Tuesday, January 23, 2007


The snow is here in Madison again. About a foot of it. I rode my bike to work about a week and a half ago, and haven't touched it since. I left it there because of a cold snap, then the snow hit, and riding a road bike would be just stupid.
I went to the Brazen Dropouts Swap Meet on Jan. 13, and accomplished my goal of not losing too much money on a cross bike I bought from Dave at work. I bought and sold a few things while I was there, and the final tally is that I had paid $60 to buy a bike with a spare set of wheels, park the car, get into the swap, sell the bike (without the spare wheels), install fenders on the bike and keep the spare wheels. Campagnolo Record hubs, Mavic Reflex rims and cyclocross tubulars. I think I can afford that.
Mac is bugging me about getting my order in for a Litespeed frame. I just haven't made the time to measure me and my current Lietspeed.
I'm excited by the prospect of a new custom bike. It's been 23 years, and this bike will really be a 21st century bike.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Riding in the new year

In Madison, 2007 has started unseasonably warm, and I have commuted by bicycle through the Arb three days so far this week, for a total of almost 40 miles.
I'm riding my Litespeed, trying to figure out what I like about it and what I don't like so that when I order the new bike, it will be RIGHT.
For me, ordering a new Number One bike is an interesting proposition. Because I work for a Litespeed dealer, I can actually afford a custom titanium frame, but I'm taking the ordering process very slowly. For 23 years, I rode the same No. One bike and it was the machine against which all others were measured [and came up a little short]. It was built by an Olympic rider named David Brink. I finally had to retire it a little over a year ago. At that time, I got my present Litespeed, a 2001 Arenberg.
The Arenberg fits perfectly, which is half the battle, and the easy half at that. It is usually pretty easy for me to find a bike that fits, but very few have had the RIDE that I'm looking for.
The Brink not only fit perfectly, but had a ride quality that was perfect for me. I know some of the factors that mad it ride the way it did, and I hope I can translate those to a new bike with a new material.
Meanwhile, I hit different parts of my commute differently each ride. Some days, I charge the hills, others I spin low gears. As the time to order the new frame has gotten closer, I've been more aware of how the Arenberg handles, and what I want to change.
It will be a fun process, and I will be measuring and ordering in the next couple of days.
I'll keep posting.