Monday, August 21, 2006

The End of an Era

Ok, it's finally time. I'm retiring Horse, my trusty green bike. He's no longer going to be my frontline equipment. I'll still ride him, but only on certain types of races, or rides. I'm moving into the aluminum arena for now, and the carbon arena in the near future.

Oh, we've shared some great memories, the two of us. Like the race across the White Mountains of NH in 1990, when it was raining at the base of the climbs ans snowing at the tops of the passes. Or when I went to the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid and won one of the training races there, plus helped drive my team to obliterate everyone else in the team time trial. We won by 1min 54s even after our team got a 30 second penalty because I crossed the yellow line in the sprint. OOPS!

My Olympic training Center roommate Rob and I (the skinny kid on the right)at the Johnstown Road Race in 1991.
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Much like a race car, I kept adding and replacing parts, trying to keep Horse up to date. Yet now I've come to the point of diminishing returns. If I ever have huge disposable income I'll be able to get more carbon goodies to keep the weight off, but it's a losing battle. The bike to replace Horse is probably 2 pounds lighter, which is a lot. And most bikes I race against now are at least 2-5 pounds lighter. That's giving away quite a bit right at the line.

Me winding it up for the sprint at the Brookside Park Crit in Indianapolis, IN in 1997.
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I feel sad, for I wanted Horse to go out on a high note. I know there's still one more win in him. But I need to move on. Maybe it'll be another surprise win like in 2004, when I somehow blasted an uphill prologue time trial for a stage race and won it in my category, coming in 5th overall including the pros. Horse isn't deactivated, of course, just getting some well deserved rest. 132,000 miles can tire one out.

Me gearing down for the finishing climb of the Blind Race near Binghamton, NY where I finished 3rd.
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Finally, what is most likely Horse's last race two weeks ago in his present configuration.

Suffering in 100+ degree heat at the Dairyqueen Tour of Columbus, TX.
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Lora said...

I'm sure he does have another win in him, just not in the mid of the 100+ degree heat of Texas Hill Country. Perhaps you can bring him to another race in the cooler months.

Scarlett said...

I never met Horse, but I feel like I know him. I'm sad that he's seen his last race :(

Capybaras United said...

What a glorious and distinctive green! I didn't realize they still made fast aluminum bikes anymore ... I believe mine's an "aluminum alloy" with a carbon fiber stem, but it's 9 years old (and I don't compete).

I love the pictures of the young Mike on his bike.

132,000 miles is amazing. What's your monthly mileage?