Sunday, March 04, 2012


I got Betty back in the early 2000s and loved the ride...until a couple summers ago when I quit loving the ride.

I made changes to the stem and to the seatpost to make it a bit more comfortable for a bit more time, then I dropped my name into an 18-24 month queue for a custom road rig. I’ve never been interested in the carbon bike that everyone has, and the steel ride I wanted just wasn’t found on the LBS floor.

Until one day it was.

In my size. Fillet brazed 853. Gloss black with white panels.

And I took it out for a long ride, just because I was curious.

It was lively.

And for the next ten months the ride picked small battles with the custom-lugged-953 in my head. My LBS buddies would comment on the bicycle when I’d stop in, and I’d leave saying I like it. The ride is what I’m looking for...

...but for just a few more $$ I’d eventually have my dream bike, whatever that was. It had been clear when I’d signed-up, but the edges were getting hazy.

And then there was a deal.

And the deal and the ride and the stolen LHT and the upcoming gravel grinder and the fact that I really do fit a standard off-the-shelf bicycle just fine so-why-would-I-spend-a-ton-of-$$-on-custom all added up to a logical conclusion.

And it turns-out the things I questioned about the bike ten months ago are the very things that make me love it: long-reach brake calipers and brazons for a rack mean it’s a ride for a variety of purposes, seasons and conditions.

One ride for everything. Old-school.

-TOB turns-out Old School is hip


Doozyanner said...

Welcome, new ride! :-)

Bandobras said...

I don't know this seems a dangerous path to start down. One bike for all things and that one not a 5 digit crabon fibre super faster and lighter bike. Next thing you know people will start thinking about riding as fun instead of epic suffering and then the end of civilization can't be far behind. That is exactly how the Roman empire imploded. You could look it up.

The Old Bag said...

Let the downfall begin!

rlove2bike said...

I think more people should be old school. We would be much better off. But that is just my opinion.

Thanks for the post!!

Dee said...

It is all about how it feels when you ride it. If your heart starts thumping in anticipation of how good it is going to be, there is no better ride. All purpose means every ride is good. Very cost effective.

The Old Bag said...

Not just cost-effective, but it means I commute on my sprightly road rig. I look forward to every trip!

Groover said...

Introducing the Almonzo bike? Nice! How's the training going? ;)

The Old Bag said...

Groover, it's the Almonzo, commuting, road ride, hill climb bike...serious. It's not the crit bike that I currently have, but is slightly more relaxed, still lightweight and a decent climber. Easy to swap out wheelset/tires/cassette depending on ride. The only PIA is the rear rack...once weather gets warm I might have to commute with a pack.

Training? At this point, I'm just racking up base miles. I'll start some specific training in a few weeks.

Vito said...

I too am not a fan of the plastic bike. Oh, my apologies, carbon fiber, I meant to say carbon fiber or composite. What are your thoughts on the Surly Cross Check??? I've been playing with the notion of another bike for the stable. Utilitarian in design and function:)

The Old Bag said...

Vito, a friend of mine just got a Cross Check and loves it. Other 'cross bikes I've used for commuting were a little squirrely with a pannier so I shied away from the Cross Check, but it may not have true 'cross geo.