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An unexpected side effect (long):(14 posts)

An unexpected side effect (long):lonefrontranger
Jan 7, 2002 10:30 PM
Of having a brand-new Campy-equipped Colnago Dream Cross, I have discovered. For lack of a better term, this bike is a total dude magnet. At least in Boulder, a girl couldn't do any better driving a red Ferrari!

OK, I know it doesn't help any of you fellows out there. But it's definitely getting the comments, and not just from your average guys. Friday I was coming back from an open space ride. Dropped onto the road, and suddenly I hear a bike coming up behind me, fast. I squeeze over, figuring it's just your average fast touring / Cat III roadie-type, who will blow past me. No. Guy comes up, rolls alongside and slows down to say "Hey, that's a REALLY cool bike". I do a double-take and realize this kid is the real deal.

Most guys you meet on the road in full Postal kit on a Postal bike are your average fortysomething doctor / rich dude, maybe going slightly to pot, and you can bet their rig is immaculate. Not in Boulder. This is a skinny-as-a-rail young guy with leg sinews that show through two layers of winter tights. His full Postal kit includes booties and the Euro style jacket that CO Cyclist does *not* sell, filthy dirty white ('99?) Postal carbon rig, Euro-style wool tassle cap, no helmet and a bunch of survival gear stuffed up the back of his jacket, obviously out on a 6-hour jaunt. Add to that the fact it is snowing. I cudgel my brains for a moment - hmm, no chops, no soul patch, not Mr. Vaughters... "Christian, right?" (Vandevelde). Yep. He proceeds to noodle along for the next mile or so to ask me about my bike, how it's set up, where I got it, etc... Cool! OK, so that was a fluke, but what a nice guy!

Next day, after riding a couple hours' worth of open space with BipedZed, I went in to Saturn of Boulder to meet up with my boyfriend at Jon Vaughter's awards ceremony (the SUV he won at the Boulder-Breck race didn't arrive until last Saturday). The Saturn Classic folks were cool enough to send us an invite since we both hauled barricades around for a day in the blistering August sun! I realized when I got to the dealer that I hadn't a lock with me, and the SO was running late, so I just rolled the bike into the lobby with me. Graham Watson held the door for me (not making this up), and said "wow, that's a gorgeous bike!". I'd met him before when I worked in the mailroom at VeloNews last Christmas, so we talked a bit about some of the folks there. So, as we're talking, a slight, handsome fellow with curly blond hair and an odd accent walks up to me (I was the only one in obvious bike clothes there) and says "Is that your 'cross bike in the lobby?" I realize to my utter astonishment that this is none other than THE MAN himself! Andy Hampsten! I spend the next few minutes trying not to drop my jaw on the floor, while he politely chatters with me about 'cross racing and his love of Italian bikes. I mean, this is my ultimate uber-cycling hero! I did tell him that he was the inspiration for me to get into cycling as a teenager, and he seemed flattered enough. Just hope I wasn't a total dork.

So yesterday, I'm out on the team ride with the rest of my new teammates on Boulder Women's, on the Dream Cross with road wheels (took the Morgul apart for some cleaning). I'd just gotten done telling them the whole story about what a dude magnet this bike is (shamelessly rubbing in the Andy Hampsten parts, no doubt), when one of the Cat I guys from Jamba Juice (local team) rolls past us, slows down, and says in a sort of Keanu-esque manner: "Woah - that's a REALLY cool bike..."

Needless to say, all six of us dissolved into giggles like a whole herd of teenyboppers. Poor JJ dude probably thought he'd done something abnormal, at least he grinned and went a bit red around the ears. I hastened to tell him that we weren't laughing AT him, and that he had great taste in bikes - the JJ team is Colnago equipped, and he happened to be riding the same Dream Reflex color that my SO has, a seldom-seen and lovely choice.

Oh, darn, guess I'll just have to keep riding the 'cross bike!
re: An unexpected side effect (long):MJ
Jan 8, 2002 1:36 AM
sadly it doesn't work the other way around...

very amusing story
re: An unexpected side effect (long):mackgoo
Jan 8, 2002 8:03 AM
You don't suppose that really it's the pilot and the bike is just the excuse?
re: An unexpected side effect (long):Jan_Gerrit
Jan 8, 2002 9:52 AM
Pretty ladies somehow ALL seem to have adorable dogs, can't help to tell them :-)

Never did happen the other way around for me, even with some very nice bikes. I have no dog though...
but if you get a dog...lonefrontranger
Jan 8, 2002 1:06 PM
Then all the ladies will flock to _your_ side!

Gude Dage, J.G. - how's the mud been treating the 'crossers in Europe lately? I eagerly anticipate your next instalment of 'cross racing adventures! I would tell the story here of my debut in the world of German kermessen, but it's too embarrassing. I think I made it to the end of one, or maybe I just went into a stupor and can't recall...

Seriously, I'm not particularly a dog lover (or hater, just not a dog person), but I've had several guy teammates and buddies tell me that walking a dog in the local park was the best improvement they'd ever made to their social life!

A former housemate found that when he learned to, of all things, KNIT (smoking cessation technique taught by his grandmother) - suddenly he was literally pulling the women out of his hair, so to speak. He soon made it a point to take his knitting bag with him on the bus / subway, and would inevitably be surrounded by fascinated females at the end of the trip.
but if you get a dog...Jan_Gerrit
Jan 9, 2002 2:43 AM
Goedendag! Phonetically you were close enough, hehe :-)

What type of dog can you recommend? I´d buy one of those bike hangers to put it in, so not too big please...

Well, my adventures not so exiting now, totally out of shape due to a winter dip. Can´t get myself to climb on any bike, even Tacx Trainer (never could).
Next sunday the National Elite Championships, will be a total disaster I´m affraid. It´s on the famous Zeddam location, with the ultra-long staircase (100+ steps). Hope to use that one to my advantage (39+" inseam).

My big plans to get in the por´s slipstream will have to wait one winter (or more). Hope to ride a couple of huge races in february, maybe the pro´s will be tired, and me getting ready for the mtb season. Hope to be able to win my first sport win this summer, after 3 regional mtb wins in the beginning of this winter.

So what do you guys and girls all ride? Cross as hobby or main season?
cross, et ceteralonefrontranger
Jan 9, 2002 8:56 AM
Ah, well. I must settle for phonetic Dutch - my German is somewhat better, but not my spelling! I lived in Hamburg with a "Hafer" MTB'er for some time.

As for the dog, maybe a Teacup Poodle or Cairn Terrier would do the trick :-) A lady who rode in many 100-mile rides when I lived in Ohio carried a Cairn (miniature) Terrier in her basket everywhere.

Stairs, arrgh! What demented race promoter comes up with these abominations? They are especially fun when packed with frozen slush, so you can barely get your footing! I've done several races with stairs in them, although thankfully much shorter, maybe a dozen or so, but it still nearly ruins me every lap. Of course, that's coming from someone with a 29" inseam, bumping my front wheel on every one...

If you've had a little rest from being burned out, maybe you will surprise yourself with doing better than you think! You can't do worse, right? I find the best thing I can do when I'm in a race way over my head is to concentrate on just one thing as a goal. I try to keep my technique as perfect as I can through the barriers. I find if I do this, I often find that riders who passed me in the initial laps will come back to me in the closing ones!

I can't force myself to ride the trainer, either. I rode 3 hours in the falling snow on Friday just to avoid it. I broke my ankle on 3 September this past fall, so I had no cyclocross season this year. The good side of that mess was it allowed me to sell my old junker Redline to make way for the Dream Cross.

I think you will find that for the Americans who race cyclocross, their season ends in early December, or if they go to Nationals, mid-December. I ride cross for many reasons: fitness in winter, to race a little in the fall, to have a multi-purpose bike that goes on trails and to commute with all year around. I am primarily a road racer who specializes in criteriums. I do some road races, but pick them carefully to avoid the high mountains. I was a fairly good MTB'er when I lived in the Midwest, and raced Sport there, but again I picked my races carefully. Some of the courses I won on regularly were the ones I could ride on my 'cross bike (and did)! I haven't done any MTB races here in Colorado, because they involve many miles and hundreds of meters of climbing, and then the descents - don't get me started about all the rocks and dropoffs... I gave myself a goal of doing at least two this year, so who knows.
no, I'd have to say it's the bike, not the pilot...lonefrontranger
Jan 8, 2002 12:50 PM
I've been riding various cool and not-so-cool bikes for many, many years - until now the guys blow past me with maybe a "on your left" or a wave. Besides, Andy H. and Graham W. are married. Christian and the JJ guy are both at least ten years younger, and Christian's GF from what I've seen is Glamour cover material.

As for me, I suppose I'm engaging and witty, but I'm a generic sprinter type: short, square and stocky thirtysomething with the typical GenX "can't-be-bothered-with-it" unisex haircut. The closest thing I've heard to a personal compliment lately was when one of the Louisville Velo guys marveled: "your thigh muscles are twice the size of anyone else's on this ride..." Which is cool, because I depend on those legs to speed me through crits.

I have also discovered via prior experience with my younger and more, err... how shall I say it.. ("genetically gifted"?) teammates and students that the boy-cyclists-on-the-prowl could care less if I rode an undistinguished beater. I have vivid memories of chaperoning a teenaged Sophia Loren-lookalike teammate of mine at bike races. Her father is Sicilian, and a lawyer, so there was no doubt in my mind that as her coach and mentor, I was also her designated guardian at all times! We often joked that I needed to carry around a baseball bat at the races just to keep the hounds at bay. She rode a battered old Fuji Roubaix with RSX.
Nice storyFiver
Jan 8, 2002 11:36 AM
Sounds like a busy week.
re: Being a Guy..Jrm
Jan 8, 2002 12:40 PM
Folks just look at my cross bike and dont what to make of it. Its kinda fun to watch um tilt and scratch their heads in question.
re: Being a Guy..Jan_Gerrit
Jan 9, 2002 2:31 AM
I have the same experience when I ride my 56cm custom race crosser. It´s as sloping (enormous seatpost) as a Giant TCR, though it says "Duratec". Built up fully in black, with 58mm Zipp rims covered in huge yellow Tufo Stickers, yellow tubs.
I get nothing of those looks when riding my classic-geometry 60cm Sunn Cycloss with normal wheels...
re: I like the sloping TTjrm
Jan 9, 2002 9:25 AM
Idea especially for someone my size (5'8). i almost bought a 52cm Jake but the TT was to short.
Rider, not the bikechrisjohn02
Jan 8, 2002 2:29 PM
Gee, there are places where women ride cross? I've got to get out of Arkansas!
Help needed from fellow Colnagoite!!!!CT1
Feb 12, 2002 6:55 PM

I'm considering building up a Colnago Dream cross but am totallllllly ignorant re the appropriate components. Given the options, I'd prefer to go Campy!! :-)

Lot's of MTB and road experience here but absolutely ZERO cross knowledge. I could order the frame and then do the research..... ????? I'm thinking another GEO or perhaps an LX14. :)

OK.... what do I do to learn about this stuff... other than move to Boulder. ;) Keep in mind I live in dry Ca so mud is NOT an issue here. ;)