Monday, September 12, 2011

177 Miles On A Vintage Bike

This past weekend was the annual Rock N Roll MS150 bicycle ride. The event goes from the Memphis, TN area to the Tunica MS casinos via a nice winding route. This was my 10th year participating in the event, and I've been lucky to be part of the ride committee for the past two years (not much participation on that team this year though).

My company sponsors our team, and even pays for jerseys for us to ride in. Pretty sweet deal! I also enjoy getting out and just riding for a whole weekend. Not training, Not racing, just riding.

So the weather for the weekend could not have been better. The temperature was perfect, the clouds were just enough to keep us from getting burnt, and the wind was pretty nice to us most of the time.

For this year, I elected to ride the Colnago Super I built this summer. At the beginning of the ride, I got a lot of looks from folks on carbon bikes. Their eyes said 'what is he doing out here with that old thing?'. Later in the ride, I started getting all sorts of comments from folks who really appreciated seeing a well maintained vintage bike. Over and over again, I told the story of finding it and the build. People were amazed that I had no trouble keeping up on a bike that was older than them.

The best compliment came when I pulled up along one of the LBS shop owners. As I rode up, he eyed the bike for a few hundred yards and said 'now that is a bike with class and character'. That made me feel real good.

One other fun detail of the weekend was day 1. On day one, they had an option for riding a century. I've never ridden a century in all my years riding (20+). Countless metric centuries, but never a regular Century. The weather was so good, I just had to go do it. I finished with a comfortable (not fast) time and headed to the banquet hall for some good food.

Day 2 was just as nice, but we only had a 75 mile option.

In the end, I rode 177 miles in two days. Definitely a personal record and one I'd like to duplicate next year.

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