September 8, 2009

Devil's Gear

Devil's Gear is the bike shop adjacent to my house. It could be called a bike museum. Or a bike gallery. Or a bike grocery store. Other than storing old and new bicycles of all shapes and sizes, it displays the minutest of bike parts, chains, pedals, tyres stuck to the ceiling, bike-water-bottles on the walls, pumping equipment, bike popular culture posters, bike graffiti. Three curious twenty-somethings work here. An athletic curly-haired girl with grease all over her temples and knuckles. A skinny bearded boy with thick glasses who could have been the math wizard in high school. And is the manager here I believe. A muscular late teen who carries bicycles up and down the staircase. They have bike catalogues of every kind. They would tell you what tyre makes for what kind of ride. What pedal is in fashion.

The automobile has generated masculinities and geekhoods of many kinds. The Bicycle probably does not make the automobile cut for the lack of an 'auto'component. New Haven is a site of late modern nature-machismo that re-eulogises the bike and the calf muscle. The body is re-painted as the original machine, that does not require an auto to pump up adrenaline. And greasy kids teach you to keep your calf-muscle-toning-machine in shape.

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