Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Near Perfect Day

<===Carnegie's Bar: It just fits!!
Got out and rode the North Side of The Camp yesterday on my Big Mama fitted with the new Carnegie's Bar. I really try not to get too emotional, or wrapped up in the "new bike part" psychology, but I can't help but admit that my Big Mama is much better now with this bar. It just flat out rocked in that I had more control, even when I got loose, than I had with the standard riser that was on it before.
Okay, I admit it. I am an "alt bar" freakazoid. Okay. I said it. I really like odd ball bars. Sometimes they are just okay, and I put up with that because, well, I am like that sometimes. (The hideous Titec H-Bar comes to mind) But it wasn't 30 yards into the first down hill section at The Camp and I could feel it. This bar was giving me feedback that said, go faster! So, I did, until I smacked my left hand on a tree going Mach 4 and was so loose in some of the sandy corners I was looking like a flat tracker going 120 into a turn. Sawing away at the bar to keep my balance and never touching the brakes. Hoo ha! That was a fun time!
So fun that I did as many techy downhills as I could, but that wasn't all. I was actually digging the climbs as well. I was really afraid that the Carnegie's Bar was going to upset my climbing, being that it effectively shortened my stem by about 20mms. That never happened though, and if anything, the climbing was unaffected by the change. Cool!
I'm going to have some fun with this handle bar. Funny how one small change can transform a rig. Not that it was bad before. It is just much better now! Potter's Pasture should be a hoot with this thing on. I can't wait! But I am going to wait on my first impressions for this bar. I might just be too giddy right now!
<===The errand machine for the day. The Raleigh Rainier.
So I didn't over do the off road thing because, well......I have a mild cold, I haven't gotten to bed at a decent hour since Park City, and I just needed to be careful. So I headed home, got cleaned up, and went to the big grocery store where my bank has an outlet to do sum bidness!
After I walked out to unlock my bike, I was standing there and looking at an old Motobecane that was hooked to a child trailer. Upturned drops, seat slammed. Guaranteed short person on a big bike here. Hmm......pretty clean looking for a 70's rig. Just then the owner came out, and I was just floored.
Here was a guy, older than I by probably 15 to 20 years, impossibly skinny, but decked out in a really cool set of duds. The clothing is what really made me smile. Okay, so here's a bit of back round.......
The cycling industry is desperately trying to "un-nerdify" cycling to the common man. John Q Public thinks "real" cyclists are dorks. (C'mon! Admit it's true! You know it is.) So John Q Public wouldn't be caught dead in Lycra, helmets, cycling shoes, etc. Okay, are ya with me?
So, the industry is developing this new cycling fashion that looks pedestrian, but is actually high tech. Trouble is, it has a high tech price to go along with it. Ever see those manpris that look like Dickie's, but are really some other stuff made by an "in" cycling company? Yeah, we're talking as much money to buy that as you can five pairs of Dickie's. Get the picture?
Well, this guy probably could have gotten everything he had on at Goodwill for less than $20.00. Everything he had on. And he looked the epitome of what the cycling industry is straining to achieve. He had on khaki shorts, a blue pin striped cotton collared shirt, (Neatly tucked in, I might add, with rolled up long sleeves.), a corduroy vest, and a bow tie! But the topper was his clog-like shoes which he was riding toe clips with. Oh! He did have a helmet on. This guy looked cool, but he didn't have to spend a bunch of cash with some "uber-cool" urban cycling clothier that was using the latest tech fabrics. So what if he sweats. I mean, people sweat. Get over it America!
I thought it was cool. And the trailer? Yeah, he had his whole shopping cart dealio folded up and set into the cheapo kids trailer, lashed down, and he was outta there in minutes. Nice! Take that you urban fashionistas!
Anyway, I just don't get the cycling industry. They have the right idea, and then price it out to where the average guy just laughs when he hears the prices. It is stupid, really. If you want the "average" Joe to get into utility cycling, it has to be gotten down to a "utility" price level. Ya know? Like Dickie's. That company "gets it". Work pants for $15.00? I'm in. Cycling pants that look like Dickie's for $80.00 to $100.00? What? Yer outta yer mind!
Anyway........I ran my errands on a beautiful day. What a great day to be alive! That's what it is all about. Ride yer bike. Have fun. Smile.

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