Out with 2010, in with 2011: the racing season has begun, about like it ended.
Photo Credit: Paul Doran
Some might argue, but as far as I’m concerned, the Cal Aggie Criterium marks the true beginning of each season. I’ll be telling the tale of the P/1/2/3 crit — overplayed as always on NorCalCyclingNews.com — in one of my ridiculous “race reports” in the near future. If you haven’t had a chance, I’d recommend reading through my archive of race reports; originally required by my team to receive reimbursement, these reports became something of a hobby of mine last year. I hope people are enjoying them now and then, lest they become an utter waste of time.
Until I get around to the official “race report,” I’ll briefly mention that this year’s Cal Aggie Crit was a more exciting affair than usual, at least from my perspective, largely due to the fact that I ditched my 2010 Felt bike and built my 2011 Focus bike less than 24 hours prior to the race.
Out with the old, in with the new, right?
Incidentally, this is the first bike I’ve ever ridden with SRAM components, and is also one of the…uh…let’s say quickest-handling bikes I’ve ever ridden. Its cornering is so quick, it’s practically telepathic; sometimes, it guesses wrong.
As you can imagine, the combination of a hairpin corner on the dynamic, rapidly changing, wet Land Park course, a brand new bike, and a totally novel shifting mechanism led to a most-exciting event for me.
However, my bike isn’t the only topic which adheres to the title of this post.
Recently, I was forced to put down my white 1990 Honda Prelude.
That old car carried me faithfully to nearly every race I’ve entered as a P/1/2 rider, and therefore carries particular sentimental value relative to other vehicles I’ve possessed. It was more of a friend than a vehicle, and it lasted longer than most of my teammates during the same period. I’ve spent more time celebrating victories and lamenting defeats with that car than I have with anyone else; it headbanged with me to Rage Against the Machine on the countless 4am slogs to Godknowswhereville, CA, rocked out to AC/DC after my infrequent but hard-earned victories, and joined me in moping to Dashboard Confessional following my all too frequent losses. Following a late-2010 crit in Suisun City, CA Sterling Magnell characterized the ‘Lude as “tits” — which is loosely translated as “awesome” — and he was right.
That car will be missed.
Sadly, bike racing simply cannot happen without a car, and I’ve been rudely forced to move on. I suppose I ought to stop eulogizing the late Prelude and introduce my new car: a black 1997 Acura Integra.
This is the first non-flippy-headlight car I’ve ever owned, and is definitely the youngest, sexiest one as well. Does this car have what it takes to be a graduate student race chariot? Will this new car be with me through thick and thin, through loss and win? Only time will tell.
Out with the old, in with the “new,” as it were.