The first ride on my new road bike was a week ago in SanDiego. The timing was such that I received it just before I left for the coast.Two people in California said, “Woah, that bike is "sexy"!”
Yesterday a group of us rode to Estes Park, to bag our once-per-month-to-Estes goal. It was the new bike’s debut ride locally. One person said, “Man, that bike is sexy!”
I smiled and said, “Yeah, it is, thanks.”
When Bill Frielingsdorf (not his real name to protect his wife, otherfamily members and friends) arrived, he was very complimentary of thebike, LOOK 586 Pro Team Issue Framset (photo below). He said, “I’d say that bike is sexy, but my wife won’t let me use that word to describe a bike.“
The rest of the people standing around contemplated, “Can a bike be called "sexy"?”
Six of us proceeded to ride up to Estes with temperatures dropping as we climbed the canyon. The canyon walls are steep and rocky in several places, as seen below.
One of the treats of riding up this particular canyon is the possibility of seeing wildlife. The most sought-after glimpse is that of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. If you take a closer look at the canyon photo,you can see the sheep perfectly disguised as nature intended. These sheep are only about 25 yards away from me. </span>
Watching them easily dance up the rocky ledges with ease is awe-inspiring. Even the young sheep are light on their feet, er, hooves.
When we arrived at our favorite Estes haunt, the Notchtop Café, we found Carl Ciacci enjoying a burrito. He started the ride in another location thinking he had missed us. One of the first things he said when we entered the café was, “Nice bike! Man, it’s sexy.”
We told him that Bill’s (an alias) wife banned him from describing a bike as sexy. This brought up more conversation about what things can be described as sexy, other than the obvious male and female human answer.
Leaving that conversation for more contemplation and discussion, we headed down the canyon. Towards the bottom of the canyon, there is a section called “The Narrows”. This section is a ton of fun to ride when there is no traffic and no viscous headwind. You can fly. On this day there was some traffic and a decent headwind, meaning we weren’t going as fast as normal.
I was in the lead and when we came around a corner, I saw a rock in the road. It is not unusual to have rocks of all sizes fall on the road in this section of the canyon. I pointed to the rock and Bill (an alias) shouted, “ROCK!”
Seconds later I heard the sound of a loud bang.
No one is really sure about the details, but the result was Bruce Runnels crashed into the snowy ditch and Scott Ellis put on the brakes so hard he wore a hole in his tire. He managed to keep the bike upright. He says it’s the mountain bike skills that kept him up.
First, and most importantly, Bruce is okay. Nothing broken and no open wounds. He’ll have a nasty bruise on his thigh; but from what we know now a bruise and a few sore muscles is the extent of it. Turns out this ride was within two days of a nasty crash he had on a different group ride last year. Should he be riding on the first weekend in February – ever again?
Bruce was shaken, but okay. He and Peter Stackhouse decided to spin easy back to town, roughly 9.5 miles. Bill (an alias) headed home as well, he had an appointment.
Carl, Chris Luttet and I stayed to help Scott decide what to do. It was going to be tough to repair a hole the width of a thumbnail.
It was just a couple of weeks ago that Luke Smith, the content Kahuna at the Active Network, requested we do some videos on “McGyver roadside repairs”. I suggested doing a video on “booting” a tire. Typically I use a boot made from the guts of an old sew-up tire; but, because I’m a vain bike geek, I left my normal bike bag at home because I wanted the new LOOK to float through the day with no extra weight.
I didn’t have my boot, but luckily Chris was carrying a . Though Carl offered to ride to his car about six miles away, Scott wanted to try riding in. Scott booted the tire and pumped it up to about 70 pounds (any more pressure caused the tube to bulge out of the hole).
He was able to ride about five miles before the road friction wore through the boot. I don’t know if a sew-up boot would have done better or not.
We didn’t have time to catch this kind of repair on video while I was in San Diego working with a video pro (Michael Clarke). I’ll do what I can from home to make a video on how to boot a tire and how to make a boot from an old sew-up.
At the close of the ride, just a couple people were left. We discussed the day’s events and concluded that surprising road obstacles are part of cycling. Sometimes, even the best prepared riders will encounter hazards they cannot avoid.
The last question we discussed was, “Can a bike be described as "sexy"?”
What do you think?</span>