Bikes

The bikes I owned or desperately wanted to own.

It's All About Love

{moszoomimglink:Bianchi}All foolish things are born of love. But fortunately some fun things are, too. In this case, I was head over heels, and one of the conditions for the love to be successful was to spend a lot of money on a bike.

Some of you snobs will think that Bianchi Veloce is nothing expensive. But to me, the investment was enormous. After all, I had a perfectly functional bike (a twenty year old Nishiki of unspeakable incompetence)!

City Bikes

I went to the bike shop in the maniacal mood of the freshly-in-love, and was told to go to City Bikes in the Marina. A small store on the richer side of the city, CB now specializes in custom frames for the wealthy. Still, the owner (?) is a really nice guy that genuinely loves cycling. Not like the other ones for whom cycling is a pain they have to endure: this one smiles all the time, always has a cheaper option if you start panicking in front of your loved one, and constantly chats about his weekend rides.

We started at Seven. No, not the number, the manufacturer. He had such a beautiful custom Seven with a Chorus gruppo. The only thing I understood was: "$5.000." We swiftly shifted down to the choice whether I wanted my Bianchi in aluminum or steel. I tried aluminum, found quickly it looked ugly (yes, I am ashamed of myself now) and went for the steel frame.

From there on my only choice was color (baby blue or yellow?). Everything else was decided by a quick confabulation between my eternal idol and the City Biker. Two weeks later I picked up a yellow bicycle that cost more than all my other six bikes combined.

Read more: My Bianchi Veloce

Why?

{moszoomimglink:tete.gif}One sunny July afternoon my Bianchi Veloce had decided it was time to quit. The first thing to give way had been the clamp on the 105-s, and replacing it had been a major problem. So I started looking at alternatives.

I knew what I needed: a sturdy, yet light bike; some better components than the 105-s, whose shifting shifting had annoyed me beyond means on uphill struggles; overall, something that could withstand both the perils of a daily commute and the pleasure of a century on a weekend (and the nut-case that would do both).

Where?

Two weeks later, I was casually browsing through Palo Alto Cycles, a store that always left me ambivalent because of the widely diverging skills of the staff. The last experience was with the guy that gave me the clamp for the Bianchi for free and even offered to install it.

I checked the single-racked (i.e. expensive) bikes, and this beautiful Titanium Lemond coyly looked back. It was beautiful, with the cool shimmer of titanium, the minimalist look of the Bontrager wheels and the mechanical accuracy of Dura Ace components.

It was on sale. Someone had ordered it, but had ultimately chosen to wait for the 10-speed 2003. It was my size. I turned the pedal arms once, twice, and they cooed in unison, the ball bearings clicking ever so softly.

Read more: My Lemond Tete de Course