Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Guest Blog - New Season, New Bikes

Back around the dawn of man's existence on the planet, but sometime after blogger was created, I helped co-found a bike club with two other guys.  We started small and stayed small.  Until this year, that is, when we took a big leap.  In the process, we have switched around a few things, including our bike shop sponsor.  As a result, though, we are just now getting back to contributing together to a bike blog.  And thus, we have the return of Rider One, the primogeniture, if you will, or at least the guy who grabbed the number one spot on the roster and has been sitting comfortably there for many a year now.  And, just to be clear, he deserves it.  He has a long and substantial bike resume, not to mention a few other good qualities. And so, without further ado, I am glad to re-introduce the writings of Rider One.

New Season, New Bikes

I was 16 years old when I got my first team bike. That is, a bike I wasn’t asked to pay for. That Gios Compact, which my father still rides by the way, was soon replaced by a Tomasso when I switched teams the following year. We were sponsored by 10 Speed Drive Imports, and Tomasso was one of the brands, along with Guerciotti and Rossin (I think) that they distributed.

Without going off on too much of a tangent, that Tomasso wasn’t really a Tomasso, it was a Gitane. You see the year before the team was sponsored by the French bike manufacturer. So when Tomasso came on board, the Gitanes were sanded, sprayed red and new decals were applied. That bike was up there with a friend’s Vitus [] I once borrowed for a few days—a bike so flexible that even as a junior weighing in at a whopping 150 pounds, I consider one of the most hair-raising bikes to descend on. That said, it never seemed to hold back this guy. []

After college I worked for a pro road racing team, following up by a few years working for Trek Bicycles, managing its professional MTB teams. Yes, I had access to lots of really cool bikes. Stock bikes. Prototypes slated for testing by the team. One off concepts that never made it to production. Fun stuff! And the whole build cycle for new gear was quite a thing to watch. I remember organizing a delivery from Shimano, with two shipping pallets filled with XTR and Dura-Ace components.

Yet here’s the thing. Getting a new bike never got old for me. I suppose there was a general awareness that it was yet another bike to carry a rider, but I got bit by the bike bug in a big way as a teenager, and while my enthusiasm for riding has indeed waxed and waned over the years, I’ve never gotten tired of beautifully made frames.

So, transition to this year, when some of my teammates will be on new BMC bikes. These should be in within the month, and I can guarantee that the boys are excited. Unfortunately River City Red’s negotiations with Philippe Gilbert fell through so we won’t have the fly Belgian National Champion paint job that’s highlighted in the video below from VeloNews.

It’s going to be a fun year. Enjoy.


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