Don't sweat it if you don't get the title. It's a really nerdy French pun. Fleur can explain it if you simply must understand.
This is the right crank arm of the WOB. Note the distressed metal. Note the missing pedal. Note the quiet sense of resignation in this post...
Yes, my trusty steed has suffered it's death blow.
It was nothing grand either. I got on it in front of the student Union, and as soon as I put my weight on it, the pedal sheared off. I shifted my weight very quickly to avoid falling, and destroyed the pair of pants I was wearing on the exposed bolt on top of the old-school gooseneck; nearly castrated myself. The sheared pedal now lives in my office, as a reminder of good rides.
I could have taken it to the shop, and had them put a new set of pedals on it, but it needed so many other things as well. The rear hub was clicking and slipping and crunching. The front rim had a dent in it that made the brakes tick. The seat was falling apart, the shifter was stiff, and the fork bearings needed to be replaced. In truth, it had been totaled for some time - the pedal was just the final straw.
To take its place for getting me to campus, I have purchased a Jamis Commuter 3.0.
It's quite high-tech compared to the WOB; aluminum frame, 8-speed internal hub in the rear, 700c rims, and a shock-absorbing seat post. It rides very smoothly, tracks straight, shifts like silk, and is completely silent, even when you accelerate. I haven't got the rack and bags on it yet, but soon. In the bike nerd sort of way, it's pretty damn sexy for an uncustomized, out-of-the-box bike.
Yet, I still love the WOB. Steel frame and rims, ancient shifter, broken seat, and weak brakes included. It had character, and a gracious, gentlemanly feel, even when ridden "no hands." Some bikes will abruptly dump you on your head, but not the WOB. It would give you a good long time to correct before completely pitching you; it was polite like that.
I had accepted the idea that it was time to let it go, but something forces me to hang on. Instead of going to the junkyard, it's sitting in the garage, awaiting it's rebirth as a fixed gear.
Yeah - like that, but with better music...