On the Road Again

by Mike on February 17, 2009


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Yesterday marked my first official road ride in 20 years. Official meaning, “on a road bike with the sole purpose of riding the road.” I’ve been on plenty of road jaunts on the mountain bike…

Thanks to the pestering of my good friend and neighbor Chris, as well as my good friend Darren (who supplied the Motobecane Sprint), I’m feeling the love of the road. So why would a long time mountain biker consider wasting his time on pavement, you may ask? It’s not like I’m training for anything, so why put up with the traffic and endless asphalt when there are perfectly sweet and chunky trails waiting for me up yonder?

One word. Time. There’s only so much of it, and I only get one, maybe two MTB rides in a week. Having the option to spin around town for an hour or so without the 30 minute commute to the nearest trail, is the real incentive for me to get back into the cycling of my youth. And I see there are plenty of MTBers that are also roadies. I always wondered how they do it. How do they convince their wives that they need yet another bike, one they have to keep inside of course…

The last road ride I did was in the T.O./Westlake area in SoCal. Potrero Road. I loved to do that route. There was something about the open road that I loved. As a liscence free teenager, I knew no mountain trails back then. The bike was freedom and Potrero was far from home (so I thought).

So Chris and I hit the trail I mean road, just before dinner. Our goal, a short 20 mile loop through Gateway Airport and back. I really don’t know what to say about the ride, there were no sweet drops, or switchbacks or exposure to keep me focused. No techy climbs to session till clean, no cactus. No views. Except those of the distant mountains calling me…There were cars, but no close calls. There were traffic lights, but almost all were green. There was wind but I drafted. There were sprints, but I always got reigned back in. There were loudmouth punk kids but I wasn’t wearing the spandex. There were good crash stories told, and future rides planned.

I will say that I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and the company. I forgot how great it feels to tear up the open road. I can see myself getting back into skinny tires. Now if I could only find a permanent loaner, I’d be set. Until then I’m thinking about repurposing my singlespeed into a geared urban touring bike… OK, not thinking about that anymore. But seriously, anyone have a bike they’ll loan me?

Potrero Road

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