Continuing my critically-unknown series on the bikes of Des Moines sporting 26" wheels (the One True Size), an anecdote:
Went out for an evening ride last week, hoping to convince Spring that yes, it's time to arrive. I wend my way through downtown Des Moines, headed east, and find myself stopped at a light. I think I can sense another rider behind me, but I'm giving car-based traffic the stink-eye, so I don't want to look back (and I haven't rocked a mirror in years -- there are even limits to MY nerdliness).
Rider behind me announces himself with the following compliment: "Nice bar-ends!"
Huh? For a minute, I think he's jerking my chain (metaphorically speaking), since my default mode is sarcasm. But I say "thanks" as the light changes and ride on.
Within the next block, he puts the drop on my laughably slow and corpulent self, and I see the reason for the compliment: He's on a 90s-era Trek mountain bike, rocking (of course) 26" wheels, converted to drop bars, shifted with some gloriously old-school Suntour retrofriction bar-ends. Even had a vintage suspension fork and what appeared to be original 747 SPDs. This was clearly one of my people!
I didn't get a chance to chat or grab a photo, but clearly, 559 is a THING in the 515. You saw it here first.