Thursday, September 07, 2006

Even in the rain, especially in the rain

I've been too busy to ride for four days, and I've been getting antsy, so I rose before dawn this morning and went for a ride in the rain. It was just lovely. The antsiness seems to be cured. The addict has had his fix.

My road bike has been rattling around in the back of the car since Monday waiting for me to find some time. Simultaneously, I've been flipping through the pages of bike catalogues looking at fancy new road bikes I'd like to buy to make me go faster. In my heart I know the real solution is not parting with $2,000 but to ride my perfectly serviceable but 25-year-old road bike more often. It's just as fast as any of these newfangled alloy and carbon fibre monstrosities, even if I do have to move my hands to change gears and the tyres are held on with glue. It's just that, well, everyone else has such nice new bikes.

At any rate, there's nothing wrong with my road bike, which fits me better than any other I've ever owned. If only I could get the saddle right. In his book "I am a Raving Sociopath"* Lance Armstrong relates how his team mechanics used to call him 'the millimetre man' because he was so obsessive about getting the setup of his bike just right. It turns out I'm the same type of obsessive, riding up and down the bike paths of Melbourne in the rain, allen key in hand, tweaking my saddle height and pitch. It's like tuning a piano and there's only one right result. It's a matter of persistence, but when you hit that sweet spot, suddenly you can fly.

*Possibly not its real title.

4,252km so far this year.

No comments: