PRO Cycling Weekend Prep – Ts and Fundraising
“Epic,” cycling-related trips almost always run into two difficulties: what to pack and how to pay for everything. As for the first, I am the jeans and t-shirts type, so that is what I will take. But which Ts? A brief survey of my collection turned up a startling fact: Of the short-sleeve shirts that survived my latest clothing purge, 80% are cycling-themed and all but one of those are from Twin Six.
I will be with the team for about three days and I don’t want to overdo it or come off as a tool, especially when I take the team car and not the Felt during the hammerfest lunch ride out of Specialized HQ (I have to take pictures, of course). I’m not going to wander around in a little Rapha cap talking about myself, but I do have a red Castelli sweater and, incidentally, red Pumas. Too much at once?
As for the latter problem of funding the trip, we haven’t been in our apartment long enough for much change to accumulate under the seat cushions of the couch. Instead, I spent several hours in Austin on Saturday participating in Frakenbike, a monthly swap meet. My goal was to sell my mom’s 1983 steel Cycles Gitane, which I converted into a single speed last year. It was a joyous project that happily engaged my mind and hands in tandem, but the bike turned out to be a bit too small and a bit too useless for my life.
The Gitane was one of the most popular bikes at the swap meet, aided by my decision to remove the white tape and polish the handlebars to a blinding shine. At least ten men expressed interest throughout the day, only to discover the bike was far too small for them. A few scoffed that it was a mere single speed, not a fixed gear.
I finally sold it to a young woman seeking a new commuter. My table was the first she approached. Even as her boyfriend wandered around, she didn’t leave the bike’s side, touching it, riding it, and talking about what she was going to add to it. Later in the day, as I was packing up to leave, I saw the couple purchasing toe straps, lights, fenders and other extras for the Gitane. My heart swelled. I was pleased to see that the bike had gone to a loving home and was going to be ridden.
I anticipated being at the swap meet longer than I wanted, so I brought along the Felt and the trainer. I set up next to my table, hung a little “not for sale” sign on my race bike and pedaled for three hours under the warm sunshine of a spring tease. Mountain bikers laughed and shook their heads; road bikers recognized my brilliance; hipsters paid me no mind. For everyone, riding outside on a trainer turned out to be an excellent conversation piece. I got to meet most of the merchants and was even offered an ice-cold PBR as the sun rose in the sky and little beads of sweat began to run down from the brim of my cowboy hat.