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Published: April 21st 2006
Viva Scott Lemond!
C'mon, admit it, they're so 1993!
I had forgotten about Daylight Savings Time. I’m not referring to the usual Sunday, or even Monday morning, social embarrassment of “Oops, I forgot to change my clock,” but rather I forgot that Daylight Saving Time was even coming up. What with the baby and all, it just wasn’t a consideration.
So last week I was explaining to a new rider on the Monday night club ride from East Coast Bikes that we would be riding mountain bikes until the Daylight Savings kicked in, when we would switch to road bikes. I think it was Bill who pitched in, “That’s next week.”
“What?” I asked, jumping in surprise,
“Daylight Savings is next week. ‘Spring forward’ on Sunday.”
“Yup. I’ve been keeping track of it since December.”
Fast forward a week, and thunderstorms were predicted for all of the afternoon and on into the evening, threatening the first ride of Daylight Savings Time. No one but slightly-deranged, rambling French cyclists on brevet would be caught riding through the suburbs in a twilight downpour. I forlornly called Liz as I looked out upon the gutters overflowing the streets below my office window and commiserated
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“It doesn’t look good for the ride tonight. I mean, I’m still gonna ride on my fenders bike, but no one’s gonna show up for a club ride if it’s raining.”
True,” Liz said in agreement, “So let’s see how it looks at five. Maybe it’ll clear.”
The afternoon dragged on, towards five, and to my astonished relief the clouds parted, the sun came out, and the asphalt returned to a hazy shade of grey. With a phone call to Liz to confirm that the ride was on, I sped home on my touring bike, replete with fenders and lights, to exchange it for my lightweight Raleigh road bike. I got the frame in a swap with my personal mechanic/enabler, and built it up with components that raise a sniff of disdain in high-budget cycling circles, in particular the classic Greg Lemond set-up of Scott aero bars clipped onto Scott Drop-Ins, and Suntour Command Shifters, a component combination that I’ve mounted on three different bikes now, and ridden across two continents. They ain’t the newest, lightest components out there, but dang it, they’re comfortable and dependable- I keep my Command Shifters in friction mode, and
Badge of Pride
Let's hear it for a real Raleigh.
I know just where each of my seven gears are. No index shifting for me, no sirree bob.
I dashed in the house, shed khakis for lycra, and dashed back out before spinning down to the shop, warming up my legs. Eight, nine, ten, eleven riders gathered at the front door of East Coast Bikes, sprawling out across the sidewalk. We took off at an easy pace, ten road bikes and a mountain bike, our gangly group severed several times by traffic lights and police cars dashing under flashing lights. Finally towards the airport we got into an easy rhythm, riders pulling at the front for a spell, then dropping back into the slipstream of the pack, an easy rhythm that pulled us past 20, past 21, past 23 miles per hour. We rode past the familiar street signs that signaled sprint points, and laughed when the women’s state champ in her jersey dropped her chain in a shift as she took off in a solo sprint past the group. We glanced over our shoulders as she dropped back to the side of the road near the cocoa-scented bakery in the airport industrial park, stooping to retooth her chain.
Only Rivendell makes 'em like this anymore.
Even though we had taken the speed up on the way out to the airport, we remembered our solitary mountain biker on her thick, stodgy tires at the back of pack, and kept the pace down to a speed that was easy for us, although an endurance challenge for us. Finally with half a mile to go to the next stoplight on a straight away, the pack broke as Chris, I think, led off in a sprint. Mike followed soon after, but not fast enough to catch Chris’ wheel, and I jammed my Command Shifters forward as I hammered after them. Too slow on the pick up to catch them immediately, I laid down into a tuck on my aero bars as the wind roared louder in my ears, glancing down to see my speed hit 30. I didn’t look back, but I could feel someone on my wheel. I passed Mike, with Chris only a few hundred feet ahead, grinning with the speed of my wheels on the pavement, the wind in my ears, the wind in my lungs, the blood coursing to my lungs and to my legs which drove my wheels along the pavement. Steady, steady
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I crept up on Chris, and then heard a faint click beside me as Bill emerged from my draft to sprint off, first to the traffic light in last warm rays of the fading daylight.
Waiting at the light, I felt the oxygen pacifying my acid-drenched thighs, and smiled wit the joy of riding so fast, because I’d been feeling kind of slow this season.
Tot: 1.48s; Tpl: 0.051s; cc: 10; qc: 53; dbt: 0.0266s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 3;
; mem: 1.4mb