Saturday, March 29, 2008
The Color Red
Believe it or fart, I used to not like the color red at all. Too flash in the pan, too un-subtle, too fwaah. Really. For a long time I was into baby blue, then I graduated to earthy green and khaki, and then I went into a dark blue and black phase. And then on one particular day, for no particular reason, I went down the stairs of a bicycle shop on the freaking faraway end of Seoul (I lived like 2 hours away, 20 million people later). So I'm wandering around minding my own beeswax when WHAM! - I see it. This red Cannondale frame, but not just any frame. A tapered, aero frame. Now when you're old school, and you;re used to your bike looking like a bunch of sawed off poles welded together, this was a work of art.
It really felt like finding long lost dead sea scrolls in an attic (except this was a bike in basement), but you get my drift. So the guy sees me squizzing out that thing, and asks if I want to buy it. I sort of slowly crawl out of dreamland, and I'm like: "No...I'm not even thinking of buyin it, I have a bike...but er, how much is it?"
It was about R5000. I couldn't believe it. I snapped it up and ordered them to transfer everything (Gary Oldman in Leon shouting instead of EVERY ONE) - EVERYTHING - and that's how my love affair with red started. Because when I bought this bike I was just starting to earn enough money so I could fly around and pursue utterly expensive hobbies like the Ironman (think lots of time, money and energy invested + travel, plus accommodation + equipment).
So it was a new world order for me. And through the bike, I dunno, it rubbed off on me. The dynamism. The efficiency. When I bought Zipp wheels the bicycle was just transformed - shockingly beautiful.
My obsession with red has cooled to a simmer now. I don't wear many red t-shirts any more; my girlfriend reminds me that red doesn't really suit me (in terms of clothes). So I do the earthy deal when I go to work. But when I'm on my bike, there's something fiery and passionate about the red between my legs. There's something very sexy about passion; just being passionate. It's inspiring. That's what red means to me.