Sunday, February 19, 2012

Crits and Alloy Frames!

Now that I'm back in the US and A, it's time for me to get back to racing crits locally. My new role has me in the office more often, so while not as glamorous as seeing the world every other week with the team, it does mean that I can actually ride my bike (and I still get to go to the big events!).

I know my last number of posts have been about steel and very old-school bikes, how about more Cannondale material? This is the bike I recently updated to be my crit racer for 2012. I start in a few weeks (hopefully). It was made for Leonardo Bertagnolli for the 2003 season, when Gibo won his Giro. Berta was still riding in support of Gibo that year, just prior to breaking out and winning for himself in 2004. That year, I was lucky enough to be selected to help with some translation for Claudio Corti during some sponsorship talks he was having with an American company. I traveled to San Francisco to lend a hand at what I still consider one of the greatest single day races in the US. Post-race, we went out for a bit of night life and had this shot snapped (no, Ted King, that is NOT my man purse).

What's all this have to do with crit racing? Well, if you ask my racing friends who were around during my last stint over here, they'd jokingly refer to my tendency to crash out of the Wednesday Night World Championships. It's a little bit true. For some reason, I fancy myself a sprinter. Maybe just because I took a few finish lines on top of the rise, or maybe because I wasn't afraid to take a spill (what with all that practice) during a sprint. Anyway, it has left me with the impression that I shouldn't race aboard a carbon frame... it'll only be destroyed on first impact, leaving me frantically spending money and time to replace the thing by the time the scars heal! I know... 'you should replace any frame after you crash it in a race'. Well, the last two alloy bikes I raced survived two crashes each before the dents turned into cracks. Call me cheap!

Your thoughts? BTW, it's ten speed (rebuilt the levers, thanks Dave) and rides like a dream. Oh, and "Optimum Fit for Bertagnolli" translates into "more spacers and raise that seat post for Masini".

A Bike... For Life

My last weekend trip to Ciöcc's shop was inspiring again. The guy is so full of life, how could you not appreciate his joy for living? A true master of the old world frame building craft, Giovanni is still innovating and coming out with great new products. The latest of these is the Aeta, which in the Bergamascan dialect means 'Life'. Appropriately named, as this is a bike you would buy and keep for life (and the price tag requires that this purchase isn't an impulse buy).

Could this potentially be the next Cicli Masini model? I can picture one of these stainless steel beauties in a blue/yellow version, and Ciöcc says he'd be more than proud to put his name on one for me! He took me out for lunch in order to help translate to a couple of Korean customers (no, I haven't taken up Korean but they spoke very good English, and share a passion for old-school steel).

As one member of a message board recently stated, a bike like this doesn't compete with other competition bikes, but with other luxury purchase items like that new Ducati or IWB. What are your thoughts? I certainly see the average value of bikes at the local crit or cross race skyrocketing! More on that next...

ps - Post #200! Oh yeah! Thanks to all of you who visit and read my ramblings!