Monday, September 5, 2011

A Thing of Beauty...

This spring I had a little saddle mishap. All ‘cycling enthusiasts’ can appreciate the importance of the saddle butt cheek interface. I dare say that a poor connection for this important contact point may be the most common cause of converting potential enthusiasts to un-enthusiasts. Given time and more than a little patience we find what we like and we tend to stick with it. I’m no different, for me the sweet spot is the Brooks Team Pro.

My problem was solved with a saddle repair that was a real blessing. As I suspected might happen however, there was need for a little adjustment once I had ridden it a bit. Last week on a leisurely ride out the south bank road I noticed that there was a burr in my saddle so to speak. What happed was that one or two of the rivet heads had come just a bit proud of the saddle leather. The craftsman had done a good job of peening those oversized rivet heads but with a little hot weather riding the leather had stretched just enough that the edges of those rivets were now free to shave off anything that slid across them.

The problem was easily solved when I got home with judicious use of a ball peen hammer and a rivet set. You can never know for sure if you have gotten it right until you go for a ride which I did on Sunday.

I took a drive up to Seattle to ride with my friend Don Boothby

and whoever else might show. Imagine my surprise when a group of 17(!) friends, gropies and club mates assembled for a 9:00 start.

It was great to see so many riders, catching up with old friends and meeting new ones.

I have written here in the past with disdain about city riding; please help me stuff this crow down my gullet! It was a very pleasant route, much of it along the Duwamish River, and on several different paved multi-use paths. We were out early enough that bladers and the stroller crowd must have still been at church. The mountain was out in all its glory.

Again, for the third week in a row I rode much of the event in the company of others. It was a good thing too because I had neglected to replace the batteries in my GPS so all I had was a blank screen and a cue sheet printed in slightly too small font. I probably could have made my way around the course but fortunately Jason took pity and rode along with me. He claims to be new to randonneuring but I have my doubts looking at his equipment and his riding strength.

I also got to roll along for a few miles with Charley Miller Robin who had great stories of his epic nonstop roll through the French Country side. Between his stories and this from the local paper about Chris Ragsdale's ride I have a new found respect for those who ride at the front of the pack; really incredible! I also got to suck the wheel of Ralph and Carol on their tandem for many miles. Somehow I thought that most of the riders were ahead but at a stop Ralph suggested we wait for the others and it was then that I figured out we were closer to the front than the back of the pack. New ground for me.

It was an absolutely great day on bikes, I am so glad I took the time to ride with the Patroń of Pastries, Donut Don. The guy had just come through some serious brutality in the name of health care but you would never have known it from the way he rode, and his classic jovial self. Thanks a lot Don and Mimi for a great ride.

About that thing of beauty; how’s that saying go, a thing of beauty is a joy forever? Tell me if you don’t think this is worthy of hanging in the Louvre, or at least some museum of industrial art.

For some of us, this is as near as you can get to the perfect thing, a green Brooks Team Pro, with copper rails even!
I came across this through a friend who made me a deal I couldn’t refuse. Here it is mounted on the Quickbeam.

Doesn’t this just make you want to go for a bike ride?

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