I rode with a new guy to the Tuesday night crew last night for some easy, pre-Tuesday night miles. I’m a firm believer in active recovery rides – especially after a long weekend and a day before Tuesday’s main event. I always bring my good legs to Tuesday night.
It should have been a no-brainer on a beautiful evening; prep the Venge and roll out.
I was pulled to the Trek, though. Even though I’ll have plenty of time on the Trek in the not-to-distant future, that reality still wasn’t enough. I readied the 5200.
I rolled out about fifteen minutes early so I could get four extra miles in and I was smiling by the time I’d hit the intersection after the first mile. There’s no question the Specialized is superior in every way but the 5200 has a classic panache that a modern aero bike lacks. In Michigan (as is the case in much of America), the Trek 5500/5200/5000 has a storied history as the most successful frame ever built.
Ah, the things I could have done to the Trek if I’d had the money I’d spent on the Specialized – that’s really what this whole thought experiment comes down to. Electronic shifting? How about SRAM Red eTap? Maybe a set of 50’s rather than the 38’s I’ve got on it now? Maybe a better paint job?
Jason and I met up and rolled out side-by-side, talking about work, home life, and bikes (of course). He’s still nervous about riding in traffic so I took the outside and we cruised around my normal loop. The Trek, as was to be expected as of late, performed admirably, as usual. No creaks, no clicks, just the whoosh, whoosh, whoosh of the wheels whenever I got out of the saddle.
I pulled into the driveway with just over 22 miles at 17.5-mph… just right for a Monday night. And I still had the question gnawing at my brain – what if?
Then my mind turned to this evening’s festivities. There’s a very good chance we’ll be rained out and I’ll be taking the night off. We’ve got storms blowing through today. Let’s just say they blow through a little quicker than expected, though, and it’s all dried out for the Tuesday night club ride. There’s no question the Venge is getting tapped for that duty.
And that fixed the battle I had in my head. The Trek’s a fantastic bike. It’s fun to ride and astonishingly comfortable. As fast and wonderful as it is, though, when watts count, it’s still the rain bike.
It was fun to kick that around, though.
I’m also struck by how different the things I have to busy my mind with are from the old days. It never ceases to amaze me how fortunate I am to be me, considering where I’ve come from. Good times and noodle salad.
How to EASILY Install a Stubbornly Tight Bicycle Tire on a Rim… No Muss, No Fuss, and No Special Tools Needed.
I bought some new rubber my wife’s Alias. For Ican wheels, the first seating of a brand new tire tends to be difficult. I’ve often resorted to using a tire jack rather than risk ripping my thumbs at the nails again (yes I have, and yes, it hurts). Once the tires are ridden on for a couple of weeks, putting them on and taking them off is much easier.
Well, I was determined to muscle them on my wife’s wheels without tools yesterday. However, I chose to set up shop outside, even though I normally work on the bikes in the living room or our bike room. Somebody shut summer off summer the other day and it was quite comfortable with some cloud cover.
The first tire was tough, but I surprised myself when I rolled the last few inches over the lip. I cleaned up her wheel and installed in on the bike. Then came the second, the rear tire. I opened and set the new tire on the grass, then set about removing the old tire from the wheel. I looked up as the clouds parted and sun shone down. The increased warmth was nice. Not too much, just enough. After removing the tube from the old tire, I centered the new tire’s logo on the valve hole and set the first bead. Then the tube. Then I started the second bead. I was sweating under the heat of the sun by this point. I got to the last six inches and prepared myself… and slipped the bead right over the lip. Easy as an alloy wheel.
Then it dawned on me why it was so easy.
I’d let the tire sit out in the sun for a few minutes and it softened up and expanded a little bit. It slid on like I’d buttered it without touching my KoolStop tire jack.