The Dominator is the product of research and passion. The designers had both opinions and dreams. They had a pencil and a laptop with an external mouse and they sketched things on paper and shaded it so you know they are serious. One of them rides a fixed gear bicycle to his office. His laptop has an ENDURO sticker over the illuminated fruit logo.
The Dominator is raced by a team. They have not won many races but their kit looks like that successful team you’ve heard of. You know the one. They provide valuable feedback about bicycles that need to be both comfortable and fast.
The Dominator’s frame is very advanced and clever. It is the result of lots of discussions with a factory who specialises in making frames. Many iterations have been viewed on the screen of the ENDURO laptop and slightly changed. In the press release the designers will mention how they explored three hundred and twenty variations to achieve this perfection. This is how you will know that they are People Who Ride Bikes just like you.
The Dominator’s frame is laterally stiff, but not in an unoriginal way. It has unparalleled responsiveness, but not like those other bikes. Its bottom bracket is beefy, chunky, muscular and massive, but it has the narrowest Q-factor ever recorded. Your heels will touch one another when you are dominating on the Dominator.
The seatstays are pencil thin, something the designers understand well because they have a pencil. The chainstays are large and boxy, something the designers understand because they have seen a large box. The Dominator’s cables are internal and external. They are subterranean and fibre optic. One of them is a hose when the need arises.
The Dominator’s top tube is both flat and round. Its cross-section is a diamond because it takes pressure to make diamonds and the designers understand pressure. They didn’t have to be crazy to work here, but it helped.
The Dominator’s headtube tapers more than anyone believed possible. The lower bearing is the largest thing in existence, the upper is an infinitely small dot, a singularity of low friction steering precision. This is a bicycle that goes both where you point it and everywhere.
The Dominator has a fork which is aero. The shape of the fork blades is inspired by both nature and science. They are dimpled to eliminate micro vortices, smooth to eliminate macro vortices and sticky to collect flies for important nutritional research.
The Dominator has handlebars. They are ergonomic, economic, antibiotic and pedagogic, because they teach you the value of holding onto things.
The Dominator’s seatpost is skinny because nothing looks as good as compliance feels. It is stout because ignorance is strength. The saddle mounted on the special seatpost has cut-outs for your perineum, your sit bones, your genitals and a tyre lever.
The Dominator’s wheels are stiff, but not too stiff, and not really that stiff at all. They use standard proprietary parts and they are wide to make the brakes feel useful. The front wheel is tubeless-ready.
The Dominator climbs like a homesick angel. It descends like a heat-seeking missile that has detected heat at the bottom of the hill. In a sprint, the rear triangle and the front triangle remain connected to one another and the bicycle moves forward quickly with each successive pedal stroke.
The Dominator is the greatest bike ever made. It is available in all colours, and none.
That about sums up a lot of the bullshit out there. In other words, buy a Venge, knock the horns off, wipe its ass and ride it like a rented bull. Or a Cervelo, or a Trek Madone, Willier, Salsa, Giant, Passoni…. You get the idea (my humble apologies if I didn’t include your bike brand of choice).
I finally quit nicotine after so many years on stop-smoking aids I lost count (mainly the nicotine gum but I found the lozenges made it easier to actually quit after more than a decade of the gum with occasional relapses with cigars). I called it quits a little more than two weeks ago now and it’s not all bad. The withdrawals sucked, but after a while I kind of mellowed out and all has been well. This gets a little interesting though.
I want to concentrate on something that occurred to me on the way into the office this morning. We’ve been riding outdoors quite a bit lately and I’m beginning to realize just how much my hard work over the winter is paying off. Riding is feeling very good right now. What’s been really nice, though, is the little endorphin rush after each ride, followed by the sense that all is right in my world. That’s exactly what I was feeling on the drive into my office this morning. My first thought, at feeling that rush of “everything’s okay” was, “Wait a minute, we shouldn’t be this high on life right now, we don’t want our highs to be too high so our lows won’t be so low” – this is an old recovery trick. Once I learn that I can control my “highs”, I can learn to control my “lows” as well. After that, it’s almost all good times and noodle salad as long as the balance is maintained… Unless, of course, you like being a walking manic-depressive horror story. If that’s the case, well, good luck with that.
My second thought was more important though. My second thought was, Why am I feeling so good?!
That was when the epiphany hit. I’m off nicotine. I used that shit to dull my bad mood swings and anxiety for decades. If it was good at that, and believe me it was, then it must have been dulling the good vibes as well – because I genuinely feel really good the last few days. My recovery is progressing along excellently. I’ve never been so in love with my wife. I feel like the luckiest dad in the world. Work is work, but it’s going well… and I’m putting in some great miles on the bikes lately. I should feel this good – everything is working. On the other hand, when I was on nicotine, whether in the form of gum, lozenges or tobacco, as well as I did in life, it never felt as good as what I had this morning, out of the blue.
The only thing that makes sense is that the nicotine was dulling the good at the same time I was using it to mitigate stress. I believe this because I don’t have anything else left to quit. I don’t have anything fogging up the works if you will. Too often we hear about the benefit of nicotine, smoking or stop-smoking aids, but how often have we heard about the equal and opposite reaction?
Maybe I’m slow to the party, but I just figured it out.
UPDATE: A couple of people misunderstood the time line of my quitting nicotine… I quit smoking cigarettes more than 15 years ago. I’ve done stints, on and off, with cigars and even chewing tobacco but quit all of that years ago as well. I have, however, been stuck on nicotine pills and gum – stop smoking aids, for years. I figured the lozenges and gum were better than actually smoking. It was, too – it’s just tough to come off of them too! I hope this clears up any confusion.