Friday, July 09, 2010

Betty

Betty is eight years old this season. In human years, that's...well, I don't know what that is, but she's no spring chicken.

Neither am I.

I got her right at the end of my racing stint. Bianchi sponsored our team, and I got her for a song. Actually, the frameset was a replacement for a 2000 version that had cracked. Bianchi finally did Scandium right -- I never did race this bicycle, but to me she was a dream to ride over the long miles and the hills.

Lately however, I'm not riding her as much as I used to. This season in particular, long miles have meant aches in my lower back...it's a tough realization. My bod is aging and I need a ride that complements it. Compared to the tandem and the commuter, Betty is just a bit too aggressive in frame geometry and material.

I've started tentatively looking around at road bikes, but I'm in no hurry. And I really question the wisdom in getting something different. There's nothing that says I can't use my old travel bicycle as my everything road bike.

Except.

Except that we all have our reasons why we ride. Some ride to save money. Some ride to save our corner of the world. Some ride to keep in shape, to be social or solitary. Me? it's all of that: it's the groceries, the beer run, the commuting, the road less traveled, the day-long ride just because.

Mostly though, it's about the wind in my face as I'm doing all of that...especially as I'm screaming down the hills.

But it's also about the wind in my face as I'm screaming up the hills. Any old bicycle can follow gravity, it's the breaking-free that I'm looking for.

I need an all-day comfort ride that can climb a hill like a crazy woman. The travel bicycle isn't a crazy woman. It's a safe, careful tourist.

Betty's my crazy lady.


Shorter stem, new seatpost = hopefully more comfort for a bit longer
white bar tape is for dweebs

- OB

6 comments:

Trée said...

She looks like a beauty. Love my Bianchi. Have a wonderful weekend OB!

jeff said...

She's beautiful, and that color yells out "Bianchi"!

Once Known as The Badger said...

You probably have heard how much I love my Cervelo R3. But if you're looking for a comfort ride with a somewhat more upright position, consider the Cervelo RS. It has many of the features of the R3, i.e., carbon fibre frame, stiff bottom bracket, thin seat stays for comfort. But then, I've never met a Cervelo I didn't like!

Bluenoser said...

Find your own bike. Recommending a bike is just like setting up a friend on a blind date. It usually never works out.

-B

Groover said...

Hey, crazy woman - fit the body to the bike you wanna ride, not the bike to the body! Just stirring ... :-)

Jim said...

Agreed that you have to find your own bikesoulmate. But some cheap dates (taking into account quality:cost ratio) include the Specialized S-Works Roubaix and the Giant Defy Advanced. Then there's also the possibility, since you're getting into that range with luxury rides, of getting somebody at Moots or IF or Seven to whip you something up out of Ti or Carbon or maybe some thin walled steel...

The only thing as good as riding is shopping for a new bike.