Monday, June 11, 2007

A Sunday Afternoon Retirement Party

Sunday morning I woke up very slowly, and spent the cloudy morning drinking my coffee and watching some Sunday morning tv. I had nothing pressing to do all day so I was in no hurry to get moving. A friend who is just about to begin commuting by bike to work wanted to try and iron out her commute from Adams Morgan to Crystal City and so we planned to take the short bike ride in the afternoon.

I’ve been slacking a little bit on cleaning up the bike that has taken such great care of me for the past few months and so I decided the lazy pre-ride afternoon would be the perfect time to get her back into tip top shape. So, I soaked the chain and scrubbed up the cassette and chain rings. I wiped down the frame and spokes and rims and cleaned up the brake dust and road grime from the calipers. I also found out the rear wheel needs to be trued, though it’s nothing too serious. I’ll probably run it over to the Bike Rack or something and get some hands on instruction on truing once I get the new ride.

While I don’t plan on putting her out to pasture or anything, the real hard riding and racing on the Specialized is likely over. I’ll also probably spend a lot of time riding the new Cannondale so the Specialized will see a lot more time at the house. I just need to make sure she doesn’t start to feel neglected; that’s never good for anyone. I think I’ll probably want to ride her for the longer rides where the carbon frame will be much easier on the body then the stiff aluminum Cannondale and the bottom bracket flex won’t be a limiter.

Anyway, the Specialized is now nice and clean and shiny and still shifts like a dream; I actually think that bike shifts better then almost any other bike out there in my races as I’ve never even remotely had an issue with shifting it as everyone else pops and grinds through their gears around me. The smooth and quiet shifting of the Shimano 600 components on that bike have always amazed me; it is truly a thing of beauty. That alone is enough to keep me from ever wanting to upgrade that bike to a different set up with brifters and more modern components. It could never have the same crisp and effortless shifting and to waste the beauty of the classic original setup of such a beautiful and well maintained bike would be a tremendous waste.


Josh said...

I had that bike before you (for something like 15 years), and I can't recall it ever mis-shifting. Amazing!

You're going to like that Cannondale for racing, though. Those things are like rockets!

Beakerz said...

If you ever want to help out, I can't really afford a bike for my Tri-training. ---hint hint--

Meanwhile, I'd like to talk to you about doing a few events that are 'partnered', as in....I swim, you bike, somebody runs. I'll tell you more about what I'm thinking...if interested