Monday, August 04, 2008

An Unkempt Zebra

This past weekend I changed the bar tape on my Bike Friday. Last year I switched from a bland black to zebra tape (frequent readers in these parts will be familiar with my affection for things zebra). I rather like Cinelli's cork tape, though the zebra pattern isn't always easy to find. In particular, they make a close variant: instead of black and white, it's black and a sort of dull grey (or gray). I never quite figured out the appeal to the latter. It looks a bit militaristic, but in a sort of new-agey, I'm-not-a-really-intimidating-military kind of way.

Anyway, over the weekend, I peeled off the old tape and attached the gleaming new one. As I was collecting the old tape to trash, I happened to notice a rather odd pattern. Here's a photograph:

The left is how the tape looks in its (mostly) pristine state. The right is how it comes to look after a year of constant wear. The right is also...the spitting image of the black-and-grey tape you'll find in a store.

And I was enlightened.

As my friend Laurie Heller said, it's like buying jeans that've already had abuse pre-heaped on them.

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