One day you wake up, and there it is staring you in the face. It is a little bit like when Audrey from the Little Shop of Horrors movie realizes that Seymour has been right there the whole time. (That would be Audrey the girl, not Audrey II; the man eating flower.) The flower is banished, and they live happily ever after. It is a bit like that. Bam! There it is. Spring. Right around the corner. And don't even tell me that you do not have the song in your head now, unless you have the song from the dentist office in your head.
I really want to ride my bike, real bad, and tomorrow I am going to do that. Wow, it is going to be 45 and then the next day 50. There is still snow on the ground, but only off the roads now. I am sure we are not really done with winter, but I will take this brief respite.
Ever wonder how you got here? You know, here with your bike jones? Well here is my story.
When I was a kid, I rode a bike. We all did, right? Mom and Dad got us bikes when we were little. You know a trike was under the tree at Christmas, or a little bike was handed down from our older siblings or Grandma and Grandpa brought a bike or the cousins had an extra one or probably about 50 other reasons that the first bike would show up in the garage.
A major milestone was when you first learned to push the pedals around and get down the driveway. The hill back up the driveway was too big, so you would push the bike back up and then do it all over again. Back in those days we didn't wear helmets. But I have photos of my kids doing the same with their helmet bouncing down over their eyes as they pushed their way back up the drive.
But, somewhere along the line for most of us, bikes were lost their cool. That first set of keys the car in the driveway opened up a whole new world. Cars were a big deal back then. Everyone had one, gas was cheap and a car got you a lot further along the way. Some of us never made it back to the bike. What a shame.
In my case, I still wanted to be on 2 wheels, so I ended up with a motorcycle. Got me just about as far as the car would get me, a little tough in the winter, but even after a few icy road crashes - I made it work. I never lost the feeling of freedom and the feeling of being so much closer to the elements that only 2 wheels can give you. When I got to college, I actually could not afford the motorcycle either. So, back on a bike I was.
In case at this point you needed to see what parts made up a bike.
In reality, I was back on a bike for the obvious reason of the broke starving college student, but I was also back on a bike because I had developed Adult Scoliosis and had a pinched nerve in my back. My plan of being a runner was not working out as I had hoped (thank God). The bike helped all of that, and I remembered that I was really more of a cyclist than I was a runner.
So, I moved to Colorado and started racing bicycles. I went fast here and there, but was generally pack fodder. You know the type, train and train and train and still battle for 10th place in the 3-4 race (back then there was just category 1-4, and often times there was not enough people to fill out the groups so we raced together.) I learned within a couple of years that I was not going to be winning the Coors Classic.
I got married, I got jobs, I had a family, etc... but, I never lost my bicycle jones. I was lucky that way.
Somewhere in there, mountain bikes happened. I was back racing in the dirt, rediscovering skills that were dormant from my time as a child motocross racer. Mountain bikes allowed my lack of natural motor to be masked by my ability to ride a wheelie, skid, and go over the rough stuff. What a great deal.
Now, I know that I cannot have enough bikes. There is always room for another one to have in the garage. I am fortunate that I have the job I do. It allows me to have a lot of bikes. You really cannot have too many, can you?
Here are a few of the bikes I have around right now, and a word or two about them.
This is probably my absolute favorite bike these days. It is almost a do-it-all bike. I can ride the dirt jumps if I change the pedals, I can race the thing and it is the absolute best bike I can imagine for a huge trail ride.
This is my little jumper bike. I use it at Rays MTB park, all winter. During the winter it gets outfitted with some slick-type tires. In the summer, I will mount up some knobby tires to run at our little dirt jump park out at the trails. I am a crummy jumper, but I am trying to learn.
Custom Fuel EX SS
It gets fun here. I have always liked singlespeed bikes, but I just cannot do the hardtail thing for an offroad bike (other than a jumper hardtail). I know that probably means that I am getting old. But, WTH. I have been working on this little project bike. The guys in the race shop started it up for me, and I have been massaging it into something. It is a new Fuel EX carbon frame, DRCV rear shock, Kashima coated 140mm Fox fork and a YESS singlespeed device. I have only ridden it yet at Rays on the XC loop, but it appears to be working pretty well so far.
Pretty psyched for spring with this one.
Madone Livestrong Team bike
Back in the summer of 2009, there was a risk that the Astana team would not have the budget to get the team through the season. There was a back up plan, and these were possibly going to be the frames for the team. It did not happen, so the sample frames needed to go somewhere. This is just the 5 series frame, that was painted as a sample. Built up with a mix of DA and Ultegra. It is my back up bike.
That is an "I Ride For Chris Funk" sticker on the chainstay. Miss you Chris.
Madone 6 SSL
This one is my new Madone 6 series. I am on a plain bike kick lately. I am also really into black. This one is a full Shimano Di2 Dura Ace model, new team LEOPARD TREK team wheels - all completely blacked out.
There is a commuter bike in there. Used mostly to ride to work. It is a single front ring with a 9 speed rear. There are not many hills on my commute.
There is almost no bike that is more fun than the Session is. You can make yourself feel like a DH champion, just by pointing it downhill. It is light, it jumps well and it will make you smile every time you ride it.
The Session in Action at Whistler
I need a bigger garage. There are still so many more bikes that I need. A few on the list:
- RadioShack Madone
- LEOPARD TREK Madone
- and many more.
And don't even get me started about the bikes that we have not come out with yet.
Now, what should I ride tomorrow? I sure hope that Audrey II plant didn't make it through the winter. I do really dig bikes.