to ride outside! I am lusting over my bike again. Haven't ridden it since Green Mountain, after which I trained on my cross bikes. Now I can't bear to bring my shiny new drivetrain out onto crappy New England roads. The new gun metal gray colored FSA chainrings are hot! Nothing is finer than fresh white bar tape. But I do fear the pretty new hollow-link chain with its drilled out links! I bet its beauty will also be its curse by acting as a repository for road grime.
Every day now when suiting up for my rides, I look longingly at my Stevens steed, lift it gently and flirt with its 16 lbs, flex its levers, then cold-heartedly pass it by for my crappy, heavy, grungy, grit-caked, cyclocross pit bike. Tough love, but I'm doing what's best for it. Breaks my heart every time. Maybe one day I will live somewhere I can ride a nice bike year-round. But I guess I can't complain - at least I can ride outside most the winter! If I could nordic ski reliably, I would be happy.
Today I went on a testosterone-charged group ride through the hills of Clinton, Sterling, and Leominster, Mass. Luckily, the rain stayed away and temperatures were mild and comfortable, probably hitting 50. It was almost epic, as we cruised over sandy, chopped up asphalt, and even some dirt roads and climbs. The ride began like doing interval training, with moderate pace on the flats and rocket speeds up every hill. Later the ride evolved to hammering along the flats into incredibly hard wind, sprinting out every town line as if it was the finish of the Bank of America Invitational, and also thrashing up every hill. After 8 hours in the saddle the past 2 days, my legs were hamburger and I suffered. I also had to drag the steel dinosaur beneath me while all the boys rode their Litespeeds and carbon Treks, some with fancy pants wheels. There were times along the windy flats, never mind on the descents, that I could barely hang on the wheel in front of me in my top gear (48x11). I fantasized about the 53 gunmetal gray teeth in my agony. Uphill, the strain and burn in my legs was bad enough to convince me I was pulling muscles. But as much as I groaned about it during the ride, it was good for me. I'm sure that after saddling up the lead dinosaur all winter my road bike will feel like a rocketship.