Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Wife Beater

[We had great weather today, and went for a 60 mile ride – including a 20 minute all out time trial effort. I’m pretty sure that means I earned the right to sit in a recliner tomorrow and watch 7 hours of football pre-game shows and the Super Bowl, too. Right?]

This is not an entry about domestic violence. Far from it. It is a story of cooperation and fierce domestic competition. Friendly competition is a powerful motivator. Not-so-friendly competition is even more powerful!

Phil is amazingly supportive of me and my cycling adventures – in fact, one of our infrequent fights (or “discussions” in our outside voices, if you prefer) was about Phil’s habit of bragging about my cycling accomplishments to his friends and acquaintances, which causes me lots of embarrassment and discomfort.

Nevertheless . . . I do hold the Family Record times for the Mt Evans Hill Climb and Leadville 100 Mountain Bike races. [I’m just sayin’ . . .]

Phil is turning 50 this year. His mid-life crisis is not following the well-trod path – no hair implants, no Harley Davidson motorcycle purchases, no buxom blondes in foreign convertibles.

Instead, he wants to have his best cycling season ever. How to measure that? His goal is to beat me in both the Mt Evans Hill Climb and at Leadville. And I want him to. Really, I do. But as Lance Armstrong once famously said after a brutally difficult race from Bourg d'Oisans to Le Grand Bornand – no gifts.

If Phil wants the bragging rights, he’s going to have to earn them. So, he has been quite focused during our workouts and is being really meticulous with his diet. Just in case those two elements are not enough, he has also made a technology upgrade. Phil took delivery of a Sampson Diablo road bike this morning.

It weighs 15.6 pounds – with pedals and water bottle cages.

[Eric Sampson - owner of Sampson Cycling and bike builder, with Phil]

The tech specs are as follows –
Campy Record 11 speed [12 – 27]

with a compact crankset [50/34]

Wheels are Hed Ardennes

The saddle is a Sampson model that Eric highly recommended (Phil broke it in with a 60 mile ride today and said it felt great.)

Campy record brakes

And Phil's favorite feature of the whole bike - the Sampson handlebars - he can't stop talking about how nice they feel and how comfortable they are!

The gauntlet has been thrown. Time will tell if the Diablo is a Wife Beater. I’m ready to defend my record – may the cyclist who wants it most win!

The maiden voyage

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