Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Spring Buy

Avid cyclists know that, after seeing robins pulling worms out of the ground, or that first bare patch of lawn in two or three months, the most welcome harbinger of spring is the bike buy. Make a list, check it twice: New bar tape? New tools for the shop? Maybe a whole new ride?

Here are the newest members of my team, researched for days and just ordered this afternoon:

Specialized Borough CX Pro
 1) Specialized Borough CX Pro: I've been intending to upgrade my second bike -- a humble but sturdy Giant OCR 3 -- into a "snow/rain/commuter/dirt road/hardpacked trail" bike for some time now. These tires will be the first step. I'm now looking forward to the next slush storm, to climbing up some of the fabled dirt-road hills around here, and to generally messing about a lot more on my bike this season. 32 millimeters of cushy rubber to smooth out those spring potholes; relatively smooth center for a faster ride to the dirt via the pavement; and then a dash of knobby-ness on the shoulders for biting into turns during those scary-fast gravel descents. Ooooh, yeah... fun city.

Spin Doctor Pro G3
2) Spin Doctor Pro G3 Work Stand: It's simple -- I've had enough squatting on 47-year-old knees. I'll work on my bike more, and more efficiently, if it's comfortable, stable and stylish.

Diadora X-Country
3) Diadora X-Country MTB shoes: With the help of my friend, No One Line (thanks for the advice and the cleats, d00d!) I've gotten up the guts to switch to MTB pedals and shoes for all but the fastest of rides this year. I'm a born-and-bred road guy, so why would I pay good money for (gasp!) heavier shoes? A few reasons: a) See above. I'm going to be off-road more this year, even if on a road bike, so I want to be able to put my foot down and get actual support out of it. b) For 30 years now, I've been slipping and sliding down convenience store aisles from New England to Nothern California on my road cleats, and now I'd like to try actual walking. (I'll miss the uncomfortable stares, though...). c) One more concise and compelling reason: Double-sided entry. Fewer dangerous pauses trying to get started at a green light, or back in the pedal after putting a stabilizing foot down on the dirt.

If I've managed to get you interested while writing about a shoe, a bike stand and a tire, you're either a hopeless bike nerd, or I deserve a Pulitzer. Now go line up your own spring buy and pull the trigger. Nothing is better than waiting for that doorbell to ring. Speed the day!


Glenn_in_MA said...

The cycling blogosphere has one of its best back...a most welcome turn of events!

Velosopher said...

Wow... what can I say? Great to hear from you, Glenn!