Friday, October 23, 2009


People up here are winterizing their boats and motor homes. In Mt. Greenwood Tom is draining his Harley and getting it ready for a long rest. I'm triaging my bikes and shuffling the needs and wants into a Spring '10 wish list.

The Trek cross bike has been through a war zone. It is 3 years old and has 3 years of racing in it, and most parts are still original. That is impressive, but also telling. It tells me that I should not sweat it that the frame is scratched everywhere, the rear wheel only stays true for about 20 minutes after it is adjusted, the shifting is suggestive at best, and the brakes are left to merely apply a general soft friction to the rims. The bike was a great deal, has served me well, and was actually welded and constructed in Waterloo, WI. That is cool. I wish it had a sharper paint job, but that is a small complaint. I really want a steel Lemond Poprad or a Gary Fisher Presidio, but how can I justify the jettisoning of a Wisconsin made friend that still has life left in it. I spin stories of putting it out to stud as a commuter, but I don't believe that is fair. It can stay filthy and maladjusted in my garage all winter and when the long days of April start to appear I'll take it down to Chain Reaction for an epic tuneup and a burly handbuilt rear DT Swiss wheel. I'll show the Trek some love and it will shine again next cross season. I still want a Wisconsin made steel cross bike (Lemond/Fisher) though.

My Orbea road bike is entering the off season a little less wounded. It has that overall sloppy, loose feeling, which an April tuneup will happily fix. I don't think it needs the large influx of parts ($$$) that the Trek does though.

So I'll do my usual fall mail ordering of parts, tires, chains, and handlebar tape to take advantage of the year end sales. The snow has not fallen yet, but it will any day now. It's sad to see the bikes being put away for a nap, but unfortunately the trails in Anchorage are groomed for cross country skiiing (unlike the plowing and salting they receive in Chicago/Madison). Come April the bikes will emerge shinier and faster.

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