These days, it doesn't feel like that. It doesn't feel like that at all. FREE SPEED. FREE SPEED.
Sometimes I feel like a pusher. Sometimes I feel like a pusher of plastic crap. Sometimes I feel like a pusher of plastic crap made to break, and if not to break, then to lead a short life due to planned obsolescence.
Bicycles are machines, I realize. Tools. A means to an end. Toys, at best? Bicycle are not art. Bicycles are not culture. And so it seems that what's left of the decimated retail landscape falls into a few categories: discounters, delusional holdouts, and candy stores. I guess I run a candy store.
If I were more literate, I'd say something witty about the darkness of Roald Dahl here.
So much of what TATI has become over the past several years is a deconstruction of industry, or a series of experiments and commentaries on the larger and indelible trends shaping the direction of things. #milkbar #zefbikes #tatiprix and all the rest are but temporal exercises, ruminations on the failed endeavors of others. They are hashtags' hashtags. But I feel as if they are necessary laboratories, as I've actually learned a lot. I've learned a lot of little things and a couple of big things, all of which are prerequisites to what more or less amounts to the Tativille long con: a trajectory which is finally taking shape, in of all places, a quiet stretch of Lincoln Avenue in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood.
A few things are the same as previous iterations of Tativille: there are wheels being built. There are stems being slammed. There is R. Kelly being played. But some things have changed. Big things. Little things. But lots of things. Have you ever tried to solve a really huge puzzle? Like, a really, really huge puzzle - the kind with hundreds or thousands of pieces, that's too big even for a large kitchen table, with very little chromatic contrast, such that it's really not until the very, very end that you are able to see what it it that you've been solving this entire time? I think that's what's happening here. Even I didn't see it coming.
It is coming, but it's not here yet, at least not entirely. But the pillars are taking shape.
No, it's not really a high end shop, actually. Above Category is high end. Velosmith is high end. Get a Grip is high end. But it's also not a heritage pro shop. It's not Yellow Jersey or Vecchio's or Shaw's Lightweights. And it certainly isn't Blue Lug or Golden Saddle or Angry Catfish or BLB. So what is it?
I dunno, but I don't hate it. Da da da.