Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Napoleon Ride #2

Ok, technically it is ride #2, but to me it was our first real ride together. After I arrived at the start, I noodled around a bit trying to dial in the feel of the Sram rear shifter. I got about 50 ft and BANG! Front tire blew off the rim. Apparently the tube was pinched under the bead of the tire. There seemed to be no damage, the tube got changed and we got our first snafu out of the way. We got under way so I could get on to my 33 mis-shifts, and whatever else goes with a new bike.

Contrary to my inability to be at ease with the new shifting on the first ride, the connection with the handling was found instantly. I never would have imagined a 14.5 lb bike to be that stable while descending. From the first groove of a turn I was at ease. Climbing together, I felt I was riding a complete new level of bike. Too busy thinking about shifting, I probably did not put him through his paces yet, but the possibilities seemed to be there.

The Sram is quite intuitive, and I should have no problem settling into the feel eventually, but I did not have the mindset to have it just happen automatically yet. I can be an old dog, and in this case an old campy dog with my thumb inadvertently reaching out. The compact also had a different rhythm, but with all the other changes going on, I really can't make comment on that yet. All I know is that my usual weekly route felt new, and I am happy to search out new horizons with a new friend.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Welcome Napoleon

Over the course of a few days, and quietly in the basement of my house, an assortment of red and grey boxes of parts were some how transformed into "Napoleon" ..... my new road bike. Much thanks to Art and trusted consultant and fitter, Sandy. There was one anxious moment that involved a hacksaw, but the results of planning, building, cutting and fitting are outstanding. I took him out for the first test ride, minus bar tape, and with an alternate front wheel and all I can is WOW! This is one sweet ride. More to follow.