The Rebirth of Elephant Bike

Hideouswhitenoise,Issue 31, Spring 1997

by Guido

Can an inanimate object have a soul? To answer such questions wouldbe like asking if there is a god, or if the light goes off in your refridgeratorwhen you close the door. These are things you can't answer with facts,only with your feelings. I personally think the light stays on in the refridgeratorand is a horrible waste of energy and have been doing a letter writingcampaign to Westinghouse to stop this practise.

As for the inanimate object question, anotehr question you first haveto ask yourself is can you call a bike an inanimate object, expeciallywhen speaking of Daughter of Elephant Bike. Proud bearer of my touche aroundToronto for the last year and a half. And also for vacations in SF, Vancouverand Boston.

Brought into this world a day after the death of her father, the originalelephant bike, a bad card in his own right who was born in a Quebec gaol,she proved to be a brilliant strategist and good companion, but alas shedid not prove to be immortal. We were going to tour Europe this year, butthen complications set in and everything changed.

It started first with the front end shudder. When I applied the brakesthe front wheel would vibrate and it almost brought me down a few times.And then there were other signs like rust and the top tube being bent thattold me the elephant bike was not long for this world.

I loved that bike and every time I came out of a building I would appreciateher simple lines and her elegant simplicity. I would get a strange lumpin my throat which had nothing to do with the amount of carbon monoxideI breathed in and thought if I just got her a front rim she would lastforever. But it wasn't going to and she was old and what was I gettingso upset about, it was only a hunk of metal right, nothing else.

So it was with sad heart that I rode her for the last time that dayand then brought her into the shop to give birth. It started with her tiresand then progressed to her headset and bottom bracket and then she wasjust a piece of abandonded metal in the corner, with her handlebars andstem staring up at me from a bucket like some bad horror movie.

The birth was a bit difficult, with Daughter of Elephant Bike lashingout at the Doctor's not wanting to be forgotten so soon, but knowing shewas no longer wanted. She passed away as she had lived, a fighter.

When completed it stood young and decent and so beautiful, but at whata price. The Daughter of Elephant bike was gone forever and in her placewas her daughter, just like her granddaddy a Devinci.

I would be a liar if I said I wasn't sad about the passing of DOEB,but like Pete from Push said, it's more of a reincarnation then a new birth.She has her mother's rims and her Grandfather's handlebars and stem. Shewas beautiful and I would take care of her.

Just to make sure I didn't forget, she tossed me into traffic the firstreal day I worked her, throwing off the freewheel that I had been nursingthrough the winter. It was is she was saying, "take care of me betterthen you did my mother, or their is going to be trouble." Don't worry,I will.

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