So there was only one thing that I could do
Was ding a ding dang my dang a long ling long
One of my best riding buddies, Jonathan, just picked up a 2012 Venge, and got a smokin’ deal on it… Then he went to work on it. The bar tape is new, the wheels are new, even the drivetrain is new (it had SRAM Red and was upgraded to eTap).
That got me to thinking about mine, of course… because, like Jonathan’s Venge, mine is far from stock. The frame, fork, and chain rings are about the only original parts on the bike. The saddle is the same model as the original, but a year older… it matches the color scheme a little better.
I ended up taking the Venge out the other day for what was supposed to be a recovery ride day – typically not a good idea because I have a tendency to push the speed a little too much to be able to call it a “recovery” ride. My target, as I was standing in the driveway waiting for traffic to clear was 19 (ish) miles at 17-1/2-mph… I ended up doing 19.75 in just over an hour (19.3-mph average when the dust cleared). So much for a recovery ride.
Everything on my Venge is in perfect working order. Nothing squeaks or creaks (with the exception of the cleats if I forget to lube them up now and again). When I get out of the saddle, the only sound is the whoosh – whoosh – whoosh distinctive to carbon fiber wheels and the subtle hiss of tires on asphalt. The shifts are clean and crisp. My Venge is a lot like a fifteen pound Ferrari.
In addition, everything on my Venge is color coordinated as perfectly as I can get it. I went through a great deal of effort and money to make sure everything was right… and anything that was only close got changed out. From the brakes, to the saddle, and the bottle cages to my Garmin, everything was chosen to get that bike as close to stylistically perfect (without going overboard to gaudy, say by adding red bar tape and red cable housing…). I did the best I could with the money I had.
The Specialized Venge is the best-represented make and model on our Tuesday night club ride by more than threefold, and for good reason. The Venge, especially the first generation, is the quintessential aero race bike. Pure racing geometry, stiff as a board, exceptionally light at the Ultegra+ model (mine is 15 pounds – 16 with pedals and cages included), the Venge is all go and no slow, baby.
My Venge is no longer the newest, most “aero” thing on the road… but it’s hella-fast and it’s me, right down to the red and black, purposely mismatched carbon fiber bottle cages.
Standing there, sweating in my driveway, uploading my ride from my Garmin to the interwebs, I couldn’t help but think back to one of my favorite Ministry songs…
Jesus built my road bike
It’s a love affair
Mainly Jesus and my Venge