/ cycling

Velo Madness

Ride faster! Ride Faster!

Yes folks, the cycling bug has bitten hard since arriving in Boulder. Eight or so years of no bike riding has made Robby a frustrated boy. Since moving to Boulder, I have had Scott Moninger ride his bike in front of my car while waiting to make a left turn, bought a cyclocross bike which I use as a daily commuter bike, and attended a giant bicycle swap meet in Denver, but things are really getting out of hand now.

I bid on, and won, another bike on an online auction. But here's the thing: it's a mountain bike. I decided I wanted to get something with fatter tires for the coming winter snow, and holding to the principle that has sustained me throughout my cycling life -- never ride shitty bikes -- I looked to eBay for a quality bike that I could still afford. I found fat tire bliss in a Dean titanium mountain bike that I was surprised to win. It should arrive on Thursday. Being primarily a road bike fan, and a steel fan to boot, this is quite the switch. But I think it could be fun to finally ride Ti (always wanted to, and besides, my wedding band is made of the stuff (by Boone Technologies, I know I'm dating myself here)), and I'm certainly in the right place to finally give mountain biking a fair shake.

Lastly, as evidence that it is impossible to NOT get back into cycling while living in Boulder -- regardless of how pathetically far you have let yourself get out of shape, and how eroded your right kneecap has become -- I submit: my neighbor.

I met my neighbor across the street just last night. As I rolled up to my garage door, I saw him -- watching a friend test ride a rather fancy time trial bike up the street -- and nodded hello.

"Nice bike", he says.

Now, I had suspected that this guy was a serious bike guy, because I always see nice bikes parked in front of his house, and I once saw him in his garage at night and noted that he has a full-on shop in there, with a nice stand and wheels hanging from the ceiling and all. So when he said "nice bike", I of course rolled on over to continue the discussion.

Turns out, my neighbor is the Chief Mechanic for the Trek Mountain Bike Team. (!) We chatted for a few minutes, and he's a really nice guy, even offering his extensive garage-shop for my use if I need it. His friend? Just getting ready for Nationals next month, getting his bike dialed-in and all. Sheesh, fifteen years ago, I used to read cycling magazines and read about these places, places where the great cyclists lived and trained and rode, and wish I was there. Now I'm here, but as an out-of-shape, beer drinking, computer hack. It's funny how life works.

But hopefully there's time to get back in the saddle, and get back into the air as well. For now, cycling celebrity sightings, watching the glider tow planes dive back to Boulder Airport as the glider that just released heads for the front range, riding nice bikes (slowly) to work, and the occasional nighttime bike path jaunt under a starry sky for a loaf of bread (as I did on Sunday) will have to do, and honestly, that's doing just fine.