Back in I think was about 2006 or so, I began riding with my friend Teresa on Sundays. I resurrected my 1983 Schwinn World Sport. This bike had served me well in my pre-car years. It was all that I needed. This is what I thought. I brought the bike into the bike shop for some routine maintenance. The first maintenance trip that this bike had received in 20 years. My good friend Dave Hoffman was working at Sunset Cyclery when I rolled the World Sport in for some repairs. After questioning whether my lambswool seat cover had received it’s shots, he pointed out that the last time that I had ridden this bike I was 5’6″ and that I was currently 5’10”. Hmm. Time for a new bike.
I purchased what I considered at the time to be the bike of my life. It was a Cannondale Adventure 500. What an upgrade!
Shortly thereafter Teresa and I decided to dive into the century scene.
Dave tricked out my Cannondale with some coaster bars and thinner tires.
When I arrived at the century ride parking lot, a quick glance told me that there weren’t a whole lot of other hybrids out there. In fact, there weren’t any. Nothing but glitzy carbon road bikes.
“Oh well. I don’t care. I’ll show them.” That was my attitude.
At the rest stops, I know that they were all envious of my kickstand. The Cannondale was affectionately referred to as “The Couch”. This was a reference to it’s rather large and cushy saddle.
Towards the end of my century-riding era, I decided that it was time for a road bike. I sold “The Couch” to my brother-in-law and purchased The Couch’s successor…”Julius”.
“Julius”, a bright orange Cannondale Synapse served me well. Julius was there for me in the end of my century career and the beginning of my racing career.
“Julius” was supposedly the end all be all of my bike purchases. Julius was the best bike ever and the last bike that I would ever need to purchase.
I time-trialed in the Highway 40 Time Trial in Julius. That was magical. Julius carried me through my first year of crit racing. He never let me down. What a bike. Julius was never lost in a crowd. Although, in my racing circle of friends, it was pointed out that Julius was a little heavy and that I should upgrade to full carbon.
Shortly thereafter, Black Betty, a full carbon Scott racing bike was purchsed. THIS. Was going to be my last bike purchase ever. Well..then I got into cyclocross and the purchase of Jake the Snake ensued. Tried out mountain biking and purchased Pig.
The following spring I became hooked on track racing and the purchase of Plain Jane ensued. I negotiated for Plain Jane in May by counting her as a b-day present for my July birthday.
Unfortunately, Mike held me to this when I tried to double-dip and negotiate for a time-trial bike in July for my birthday. This was after I had become addicted to time-trialing in mid-June.
The Fixx had a song somewhere in the mid-80’s titled “One Thing Leads to Another”.
My relationship with cycling and the equipment involved truly parallels the lyrics of this song!
A year ago I laughed at the time-trialists in their aero helmets, aero bars and time trial bikes. Today I own two of the three aforementioned and, as stated above, I am jockeying for the third. I must admit, however, you will never see this bod in a skin suit!
I have always thought of myself as a minimalist. I have always put the athelete before the equipment. But here lately, I have never been more Hell-bent on purchasing whatever I need to go faster.
What have I become?
It is truly an addiction.
Just as I was addicted to smokes in the past, I appear to have become addicted to cycling gear.
For the record, I do suppose that cycling equipment is slightly more advantageous to one’s health.
Reluctantly yours in the latest and greatest,