Seize the day

18 02 2011

It’s that time of year when Mother Nature really likes to mess with us.

It can be winter one day, spring the next, back to winter, then leap ahead all the way to early summer. Sometimes all those seasons happen in one day.

Just the other day, it was Spring.

Which is just what happened on Thursday.

In the course of a few hours out and about, I encountered sunshine, a hail storm, sleet, rain, wind, ice and snow. And in the evening we even had a bolt of lightning and a clap of thunder!

So a ride wasn’t even on my mind this morning when I got up.

I had a dental procedure scheduled first thing, and since it involved freezing, much scraping and some sort of laser beam, I figured I’d be waylaid for the balance of the day. I fully intended to hit a matinee.

But with the sun shining brightly, and warmly, on my face as I walked to the dentist, a ride suddenly seemed possible. My planned hour-long session in the dentist’s chair lasted only 35 minutes and wasn’t a total horror show, so I hustled home and kitted up.

The roads were remarkably clean and dry considering the crazy weather that blew through yesterday. I’m really not a fan of the gritty sand and salt that’s left behind, especially along the shoulders, after a brush with winter.

Today, there were still remnants along my route of yesterday's brush with winter.

I legged it out and around UBC and still felt fresh enough on the ride home to pop into my favorite bike shop, Jubilee Cycle, where they swapped my pedals onto a BMC RaceMachine they just got in so I could take it for a test spin.

Today I test rode one of these.

The BMC’s are definitely on my list for consideration should I decide to air out the credit card and get a new ride, although the RoadRacer model is more in my price range.

I did a 3 km loop, with a bit of a climb. It was my first time on an all-carbon bike, and I was impressed with the smooth, quiet ride; with that massive downtube, I expected to hear a bit of road buzz. The hefty bottom bracket sure was stiff; my pedaling felt extremely efficient. Although, I’m sad to report, it didn’t make me any faster on the uphill.

The bike was equipped with SRAM Red, which was another first for me. The double tap shifting took a bit of getting used to, although the gears were responsive and quick. It’s a nice looking groupo for sure.

Last week I eyeballed Pinarello, Look, Focus and Orbea bikes.

But every time I consider a new bike, I keep coming back to Lapierre. Their Xelius and Sensium models just look fast. Nice color schemes as well. But the nearest dealer is a five hour drive away.

But I still find myself coveting one of these.

I’ve been in touch with that shop, and they’d be willing to bring one in for me, but until I’ve actually seen one in person, and test-ridden it, I’m leery to commit. Plus I’d feel disloyal to the guys at Jubilee.

One option might be to order the frameset, then build it up locally. It would likely end up costing me more in the long run, but I’d be certain of getting the total bike I truly want. And I’d be able to still throw considerable business to my local guys.