Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What ever happened to that VO Mixte?

The Velo Orange Mixte, as of 2/26/12
Some of you out there may be wondering what ever became of the Velo Orange Mixte Project... the frameset I bought for my girlfriend for Christmas 2010. Well, it's been a longer process than either of us imagined, and there are still some things to be added and/or worked out (such as this mysterious noise it's now making... argh!)... but the bike has been on the road for some time now, and I've added bits and pieces over time to make it "just right".  For now, here's a quick photo of how it's decked out right now, as a teaser.  I'll write more about it soon, and hopefully get better photos up as well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Short Ride With an Old Friend

I find it hard these days to squeeze in bike rides, what with now being a bike shop owner and all that comes with that. But some mornings I do manage to get out on a bike for at least a little while, and today was one of those days.

The "old friend" of the title is actually my old Trek road bike, which I bought new back in 1980, from our friends over at College Park Bicycles. If you'd told me those thirty-some years ago that I would one day own a bike shop, I would have said you were crazy. Yet here I am, and I now find myself at trade shows comparing notes with the very fellow who sold me this Trek, Larry Black, founder and still owner of the College Park store, as well as Mt. Airy Bicycles, both over in Maryland. I grew up not that far from College Park, and Larry's shop, when it opened in the late 70s, was one of my frequent haunts back then.
I've been talking with my girlfriend lately about owning more than one bike, and what it's like to switch from one to another, and if there's much adjustment involved on the part of the rider. Maybe it's because I own so many bikes, and have ridden so many more over the years, but I find I can hop on most bikes and feel more or less at home pretty quickly... assuming it's set up to basically fit me, that is.
That being said, having owned this Trek as long as I had, I have to admit it's the bike that feels most like "home" to me. It doesn't matter how long it's been since I've ridden it, as soon as I throw a leg over and push off, it's like I've been riding it all my life. And I guess if you do the math, I have been riding this bike for most of my adult life, since I bought it at the end of my first year of college!