There is one main thing I learned in 2015, better than any cycling tip related to breathing, cadence or stamina… better even than some silly tip to keep my weight where I need it to be fast up a hill. It’s better than any Endomondo (or Strava) piece of data.
I learned this year that the measure of my success in cycling is not about some silly stat or place in the field.
The measure of my success is the size of the smile on my face while I’m turning the pedals over…
And my smile has been big this year.
I didn’t care about the rest. I’m too old for that $#!+.
Of course, being fast doesn’t hurt either. 😉
Yesterday was a busy day for working on the bikes. I started off with my 3700 so I can ride in the muck with my buddy Mike without sweating whether I get it immaculately clean once every few rides.
First, this is might piss off some of the purists, and I am perfectly okay with that… My ’08 Trek came with a 25.4 mm handlebar but I didn’t like the bar or the original stem. I had to buy a new bar and stem for it shortly after I bought the bike because they moved away from the 25.4 and went with the oversized 31.8 mm bars (same with road bike bars, incidentally).
Now, I also didn’t like the stem and handlebar on my 5200 or the handlebar and stem on my ’13 Rockhopper. There was a lot of not likin’ going on, basically. Got that so far?
So here’s how this shook out… First, I upgraded my Venge’s handlebar and stem to something outrageously expensive and awesome ($450 for the bar and new stem – and I saved all of about 50 grams… chuckle). Then I took the stem off of my 3700 mountain bike (a NICE road stem) and put that on my 5200 with the old handlebar from my Venge. Then I took the old stem from the Venge and put that on my Rockhopper, but the bar on the Rockhopper, ironically, was a 25.4 so I took the Bontrager handlebar off of the 3700 and put that on the Specialized Rockhopper with the Specialized stem.
Now, I wasn’t planning on riding the 3700 much so I put the original stem back on the bike with the Specialized handlebar, the stem had quite a rise so it would be good for visitors. Got it?
Well, now you’re up to date till Friday morning.
My buddy Mike likes to muck it out now and again and my 3700 is in fantastic shape. Mike’s got an old rust bucket mount, so I figured why not ride my old one too, so he would feel out of place.
I took the original stem from my Rockhopper that I had out in my workshop and put that on the Trek:
Done. Maybe five or ten minutes. Now I’ve got a good mud bike to abuse.
While I was at it, I figured why not get my 5200 ready for paint.
That’s my Cannondale in the foreground, we’ll get to that in a minute.
I marked the seat post so I can put it back right when I get my bike back, then commenced to stripping everything down.
That last bottle cage is more than a little stuck so I figured I’d leave that for the pros. The frame is already at the shop.
That left me with a problem though. I’m not going to put the Venge on a trainer so that meant cleaning up the Cannondale. I took the 9 sp. cassette off the wheel, put the old spacer and 7 sp. cassette on, tilted the handlebar to get the angle I wanted and set the saddle to my prerequisite 36-3/8″ and all I have to do is switch out the pedals. I’m good to go.
To wrap this minor saga up, today I’ll be taking every single component apart and cleaning them as good as can be for the age of the parts. It’ll be at least a month before I get the Trek back, but I may as well get that done while I have time.
Also up for today, snow showers and 20 to 25 miles on that old mountain bike. I’ve been sick for a few days now and I’m stir crazy. I gotta ride.