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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds

Tom!  How cool is that!  Centurion, vintage 1984?  Need a bicycle that turns heads?  Ultra light monococque carbon fiber, integrated bottom bracket of hand machined Unobtanium?  No, thank you.  Not for me at this point, call me old school.

 

Sundays are great here, especially when the sun is out, and the wind is light.  I tell my wife, "perhaps, the flowers will bloom today".  What does this refer to?  The pretty cycles come out to play, replete with matching riders, in full team kits.  It's such good sport.  I'm all for supporting your favorite team, donning the official jersey, perhaps, or a team hat...but the full team kit can be a bit of a stretch.

 

Years ago, I would race criteriums each week, unofficial, though friends constantly chided me to join the club.  It's all about the sport of cycling, not "looking the part", and judging eachother based upon the accoutrements.  Underneath that jersey is a human being, the engine that makes the gears turn is as important as the pretty painted bicycle.  As I'd ride to the course, there would be a group of 7-series BMWs and new Mercedes sedans, with pretty cycles, and very quiet cyclists huddled between them, wiping their steeds with diapers.

 

Ah, the looks of judgement, as some days, I'd take my VW Rabbit, bicycle on the roof rack, and get ready to ride.  Usually, I'd ride down, as teh warm-up en route was much better.  Hey, everything was new and shiny, but not up to the same "par", I guess.  We'd warm up and circle the Ziggurat building in Laguna Niguel, an interesting facility, designed to house Rockwell International engineers in the 1980s, in the Space Shuttle's heyday, but plans didn't work out quite right.  The facility is operated as a joint venture between the IRS and immigration services (hey, it's the federal government, what can I say?).  Back then, the roads connecting the site to the rest of town were blocked off, not yet completed.  Perfect for a criterium course.

 

I spent weeks practicing with a roller trainer, flopping about at first, learning how to keep my arms and those elbows properly tucked, and learning to look over my shoulder without losing a proper line.  If you haven't experienced it first-hand, riding in a peloton of 40 bicycles is pure joy and terror, the sound of the occasional gear change as one prepares for an attack, the swishing of chains, and the hiss of tires in the corners, mixed with a few buzzing freewheels, it's unforgettable.  The problem with the peloton is that if you mess up, you're going to take a few riders down in the process, not an amusing prospect.  I took training very seriously, as I didn't want to hurt someone else as a result of my own follies.

 

A few of the riders were real competitors, Category riders that stood out from the group.  The peloton would unravel into a narrower line, going progressively faster, and a few familiar cycles would start to sway as the pedals mashed harder.  Man, such power!  Pulling ahead of the group, you lose the warm coccoon of air, pushed by the group, and you move into the hard wind, undisturbed air, that feels like your effort just doubled, in fact, it just did.  Keeping up with the breakaway is pure adrenaline, earning smiles and nods later.  Later, the diaper crowd remained quiet, but somehow, their condescending glances were quite different.

 

I've worn out a few bikes over the years, but today, I still have the same bicycle I churned back in the 1980s.  My workhorse, the one I thought safest if I'd go down in the group.  Just try finding a proper threaded freewheel today, one with less than ten ratios on tap.  To the gearhead, the old standard was 126mm width on the rear axle; as marketing pushed for more and more gears, it has grown wider, to 130mm.  Brake levers and shifters are integrated, and have been so for some time, as well as indexed shifting.  I have my shift levers on the downtube.

 

Stopping at the local bicycle shops, I've noticed the looks.  What is that!  The older dudes smile and reminisce, remembering when they either had one, or saw them riding on the street.  How can it be?  It is new!  And it's powder blue too.  Hidden underneath, I have quite a few handmade pieces, like genuine sealed bearing Mavic hubs, LeMond team issue.  Over 25 years later, Mavic didn't believe me at first, when I inquired about spare bearings.  I photographed the Mavic stampings on them, but they couldn't figure out the model.  They have over 50,000km on them today.  I guess Jean-Claude didn't write down what he put in there.  Tough the bearings are quite smooth, I had to measure them to match spare parts.  Sealed bearings were nonexistent in commercial hubs in the early 1980s.

 

The ride?  A 1985 Centurion Elite RS, powder blue metallic, my old friend, countless hours on the road, and on the repair stand.  I may someday venture into another new cycle, but I'll never part with that Centurion.

 

Bob  Smiley Very Happy

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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds

Oh, and if you would like to go for a weight record, that's a personal choice, of course.  She is a human being, and I don't want to be the dude that sits in self-centered judgement either.  I just pray for her quality of life, and the responsibility of being there as Mommy for her children.  This requires mobility, not just love and affection.  The children are more important than the record books.

 

Bob  Smiley Tongue

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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds

Yikes! Bikes without chainguards! Back in the late 60's doing my paper route, I would pass my bellbottoms through the sprocket on my stingray like crazy. Must admit I'm lazy, I like a 500+ hp big-block turning the wheels for me.
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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds


14124all wrote:
Yikes! Bikes without chainguards! Back in the late 60's doing my paper route, I would pass my bellbottoms through the sprocket on my stingray like crazy. Must admit I'm lazy, I like a 500+ hp big-block turning the wheels for me.

How are the gas prices treating you these days? Smiley SurprisedSmiley Very Happy

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds

[ Edited ]

Not my daily driver, it's my cruise machine. Only gets about 8 mpg. Pump gas prices don't matter, with 12.8 CR racing gas is required.

BTW the Sunoco 110 leaded gas is about $10/gal. I mix it 50/50 with pump premium and retard the ignition timing to avoid detonation/preignition. This hurts performance a bit, but it's better than melting a piston top or siezing an upper ring.

Message Edited by 14124all on 03-21-2010 10:59 AM
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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds


14124all wrote:
Not my daily driver, it's my cruise machine. Only gets about 8 mpg. Pump gas prices don't matter, with 12.8 CR racing gas is required.

What is it in......Chevelle, Camaro, Vette? (Corvette, not Chevette) lol

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds

701/2 SS 350 4 speed Camaro. Mt first car! I bought it in 1974. Currently is back-halved with full cage and tubbed (Pro Street). Has a 1969 L88 427 open chambered big block in it with a fully manual TH400 trans and narrowed 12bolt 5.38 geared rearend.
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SanDisk Guru
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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds


14124all wrote:
701/2 SS 350 4 speed Camaro. Mt first car! I bought it in 1974. Currently is back-halved with full cage and tubbed (Pro Street). Has a 1969 L88 427 open chambered big block in it with a fully manual TH400 trans and narrowed 12bolt 5.38 geared rearend.

Consider me drooling.Smiley Wink

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
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Registered: ‎11-08-2008

Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds


@neutron_bob wrote:

 genuine sealed bearing Mavic hubs


Mavic Hubs... Mavic Rims...DT bladed spokes...(drool). Why I built instead of bought my wheels.

 

Sam - just back from a ride...

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Re: 600 pound woman wants to be 1,000 pounds

[ Edited ]
Message Edited by TomJensen on 05-03-2010 06:00 PM