me, it's much deeper than that. If I can get excited about the smell of a tube or the clean, mechanical lines of a 10-speed cogset ...

Love the smell of that Hoppes No. 9.

1 comment:

Dave said...

Hoppe's No. 9 - yes, that's the stuff. It's been a long time since I owned a gun or cleaned one, but as soon as I read that, I knew exactly what your buddy meant.

But odours can be deceptive, too. For a long time I rarely encountered Diesel engines except on sailboats, which I love, and then found myself standing on a corner in town as a Diesel bus went by and caught myself celebrating the prospect of good times - not so much!