Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stranger in a strange land

I am up in Seattle this week on vacation. Yes, I realize that I am unemployed, but deciding whether to ride, go for a paddle, or catch Sally Jessy Raphael reruns is exhausting, and I needed a break.

I wanted to keep riding while I am here, so I had a look at options for a bike here. $500 to rent a decent bike for a week seemed ridiculous, so I looked at travel bikes. I am not secure enough in my manhood to ride a small-wheeled clown bike, so I picked up a Ritchey Breakaway.

I picked the bike up on Thursday, and flew up on Friday. 6 beers into a party on Friday night, someone told me about the Flying Wheels, Washington's biggest century ride, taking place the next morning. What better way to break in a new bike than by riding too far? Better have a couple more beers.

I did the Beardsley Hangover Start® the next morning. The century started at 8am. I made it to the start line at about 945, when the stragglers for the 65 and 45 mile options were rolling out.

Ever wonder who buys all those fake beer company jerseys? Now I know. Those jerseys must weigh a lot, because lots of people were walking up the small climbs. I finally hooked up with a guy who was just out on a training ride and hammered at 25mph for an hour. That cured any thoughts of doing the full 100 miles. I caught up with the 100 milers and had a nice run back to the start.

The bike was has been a while since I rode a steel bike. There is just something magical about the ride of steel. I don't know what it is, but enough people tell me so that it must be true. Pity about the back breaking (for me) 6cm drop from saddle to bars. I would buy a new stem, but I spent my money on white bar tape and a white saddle to look more Euro.

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