Ch-ch-ch-changes

8 04 2011

I don’t like change.

Once I find a favorite food, route to work, sleeping position I tend to stick with it.

I am ruled by routine.

So altering my usual early-season riding route is a major life leap.

But after nearly three weeks off the bike, most of that time spent fighting and then recovering from a nasty cold, it seemed a good opportunity to shake things up a little.

All week the weather forecast promised a sunny Friday. The same thing happened last week, but then it ended up raining all day Friday.

But this time the forecast was accurate. Sunny. Dry. Coolish.

Uncertain of the toll my 19 days of sloth had taken on my fitness, I decided to reverse my usual route to UBC, heading out along the easy, flat roads that shoulder the Fraser River then return along the more undulating urban roads. That allowed me to avoid the sharp climb out of New West.

And it also mixed up the scenery a bit.

Things I’m used to seeing going, I was now seeing coming at me.

As I've always crossed this bridge southbound, I never noticed the view of the mountains before.

It’s kinda like playing the reverse course on a racing video game; it’s like a whole new course.

The flat outbound route proved the perfect warmup. My longest ride so far this year, 76.60 kms, ticked by quickly and easily.

Hmmmm, this could become my new regular route…

There was another motive for my route reversal; I needed to make a pitstop at my favorite bike shop to get some measurements. That’s because the orange Orbea is about to be retired to winter/foul weather duty.

A sexy new carbon fiber Lapierre Xelius frame in Francais De Jeux team colors is in the house, thanks to a shrewd eBay deal.

Yes, I’m switching allegiance from Spain to France.

This is my first venture into full carbon fiber, and when I first unboxed the Lapierre, I was shocked at its lightness. It didn’t feel like a bike at all. Of course, it’s still lacking all the bike bits like wheels, gears, brakes, crankset, etc; but it was kind of hard to fathom that this featherweight assemblage of tubes and stays could hold me up, let alone withstand the rigors of the professional peloton.

The oh-so-sexy lines of Lapierre.

Some unique touches: a thumbprint on the top tube, and a racing rooster on the chain stays.

 

I guess that shows how out of touch I’ve been, merrily pedaling along on my AL Orbea. Heck, they build Formula 1 race cars out of carbon fiber.

The Lapierre will be built up with a combination of SRAM Force and Red components, Easton carbon seat post and handlebars and an AL stem. To save a few bucks, I’m going to port over the Fulcrum wheels from the Orbea, which are less than a year old anyway. I’ve got a set of old Shimano wheels that will do just fine for winter/lousy weather riding on the Orbea.

The only big decision that remains is: white saddle or black?

 

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