It just ain’t my ’cross to bear

The colors are changing, fast and furious, as fall descends on Bibleburg.

The colors are changing, fast and furious, as fall descends on Bibleburg.

Cyclo-cross weather here in Bibleburg today. And yesterday, too; it was the first day I wished I’d fetched arm and knee warmers along on what proved to be an abbreviated ride.

It rained a little — naturally, since Herself had just bathed and groomed Mister Boo — and this morning with temps in the 40s the uniform of the day is pants, socks and a long-sleeved Ten Thousand Waves T-shirt. I wish I were wearing it there.

The ’cross this weekend is up north, in the People’s Republic. I will not be in attendance, alas, but one of my bikes should be there, under the narrow booty of Dr. Schenkenstein, who has been taking the thing for an extended test ride and promises to buy it from me sometime.

Another purchase stolen out from under the noses of the local bicycle shops, which are less accommodating as regards pre-sale product evaluation. But then their stock is a little fresher than mine and probably moves a little faster, even in this economy.

Whether it might move faster under Dr. Schenkenstein will remain a mystery, as the man does dearly love a bargain on a used bike. If he eventually writes a check for this one, he will have three of my castoffs in his garage.

And I will have an unoccupied hook in mine. Oboy, oboy, oboy. …

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16 Responses to “It just ain’t my ’cross to bear”

  1. Larry T. Says:

    Open hook in the garage? Me too, two of ’em down in the shop now that the bici di epoca are packed up awaiting their return to Italia. Musing on building up a Mondonico that’s been sitting atop a bookcase in the living room for the past couple of years. Campagnolo’s Athena 11-speed triple groupset needs an evaluation/test I think, especially if it can be had in the polished alloy finish. Our friends at Campagnolo have a black ex-display groupset they can supply – but I’m leaning in the polished silver direction, even if I have to pay for it. Already have a set of wheels with polished Centaur hubs, a silver steel Campy seatpost and beautiful 3T (back when they were ITALIAN) bar/stem. Seems a shame to put the black stuff on there to me, but what do you guys think? Take the black at the bro deal or pony-up for what I really want?

    • Patrick O'Brien Says:

      I could have gone either way with the Soma ES build. 105 all black or all silver. The bike is a silver color. Price was about the same. I went silver, but in hindsight black would have been OK as long as everything matched. So, I would go for the bro deal. What color is the bike?

      • Larry T. Says:

        The bike is painted in a tricolore Italian scheme, green/white/red. The one I’m riding here in the USA currently has black hubs/rims as well as seatpost, stem and saddle, so a classic all-silver look would be the goal with the other one…but I could go the other way with all-black by robbing some of the black bits from the current one. It’s got to be one or the other though, no mixing – the bike I ride in Italy is already a hodge-podge of black and silver components….works just fine but aesthetically it’s lacking.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      I’d pony up for what I want rather than kick myself for the next ten years looking at what I didn’t want, even if it works well. The Campy stuff hanging on my Six-Thirteen dates from as far back as 1996 (brakes, front brake/shifter). Since the stuff lasts practically forever, one can rationalize a lot, which is how I rationalized a full Chorus gruppo for an earlier version Cannondale when I was on a lowly assoc. professor salary in Honolulu.

  2. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Tricolore Italiano! Screw the deal, if you don’t have to tap the retirement account, silver, baby, silver! Plus, you already have the wheels, seat post and stem. What about it Mad Dog gals and guys, silver or black?

    My bars, seat post, and stem are black. Thought about going silver there too, but got a shorter length Bontrager Race X Lite carbon. brand new they couldn’t sell, for $30. So I went black bars and stem. Plus the frame has black decals. I see all silver in my future.

  3. Derek Says:

    I am the guy who used to dent his top tube with a pedal wrench just to get the smarmy, “isn’t it pretty shit out of the way” Then I would ride it. Guess you know which way I would be headed.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Herself took care of that for me with a brand-new Steelman time-trial bike back in the day. I had it in the house (like you do) and she knocked it over, chipping the elegant titanium-gray finish. I let her live.

  4. John O Says:

    Good luck with getting money from him. He’s got 2 young boys to put thru PPCC. And he has to get money from me to pay you!

  5. Larry T. Says:

    Thanks! Silver it is – I already have a set of polished alloy brake calipers too. Now I hope my supplier still has that Athena crankset in stock…they had only one when I asked last week. Photos on the Cycleitalia blog once it’s all built-up and I can take some photos.
    I hate dents – paint chips are one thing…dents are pretty much forever.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      Dents on one’s pride and joy are heartbreaking.

      OTOH, I rescued a practically new-old-stock Miyata 310 from an East Oahu garage sale for 25 bucks back in the early ’90’s. The seat post was frozen in the frame and it had an ant colony living in the frame tubes. My neighbor and I broke the seatpost loose with a pipe wrench and six foot length of metal drain pipe; I ignominiously drove out the ants with a garden hose set to full. That “restoration” resulted in a dent in the top tube but otherwise no damage. The bike, in all its yellow and black glory, was a great, quite fast workday commuter for the rest of that decade. I finally donated it to a Colorado youth racing program when we moved here and I started overhauling the fleet.

  6. Patrick O'Brien Says:

    Here are some pix of the ES, including a close up of the rear derailleur and cassette, courtesy of my better half’s blog.

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