This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

One Cool Sunday

Sunday was a relief!  The temperatures here dropped nearly 25 degrees.  
It was just in time for the KBC's local Kaltour ride.  
It's a very nice club sponsored ride through the countryside surrounding Kalamazoo Mi.
The weather couldn't have been better and more than 300 people came out to enjoy some company on one the the 4 routes marked out and supported with excellent sag and rest stops.
Against my better judgement, I drove the paltry 5 miles to the start.  I was thinking that I might not feel like riding home after the start, but felt lazy and guilty for doing it (There! I beat you to it Bill!).
I liked the looks of the metric century and it would be the 5th time this year I rode my age (60 not 100).
The ride takes several routes through the rolling countryside full of vineyards.
 Yes Michigan is wine country.
The rest stops were placed a comfortable 20 miles apart where we could all drool and obsess over each others wheels.  I saw my first Hetchin's in the wild,
a fixed gear that was as full of the beautiful workmanship and detail
we all expect.
I've long admired the exhaustive detail of the paint and lugwork in the photos I've seen of Hetchin's bikes
and was a little overwhelmed when I saw it in the flesh.
I have to admire it, but honestly after seeing it in person I have to admit the lugs were 
a little tooo much like a lace doily for my taste.  I can't deny it is pretty,
but like a wedding cake, a bit overstated.
Not only did we get a view of the vineyards,
we were able to enjoy miles and miles of shade pedaling through the forests.
At lunch I was treated once again to a unique piece of vintage gear
in the form of Gordon Vader's custom by PG Wells.
Compared to the Hetchin's this bike had a simple straight forward elegance to the single point lugs
and cutouts.  It has been perfectly cared for and is a truly beautiful bike, but Gordon pointed out 
that the Reynolds decal had developed a crack.  Well, we know that renders the bike useless!
I offered to disposed of it properly for him, but he snorted and rode off in a hurry.
You just can't help some people!
At the finish, I got a look at the "new" Centurion my friend Bill had recently snagged.
It is a perfect example of  a late '70s Japanese model with all original Suntour group
and those lovely and simple 
plated lugs popular back then.
He explained that the cost on the bike was a net gain of 2 Guinness.
He sold his Fuji 195, bought the Centurion for 185 and spent the profit at the Irish fest the same weekend.
That's a deal!
I finished the ride within reasonable time for me, averaging around 15 mph on the Hillborne.  
The temps were in the mid eighties by the finish, I was glad the car was there, but still felt like I should have ridden home.

1 comment:

  1. Marc,

    Thanks for the mention.

    I really like my Centurion. Today I replaced the old cloth bar tape, put on a Brooks B17, and swapped out the rock hard brake pads for some new Kool Stop Continentals.

    Nice pics, too. I really like the one of the vineyard!