Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To the races...and back home

Here's a link to Dave Moulton's new blog site. Dave's latest post talks about and illustrates (with terrific ancient photos) '60s British cyclists, including Dave himself, traveling to and from races on their road-commute-time trial bikes. Their everything bikes.

They'd pedal to early morning time trials, bikes fitted with lights and luggage racks and heavy clincher wheels, their lightweight racing wheels mounted to the bike on each side of the front fork.

At the race start site, they'd switch wheels and remove rack and lights, ride their 10mi or 25mi or longer distance, then change everything back for the ride home. After tea and cookies at the finish, if my limited experience at British club time trialing is any indication.

We don't do it that way any longer, huh? I'm concerned that with fuel at four dollars a gallon, cycling will be stingingly expensive for many US club riders, whose bikes travel to and from every ride in or on their cars. Shame to mount lights or a rack on a new Madone.

Simply isn't done...


sda said...

On that note .... a buddy of mine just bailed on coming out here from Lincoln this weekend for the Laramie Enduro. Gas prices put the budget in the red ...

Anonymous said...

Dang, that brings back memories. When I first started riding in the early eighties I had one of those contraptions for mounting my sewups on either side of the front fork and as a grad student, rode my beater wheels to special events and then changed wheels.

Bicycles have become toys for most folks. Often seen on tops of 6,000 lb SUVs or pickups. For shame.

Maynard said...

I only write these posts to attract your comments. In most cases, I feel (hey, I'm supposedly the great cycling writer) that I haven't said whatever it was as well as my commenters.

Aerostich, the motorcycle gear supplier, offers stickers that show a profile of a motorcycle in a pickup bed - with the red X across the image.

Let's ride these things, not haul them. Whattaya say?

jthurber80 said...

Bikes are toys for MOST people -- and purchased with "leisure" dollars -- continually lacking in today's economy. Nonetheless, bicycle sales are way up.

Putting lights or a rack on a Madone thou? How would you do that? I think the only way to haul luggage with a road bike like that is with a trailer -- and put the light on your helmet!

Maynard said...

I see lots of Madones but I see very few accomplished cyclists. Buying a Madone, to my mind, is making an unstated commitment to daytime riding and to transporting the bike to and from rides. As jthurber80 suggests, you won't often see lights on a Madone. Or see one used for transport.

Just as buying an expensive prestige product of any sort mitigates against its use, Madones are 95% hothouse flowers, found under suburban club cyclists who think they've heard of Phil Liggett somewhere but can't recall the context.

Dave Moulton said...

Thanks for the link love Maynard. I was concered that I might loose readership with moving from Blogger, but actually the reverse is true, and I have gained hits. Thanks in part to people like you.

Khal said...

A good compromise on performance and utility has been a cyclocross bike. I picked up a Redline Conquest Pro frame for a song a few years ago. Rigged it up with moderate gearing, bar-end shifters, a rack, lights, and a horn. It still rides like a cross bike on my daily commute, albeit it weighs a lot. But unlike a "garage queen" Madone, it has utility.

I ride the Redline to work rather than lug a bike to work in a car because if I lug a bike to work in a car, I end up working late and driving home in frustration with my lycra untouched. Better to be forced to ride home on a 40 lb cross bike than not ride at all!

Hello and best wishes to Dave Moulton.