I got to thinking about my comment in my last post – about loving my bike… Now this isn’t quite bike porn, there’s less “lust” to it, but it’s gotta be somewhere in the same ball park. So let me list a few items that bring me joy.
1. My bike reminds me of a Ferrari. Not the new Ferrari’s, it reminds me of the GTO – Classic Lines that work – hard. Marry that with an upgraded saddle that looks like a scalpel, the dark red metallic finish with the blue bar tape… It just looks all kind of awesome to me. I love to look at the lines, the mean-ness. My bike looks tough and elegant at the same time.
2. It’s smooth. My Trek shifts like a dream, every time, no hesitation, no protest. Click-clank, new gear. It’s absolutely badass. This, I’m sure, has a lot to do with the quality of the higher end Ultegra components, and probably a little bit to do with the fact that I take meticulous care of it.
3. It’s quiet. Even over bumps. There’s no chain clicks, no frame creaks or groans (especially now that I’ve had the stem cleaned and relubed – noob note, from a fellow noob, if your handlebar creaks or groans and you have a quill stem, remove it, clean it, lube it and tighten ‘er up good) – it’s unbelievable to me how quiet that bike is – it’s just a whoosh – down the road.
4. It accelerates quickly. When I step on the pedals, it goes… I like drag racing cars to 20 mph. I love listening for the engine to wind up behind me and then watching the car catch up and shoot by me. I don’t know why, I just think it’s funny as hell. This would change, of course, if the driver beside me anticipated having his doors blown off – by a guy on a bicycle.
5. I like how it feels cornering. On my normal 16 mile ride, I enter into a residential neighborhood for about 4 blocks… I make a left down a short hill to a sharp right turn. This is my favorite part of that 16 mile ride – about 500 yards, and I hit that right turn smiling every single time, in the drops at about 27 mph, I lean on my bike – left foot down and all of the weight I can put on it to hammer through that turn searching for the apex, the perfect angle to hit that turn so I can stay in my lane in the event that there’s a car approaching the other way…through the turn, absorb three rolling “bumps”, and continue down the road. I love that corner.
6. I love how fast that bike is in the wind. This was rather unexpected. I can remember riding my shorter Cannondale and absolutely struggling, mashing the pedals as hard as I could, just to get to 15 mph in a stiff wind. Riding into the wind was difficult because riding in the drops was miserable because the cockpit (the distance from the bar to the seat) was way too short. On the Trek, in the same wind I can still keep it at around 17 or 18 mph.
7. I love the wheels – they’re bulletproof and fast (if a little heavy, according to what I’ve read) – and they match the bike perfectly…and the spoke pattern is awesome. Everybody should be as lucky as me. I couldn’t be happier with my bike.