Monday, May 7, 2012

Mud, Sweat, Beers, and Riding Bicycles I Don't Own

Saturday was my first race of the year. I finished in the middle of Sport. I’m not exactly disappointed since I finished where I assumed I would, I’m just frustrated. Very frustrated. But I’m keeping this positive. My Tomac worked flawlessly as usual, 20.5 lbs of crisp shifting carbon fiber goodness. I finished, changed, and made it to the beer tent before it rained. I guess this makes it a good race.

After the race, Sue and I went to a Derby party. I met the host last winter at a birthday party; he was interested in the Chevy Volt and I knew enough about this car to carry on a conversation. Saturday he introduced me to someone who imported electric bikes from China. I suppose since I know a little about the electrification of the automobile and I had just done a bike race, they assumed I knew something about electric bikes; I don’t, but had fun trying the bicycles out. One model had a motor in the rear wheel which I have seen before. The other model had a motor in the bottom bracket that assisted your pedaling. This was interesting. Twisting the throttle rocketed you up from a Cat V racer to Fabian Cacellara just like that. One of the old men watching was from Sweden and said he sees bike like this there. He said old roadies use them to drop young racers practicing on climbs, turning to smile at the kids as they pass. I see the charm in these bicycles.

Sunday morning Sue and I left early for a ride, trying to beat the rain. I don’t mind riding in bad weather so much but rain and mud is hard on bicycles. Sue pointed out BMC was having a demo day. You don’t say? We went to the display and faked mild interest so we could ride their bikes and leave ours protected and comfy in the back of the truck. I chose the Speedfox, a full suspension 29er with SRAM XO, not the kind of bike I would buy but I thought it would be interesting to ride. It was actually a really nice bike; I forgot how smooth full suspension was and it almost convinced me that 29 inch wheels are the way to go. It had wide tires and a more upright riding position; a good bike when I give up racing, better than an electric bike anyway. I’m not ready to give up just yet.


  1. Well done on completing your first race of the season Neil.
    Great idea of trying out new bikes whilst yours are left nice and dry in the vehicle....must try that myself someday.


  2. Middle of Sport class ain't bad at all. My winter has been so lame, even entering a race at this point would be comical - and painful. Except I'm scheduled to do just that later this month. Gulp.

    29ers rock, especially for XC racing...