Flutterby™! : New Toy

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New Toy

2005-05-31 14:44:05.340463+00 by Dan Lyke 4 comments

Out here in West Marin the fire roads are better maintained, and we're further from everything. So as I've ground the mountain bike along Sir Francis Drake and over White's Hill, I've looked with envy at the road bikers, with their lower rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag. And I've been thinking it'd be cool to get a road bike.

Garage sale season opened this weekend, and I found a new toy. A 1985 Univega Gran Tourismo bicycle, cantilever brakes, serviceable shifting, so unused that the casting flash is still on the tires, for $20. It's probably a step below the bike I rode when I was in high school, mostly because of the wheels, but I took it for a spin yesterday, up past Roy's Redwoods, out through Nicasio, around the reservoir, past Black Mountain, back along the old railroad grade through Samuel P, and home.

Yeah, the frame is clearly chromoly and absorbs a noticeable bit of power relative to modern high end frames, and it's got shifters on the down tube rather than brifters, and it's a bit heavy, but even after I put a nicer saddle on it I think it's still the best dollars per performance bicycle I've ever owned. And heavy wheels? Well, I remember how much time I spent keeping the light ones true...

But I was also reminded as I tucked in behind a pack on the flat stretch by the water of why cycling is a team sport. Spinning at 20mph is a far cry from finessing over the ruts and rocks, and being able to trade off the lead to have someone else cut the wind is a big deal. Which is probably where the real gains come from on the tandem.

Anyway, I think I just cut my time over the hill and into Fairfax by a third.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Invention and Design Bay Area Pedal Power Bicycling ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-31 23:06:07.142309+00 by: meuon

While doing the Suck Creek web site, I got to play with the $3k to $5+k road and touring bikes. Wow.

Nice thing about yours.. if it gets stolen, you won't cry so much, and as it breaks, you can upgrade things if you want to. Still, for $20.00. Congratulations.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-05-31 23:17:31.485531+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, now that I've ridden it a bit I've got some serious gear lust going on, but it'll be great to come back in half a year and say "yes, I ride it enough to get something really tricked" or "nope, that's fine".

Not only am I paying my own salary right now, and we're still absorbing the cost of the Alaska trip and thinking forward to a few others we'd like to do, but Charlene has been looking at various options for a trampoline for a while, and this last weekend we had the perfect device fall into our laps. So the real splurge toy of this weekend was an 8'x16' high grade trampoline. Yes, it cost us about 1/3 of the new price, but even so...

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 00:21:18.042955+00 by: Dan Lyke [edit history]

I should also note that since the poser gear weenie in advertiser covered Lycra® factor is so much higher on road bikes than mountain bikes, the satisfaction gained from blowing by a pack of people on an uphill on a $3.5k road bikes on my $20 beastie versus out climbing someone on a $1.5k mountain bike on my $750 mountain bike is probably even more than the difference between the ratios of 3500/20 versus 1500/750...

#Comment Re: made: 2005-06-01 01:11:18.016796+00 by: meuon

It's all about value.. kicks per buck.. And you just won big. ;)