Monday, August 13, 2012

Eight days without a bicycle is not something I can survive, so I split off from the family reunion at my aunt's cottage near Madison, New York and rented a bike.  I had done my research in advance because we were vacationing in the middle of nowhere, which featured exactly one bike shop.
My heart sank as we pulled up to the shop.  It was a ramshackle looking old barn with some bike banners on it and a bunch of rusted out junk bikes piled in front.  This did not look like the kind of place that housed the quality, or even mediocre, road bike I lusted to spend the afternoon with.

I met super nice guy, Guy, the bicycle guy, who suggested a few options.  He even offered to let me borrow his commuter bike.  I was unenthused until he mentioned "maybe you want to ride the pretty bike", and brought out a beautiful steel (stainless steel - Columbus Platinum tubing!) road bike.  I was floored.

The purple sparkle paint job was blinding.  DuraAce shifters.  Ultegra derailleurs.  Pink (!) Chris King hubs and headset.  Mavic Open Pro rims laced up with pink spoke nipples.  A carbon fiber fork.  This was one sweet ride.

Then Guy got out a bike map of the area and started tracing a highlighter-yellow route for me.  He included descriptions of milestones and circled suggested rest stops with amazing views.  The 45 mile route was simply stunning.
I left my home state at age 16 - prior to being a bike nut.  So I'd never really seen the countryside in upstate New York from atop the bicycle saddle until now.  It was spectacular.  There's a real feeling of history there.  Houses with a certain architectural flavor that you just don't see here in Oregon.  And old beautiful barns, so many barns. 


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