I don’t know, guys. I know on the poll results reflected a conservative approach to my spending, but damn, I’m majorly jonesing for this bike. Especially after talking to Derrick at Century Cycles and getting a quote and a general description of the components he would suggest using… I’ve done some reading online about steel bikes and, of course, like anything else in the cycling world, there were opinions pro and con. Generally, it comes down to the fact that people who own steel bikes love their steel bikes and they poo-poo aluminum. Light weight nazis will say that only carbon fiber is the material to buy in a bike. Either way, for the purposes I intend to use this bike, I think the steel will be fine. And, to be honest, I doubt I will personally notice the weight difference as much as I do with my hybrid. It’s not like this is made with tons of steel.
The changes my own Cross Check would have include a triple crankset (sorry, I love my granny ring, despite the compact having almost as much gear capacity) and brake lever shifters. I’m sure I’d add fenders and a back rack as well. Speedplay Frog pedals, of course. Terry Liberator seat. This is the stock model from the website, and I’m sure that Derrick chose different components, though I have to admit all of that is a blur in my head.
I really think this would be a great bike to compliment my OCR. I’m sure that I would use the OCR and the Cross Check interchangeably depending on the weather conditions or where I plan to ride, provided both are equally as capable of keeping me at my normal 14-16mph average, which Derrick assures me the Cross Check would.
I did try the Masi Speciale CX. It was fun to ride in the Lock 29 overflow lot, riding over parking blocks, in the grass, over the railroad tracks, and down the curbs without being jarred the way you are on thin tires and a lighter bike. I wasn’t too impressed with the Masi itself, but I think it might have been the fact that I didn’t think the shifting was that great. I did feel like I was speeding along on the towpath, though. That was pretty cool. The bike felt comfortable and pretty solid.
But, alas, I know that I need to focus on my career and enjoy the fact that I have a job right now while many others are losing theirs. And since the weather is starting to head for summer, I guess I can put off my dreams of a second bike for the fall. The bad part is that I can picture myself riding it. I think it says something about me that I’d still prefer to buy a new bike over grad school classes and a lap top computer. It almost rivals the ski trip I want to take next season.
I have to admit that I even like the color (Beef Gravy Brown–really!). I know y’all think I’m incredibly decadent in my lifestyle. I feel guilty about wanting so many material things. But sometimes I think it fills the hole in my heart where spirituality and love lacks. Dysfunctional, I know. But life is short and I want to be happy. Even if I have to buy my happiness. And I don’t mean that in a bad way.
Ultimately, though, cycling makes me happy (just as skiing does in the winter). And that connects with me a sort of spirituality, in a way, that I can understand (refer to the entries about TPL). For me, cycling is not just exercise to keep my heart healthy or a way to get around town while saving gas; it’s a way of approaching the world with new eyes and experiencing the moment in all the most physical ways possible through the tight balance between pain and ecstacy that is only achieved from endurance activity. It, as well as skiing, are the endurance activities that I enjoy even when they are painful (whereas running is never enjoyable to me). So, to me, money spent on either activity is not wasted. Nor is money wasted on travel. These experiences make me love life more.
To be perfectly honest, I think that I want a second bicycle more than I want a motorcycle. My mom would probably be happy to hear that.