Sunday, August 14, 2005

Road bike

I dusted off the old Trek 2000 bicycle today for the first time in several years. I bought it in 1987 for the Seattle to Portland ride. I see now it's the "Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic." Back then it was just the STP. Anyway, I'd been thinking of getting a fairly serious road bike, and that ride was my excuse. By today's standards, I suppose the down-tube shifters and six-speed freewheel would be considered quaint, but back then it was nearly a full-out racing machine. I made one concession to my less-than-race-ready self: my spindly little legs couldn't handle the standard gearing. I had the corncob-like rear gears replaced with something a little more forgiving.

Karen, Dan, and I pooh-poohed the idea of taking two days to ride the 200 miles to Portland. We'd do it in a single day like any real cyclists would.

Ha.

We made it about 50 miles, to Spanaway, WA. It's a little foggy in my memory, but we had a number of problems: there was something wrong with my bike; one of the people riding with us was throwing temper tantrums; Dan was bleeding from a crash. I'm pretty sure it was raining, too. Funny -- you'd think I'd remember that meteorological detail before the others. I know it rained at least a little.

I don't think we were all that far behind our predicted pace, but we just weren't having the fun that would normally be guaranteed by, say, 13 hours on a bike.

We bailed out. Called it quits. Went home and dried off.

I put thousands of miles on that bike over the years, but today I was still surprised at how it feels to ride it. What little riding I've done lately has been on a heavier bike with fat, slow tires and a trailer carrying two children. Switching to the 2000 was like going from a Suburban with a boat trailer to an MX-5.

It's a sweet ride.