Take a good look at this picture. Notice anything different about that shadow? Is it me? Or are the svelte lines of a racing saddle cast in jet black shadow against the brickwork? Strange, for such a bulky, ordinary seat. There’s darker forces at work here.
I’ve always suspected it. The way the small wheels spin sometimes, punching far above their weight. On occasions I’d be riding along, completely minding my own business, when I’d feel the bike respond to some external stimuli, just like the 57 Belvedere from Christine or a Jack Russell snapping at a larger dog. This bike has a wicked side.
It’s supposed (supposed) to be a simple object of utility. A folder. A Birdy. A benign name for a benign vehicle. A sparrow is a bird. But so are falcons. Owls. Ravens.
There’s no doubt its possessive. The Birdy moans at me when I fold it, sometimes deliberately shedding its chain. When I hop off in the city centre, I can’t leave it and walk away. I’m forced to carry its seatpost, purportedly for ‘security reasons’, but I know it wants to keep an eye on me, wants to leave a little reminder to return back ‘soon’.
The bike displays its true colours when I switch off entirely. I feel energy pulse through the monoque frame, cranks at odds with the pace. ‘Fast enough for ya’, it gloats, reveling in unusual dimensions. When I brake it sneers and judders, giving a little kick for good measure.
There’s a darker side to this vehicle. A racing alter ego. I suspected it before, but caught it this morning. In shadow.