Another joins the flock

10 07 2010

If you’re worried about falling off the bike, you’d never get on.”

Lance Armstrong

Rich got on. Now he’s a bonafide roadie.

When Katie and I were preparing to move into our condo last spring, I had some tough decisions to make; one of the toughest was to get rid of two of my old bikes, my Kona Hot mountain bike and my old Rossi road bike.

The latter was especially difficult to part with.

The Rossi was my first real road bike.

I was getting new tires put on my car at the time, and as I waited, I headed over to a local bike shop. The Rossi caught my eye right away. It’s steel frame gleamed, the chromed fork and stays sparkled. The gentle swoop of the taped handlebars enticed.

I took it for a test ride and was smitten.

That was more than 20 years ago.

I put a lot of kilometers on that bike. And it never let me down. The old-school Campy Nuovo Record derailleurs with downtube shifters rarely needed adjustment. The Modolo brakes were reliable.

Over the years I added new wheels, and bright red Look pedals when they were still an expensive novelty.

The Rossi went into retirement when I moved west and rewarded myself with a newer steel road bike circa 1991. But I couldn’t bear to part with it. She still glinted in the sunlight. The simple, chiseled lugs still looked classy. So I stored it.

Eventually it gained a second life as my indoor trainer bike.

When my enthusiasm for that grueling mental cruelty waned, it went back in the closet.

But the new place wouldn’t have the luxury of so much storage space. So I put the word out that the Kona and the Rossi were for sale.

Rich, a friend and colleague, expressed immediate interest in the Kona. When I told him the Rossi could also be his for another 50 bucks, he thought, what the heck, he’d give it a whirl.

Rich is Italian. I knew he’d respect the Rossi’s heritage, and not try to convert it into trendy fixie. He took it to a nearby bike shop and got them to make it road worthy again.

Then he hit the road and fell in love.

A year later, Rich decided he’d need a new, more contemporary bike if he wanted to keep up with his riding buddies, who were smoking their way up the local hills on carbon fiber CervĂ©los, while he chugged and puffed on vintage steel with a gearing cluster better suited to the flats.

Out with the old, in with the new...

Last week he took the plunge on a spiffy new Cannondale Six.

Rich and Katie comprise two-thirds of our little pelotini.

Rich knows the way across the Pitt River Bridge; but he agrees, it's ridiculous.

Rich and Katie on the open, and very bumpy, road.

Saturday's 70 km ride took us out to Pitt Polder.

The Rossi is back in a garage. But it may yet ride again. One of Rich’s sons has expressed some interest. And the Rossi might be just the bike to explore that interest until he can determine it’s genuine.

Best of all, I still get visiting rights.

Now he’s got to do something about those hairy legs…

Just what the doctor ordered; lunch!