Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Equipment - Bike Timeline, Part 3 - Actual Size #2

1989: Actual Size #2, Cannondale 3.0 frame. Back then Cannondale made only one version of the 3.0, with a big "crit" downtube for stiffness. I used a disk wheel semi regularly (I still had the TT bike).

When I saw my first pictures of the "cantilever" rear dropout, something really clicked. It had to do with the whole big gear look. I always thought that a bike looked cool if it had a big gear. A big chainring, a small cog. To accentuate the look, the rear derailleur had to be as short as possible, so that the chain would not be parallel when the bike sat in its biggest gear. For an illustration of this look down at the picture of the bike on the roof of the car.

I actually selected rear derailleurs for years based on this one feature. Without any indexed shifting, I could use any rear derailleur. So I selected them based on first, how close the upper pulley came to the cogs, and second, how far up the lower part of the chain came up to get to the lower pulley.

I had a lot of firsts on this bike - first (of many) 54T big ring, first 167.5 cranks, first tubular welded steel stem, first 3ttt crit bar 41cm c-c. Standing start max speed in one gear (54x12) = 42 mph. Top speed at SUNY Purchase and the Gimbles ride (Route 120 midway sprint) - 46 mph regularly. Max recorded sprint speed 48 mph.

At speed, just after the sprint line at SUNY Purchase. A friend of the team/shop took this picture. I was disappointed that I didn't break 42 mph that night.

The 3.0 was the second and last full iteration ("wrapped" in decals) of the Actual Size bikes. I still feel an affinity to this bike, and I still want to assemble the 1989 Cdale 3.0 as I have most of the parts around still. I might have tossed the Cinelli saddle, I only have a few sets of wheels from that era, but the drivetrain is mainly intact.

Glastonbury, the Great American Cafe Crit, just after I was done with UCONN.

I felt great racing here, in all different ways. First, I had the stress of UCONN done - I had finished finals just before, long enough to recover from my lack of sleep. I felt great on the bike. I had glow in the dark bar tape (really!). I had a great supportive team, which included a bunch of my best friends. And I'd just broken free of a negative relationship. It all gelled here in this race.

A 0.4 mile course, we zipped around the 7 turn course like we were on go-karts. You could barely pedal on all but one stretch. A break of 4 went up the road, gaining 10-15 seconds. I attacked just before the bell and almost caught the break at the line. With a bit more confidence in myself I'd have caught and overhauled them. It was the beginning of a fruitful season of racing.

Ironically, last summer, we ate near this plaza after the Tuesday night Rentschler Field races.

Pushing the pace at the season closing Oyster Bay Crit. Note the toe-straps in addition to the Aerolites. Note also my long hair!

This was the year of Belgium. I was on fire the whole year. Here I'm driving the pace, impatient at 30-32 mph because it felt so slow. Soooo slow. I finished 4th after taking a decent solo lead with 6 laps to go. I thought about my 28 mph pace and decided it was about 2-3 mph slower than what I needed to win. I totally sat up, and when it took the chasing field a half lap to catch me I started to rethink my decision. It was too late though, and, because I jumped too late, I only got 4th. I won $120. The guy that won the race? $900.

Crap. For $900 I would have buried myself. But I didn't know.

This picture is actually out of order - I had wrecked my red Actual Size bike (#3) and returned to the original one for a while.

The bike on my cross country trip, outside Salt Lake City. Note the extreme upward chain angle, even in the big cog.

Ever since I'd seen the Tears for Fears video of "Everybody Wants To Rule The World", I wanted to go on a cross country trip. I made it a few years later.

Note 600AX brake levers and Scott Drop In bars. These indicated the bike was in "winter mode", with wider, squared off bars. In the summer I had narrower crit bend bars on the bike.

The frame today.

A little forlorn with a cut up cable.

Bella wondering what new thing popped up in the dining area.

Carpe Diem Racing was the name of the red-white team. I carry on the name with the Bethel Spring Series website, my bikeforums name, and whatever else I feel deserves it. Although we voted on it, Carpe Diem Racing was my nomination for our race team. I feel proud of that.

Under the top tube.

Moon over Marin refers to the Dead Kennedys song. Jello Biafra came to UCONN while I was there, to "talk". Although his speech was a let down, the song, as they say, remains the same.

Sparse decals on the stays, at least compared to Actual Size #1.

"Less Than Zero" was a huge, huge movie for me. "To Live and Die in LA" too. In those formative years I wasn't sure what the future held, and, combined with my college angst, my angst-ridden relationship, I found myself drawn to some intense-to-me mood-evoking movies, music, and videos.

Cheshire Crit

Colin, the son of the guy that started the Bethel Spring Series, took this picture. It was just after the start, I'd made my patented start line attack, and Colin took the shot. He gave me the picture later, telling me that although I may not have won (I got 6th - Colin's 52 year old dad killed me in the sprint) "at least I looked good".

A side-note on this particular Cheshire Crit. There was this one BRNO Velo guy that kept attacking. He got a huge gap once, maybe a minute, maybe more, and it took some really hard riding to bring him back. Then he went again, gaining a little less time, but requiring yet another intense effort to bring him back. He sat up before the sprint, done, but he'd earned my respect the hard way. After the race I found out who he was, with his distinctive baby blue Colnago with the seat stays crossing the seat tube and anchored in the top tube.

For many years later I would see him at the races, and I could never forget his unrelenting attacks in Cheshire. We'd talk and I would always remind him of that day. No matter what his form was on that particular day, he was totally on fire that one day. Totally.

Kurt Marino died of a brain anneurism at the beginning of an MS ride in NYC in 2005.

(Pause for a moment.)

Next up: Actual Size #3


Anonymous said...

RIP Kurt

Hope said...

thanks for sharing this memory of Kurt. he would often talk about days when he just felt like everything clicked for him on the bike. I can still hear him saying, after a particularly good ride, "I'm like a human rocket!"

Aki said...

Apparently Kurt hated talking to me before each race. We'd talk for all of 10 seconds and then I'd remember the "huge crash" from whatever year. I'd start talking about how guys were flying over bars, sliding on pavement... and Kurt would have to, um, go warm up, or check his tires, or he'll see a friend of his.

Or something.

He hated talking about crashes, especially before a race, and since they tend to be somewhat vivid events in my head (when I see them, not only if I am in them), I would end up talking about them.

So, for a long while, before races, when Kurt saw me, he would smile and nod and quickly go the other direction. After the race was fine - by then there'd be non-crash related things to talk about (hopefully). Before the race, though, forget it.

Hope said...

yep, that was Kurt, very big into sports psychology and his pre-race rituals. Talking crashes before a race was probably not his preferred way to prep!

Aki said...

I never realized it. He finally told my then fiancee that he couldn't handle talking about crashes just before he lined up for a race. So I found him, apologized for all my transgressions, and carefully talked about breaks, attacks, equipment, wheels, whatever else, just not crashes. He seemed a bit more willing to approach me before races after that!