Sunday, April 5, 2009

The new bike...
Last Thursday we picked up a new bike for my eldest daughter. And today was the big day... the first ride!

She is now the proud owner of a slightly used (it was raced for one year) Vicini all aluminum road frame, rebadged with our LBS' name. We decided to change the handlebars to a set of flatbars, as daughter 1 was unable to reach the brakes on the drops. And, to my great jealousy, she is riding tubulars. Very stylish and comfy! Euro pro! The bike is very smooth... as is confirmed by daughter 1, who tells me it is 'very fast' and 'way better than her old bike'. But then again, it might just be that 'new bike smell'...

In any event, today was the first 'real' ride, which she handled very well. Have to say, she is a very good rider - holds a line, has more than enough power for her age, and is clearly comfortable riding. So we started the ride in a car free park right by the seaside, and decided to go out on roads with car traffic. All went very well... including Mom and daughter 2, who rode on their mountain bike - Burley Piccolo contraption (more on that in another post).

The proud new owner...
We are all thrilled - this bike was purchased in preparation for a forthcoming Easter vacation trip, during which we hope to spend a lot of time riding as a family in Puglia (southern Italy)... and by this we mean at least a couple of hours - 30~40 km per day. So we are very happy and proud of the new 'real' cyclist in the family. Now I am beginning to develop secret visions of a future racing career, but I guess I should be a bit more conservative and hope that she becomes a lifelong cyclist. That would make me more than happy enough!

So, on a wonderful spring day (first day we were able to ride in short sleeves this year) I had a wonderful cycling outing with my whole family. And we are preparing for a five day vacation in southern Italy, with even more cycling, in a week's time. It does not get much better than this!

The other Euro Pro cyclist...
And just to prove we are Euro Pro cool, here is photographic evidence of daughter 2 in her 'I am ready to roll, what are we waiting for' pose. She is a bit peeved that she didn't get a new bike, and even more importantly, that her bike does not have a water bottle. But she is another strong rider... although she does occasionally stop pedaling altogether and looks at the birds and the trees... No worries though, it just means more intense training for mom, who is pulling her along!

So bye for now! I hope to post more next week during/after our forthcoming cycling vacation! All the best from sunny Rome!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wild and crazy and... worthwhile *

If you are reading this, chances are you are a fellow cyclist. As you know, we are not really considered to be 'normal' by our non-riding friends, colleagues and family. Face it, for those who have not seen the light, we are a wee bit weird. We spend huge amounts of money on our bikes. And our idea of a pleasant day is a 100 km ride in the baking heat, wearing tight-fitting lycra. And most importantly (this is actually sacrilege in a number of 'developed' countries) we shun driving cars. Which makes us positively, certifiably loony in the eyes of the majority.

Having said this, there are occasions when our propensity for... ehm, weirdness can be both entertaining and worthwhile. Many of you will have heard of Fat Cyclist. Heck, he is one of the reasons that I got into this blogging thing. And my view on his posts changed further when my father went through a serious bout of cancer about a year ago.

So, when Fatty proposes something fun and at the same time useful in the fight against cancer, I pay attention. And if it also absolutely ridiculous, well then, I seriously consider participating.

So, if you are serious about cycling and fighting cancer, please consider signing up for the '2nd Annual 100 miles of Nowhere'. The proposal - to ride 100 miles on your home trainer while pledging money for the fight against cancer - is ludicrous... Well, at least the cycling bit is. Of course, if you do not have the trainer, you are given the option of riding 100 miles up and down your driveway...

I don't know about you guys, but anything over 45 minutes on the trainer is absolute hell for me. So paying money to do it for about 7 hours straight is something that takes some gumption... well either that or a severely limited intellect.

I am signing up.

So what are you waiting for?

*Picture borrowed from I hope they don't mind!