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  1. #1
    Riding a bitsa
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    Nov 2004
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    Strange long b'day ride

    Today is my birthday. My gift to myself, somewhat reluctantly, is a new for me bike. I say reluctant because I was happily pedaling along on an ancient Giordana lent to me by a friend. Just as I figured Id like to buy this bike from him, he decided, and conveyed by subtle hints, that hed really bought it for himself. Now, after me having had it for a few months, and on it learned to enjoy bike riding, it was due back to him. So set out on hunt for a newer bike which would allow me to return the Giordana to him ASAP.

    After some unpleasant experiences with LBSs (and one pleasant one) I decided to drag eBay for my bike given my somewhat low budget. I ended up grimly decided to buy a particular bike even though when I found the auction it was already above my budgeted amount. Nonetheless, I persisted and a few days later, found myself with a box of parts and a bright red frame the thing which caused me to persist on my bidding. That took a bit of assembly and adjusting, but Id bought Zinns. That, along with the help of the Giordana owner, got the bike assembled.

    So here, a few days and a hundred or two miles later, I decided to spend my birthday riding for a personal record distance at pace of 40 miles. Id ridden 40 miles before, but at a snails pace. My usual pace distance was a bit over 30 miles. Now I wanted to try going longer at my target pace for what I really wish to try which is a century event perhaps next spring. My goal is to do 60 65 miles at pace which, according to training routines Id seen, would enable me to push to 100 miles.

    I needed a new stem because the one on the bike is at least 2 cm too long. I bought one, but discovered when installing it that handlebars come in widths (duh) so I reinstalled the old stem last night and put the front of the bike back together. I didnt do that good of a job as it turned out.

    Although the distance wasnt that much greater than Id done before, I seemed a bit nervous about it. I got my stuff together then took off in the pre-dawn non-light hoping to avoid the heat. I got about .3 miles away then discovered Id forgotten my water bottle. So I returned, and then set off again. This outing when I moved to the drops I noticed that Id mis-rotated the handlebars. Well, I would have to live with not being about to stretch to the hoods because Id be darned if Id return again. Then a bit later, I noted Id forgotten to switch on my bike computer so I lost something like a mile.

    From then on the riding went well although my pace was a bit fast. I figured I needed to burn off some energy and then I could settle in. So I moved along feeling fine and truly enjoying the ride. I also have been feeling rather smug over having overspent my budget for my bike, I am enjoying it where I doubt I'd enjoy a bike bought fairly for my original budget. Although its a bitsa, its a well done bitsa which works wonderfully. If I only had a properly sized stem, but aside from extending me too much I was living with it. Id sit up from time to time and do stretching exercises while pedaling away. I probably looked silly as heck doing this but gee, for me this isnt a modeling assignment.

    As I approached 25 miles I noted that Id been picking up power as I went. I felt not only better at 25 miles than at start but I was going faster too. So I figured to try for a half century or another 10 miles. This caused me to add some tails to my route. I decided to explore areas of town Id never been through except by engined vehicle to have a close look at them.

    At 40 miles I felt even better than at 25. I was also so far out that I couldnt get back home by 50 miles anyway so I decided to try for a metric century. Id run out of water because I only had a small water bottle for my planned 40 mile run. My speed was above pace. So I stopped at a convenience store on the way to buy a sports energy drink. Not knowing what to do with my bike (I sure was NOT going to leave it out with me in) I carried it in with me. The clerk said nothing. Refreshed, I pushed onward.

    Whatever was going on persisted. At 50 miles I felt so good I upped the pace to well above 20 mph and started singing. I did that for a mile, but cut it out because I was getting concerned about hitting some sort of wall. From roughly 55 miles on, the course finishes uphill with some of them steep. I hit the steepest hill determined to zoom up it so I stood while in the drops. The stress moved the bars in the stem to where I would have liked them anyway. Thus I had the bars finally where I wanted them for the last 3 miles.

    Nothing more to say really. I finished strongly and as the computer clicked over 62 miles (plus some unrecorded fraction due to it not being on for the whole ride) I did a crit like circle of the block.

    So thats it. Im not even slightly tired or sore. I ended slightly above my target pace for 40 miles and pretty darn happy at my new-for-me bike purchase. It may be an eBay bitsa, but its my bitsa and it works just fine for me.

    Happy birthday to me.

  2. #2
    In Memory of One Cool Cat Blackberry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA
    My Bikes
    Lemond Victoire, Cannondale.Mountain Bike, two 1980s lugged steel Treks, ancient 1980-something Giant mountain bike converted into a slick tired commuter with mustache handlebars, 1960-something Raleigh Sports
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    Nice story. Many more happy birthdays!
    Dead last finish is better than did not finish and infinitely better than did not start.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    Great read! H'Birthday!!!!
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  4. #4
    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    So how old are you? LOL just kidding, good story.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    That was fun.

  6. #6
    Senior Member va_cyclist's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    You so crazy! Happy birthday.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2005
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    North Carolina Piedmont
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    1984 Peugeot P8; 2006 Trek 5200
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    Great Story!!!
    That is a Happy birthday. Would love to see pics of your bike

  8. #8
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Edge City
    My Bikes
    2009 Spooky (cracked frame), 2006 Curtlo, 2002 Lemond (current race bike) Zurich, 1987 Serotta Colorado, 1986 Cannondale for commuting, a 1984 Cannondale on loan to my son
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    Many happy returns of the day and many happy returns of the ride!

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