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The Sweet Feel and Comfort of A Classic Road Bike


August 2020

We’ve gone through some nasty weather over the last day or two, so I readied the Trek 5200 for Saturday duty. I felt I probably could have ridden the Venge, the chance of rain was only 10%. I thought about it a minute but stuck with the Trek. It needs a good romp now and again.

Then Greg texted he’d meet us on the road. “Okay”, I thought, “Greg plays nice.” Then Winston pulled into the driveway. “Ruh roh.” Then McMike rolled up… on his Venge. “Oh, crap.” That’s a trifecta of fast right there. I stuck with the Trek anyway, though the pull to switch to the Venge was strong.

Mike S. texted he was running five minutes late but I stuck with the Trek. We rolled as soon as he was ready…

And in classic Michigan fashion, it was spitting on us before my Garmin read 1.3 mi. 100% chance of getting 10% wet. There were times it was looking ugly and just four miles in I swore we were riding directly into rain but… nothing. Some wet pavement was it.

Oh, but there was wind.  It was though someone simply turned off summer, just like that.  One day, hot and muggy (91° or 33 C) to cool and windy the next – we’ll have to pull out the arm and knee warmers this morning.  Thankfully, a couple years ago I slammed the front end with a -17° stem. I’m able to ride as low on the Trek as I do on the Venge.

So there I was, marveling at how wonderful my Trek was.  I expect a certain level of comfort out of the Venge.  The amount of engineering that went into the bike was astounding, right down to the partnership with McLaren.  The 5200, though, the same frame Lance Armstrong won the ’99 Tour de France on, is a modern classic – one of the first full carbon fiber frames, I’d never expect that level of comfort.  Yet there is was, as I was hurtling down the road at 25+ mph with a smile stretched across my face.

We found out early in the ride it was McMike’s birthday ride.  We pulled into the driveway with just over 70 miles – enough he just needed to ride home and do a loop around his neighborhood to get his 72 miles.

And he can kick my 50-year old ass up and down the road whenever he wants.

It was a fantastic day in the saddle on the Trek.  There’s just something sweet about the feel of a classic.  Every time I ride it on a long ride or tour, I’m thankful I rebuilt it.

Every time.

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