March 21, 2011

Kicking it old school

I was racing yesterday at a local club criterium, it was a glorious late Autumn day and people with strong legs were out to play in the sun. 

The race started (as races have a habit of doing) and we rolled off. A few guys with way too much energy attacked within a lap, but that's not so out of the ordinary to cause comment. So then, what is of enough note for me to type these very words? Well as I rolled along I saw something amongst the sea of branded carbon beasts, something different and out of place. I rolled up beside the rider, no that's not right, I rolled up beside their bike, for to be honest I didn't take note of the rider for quite a few moments. 

My attention was locked on a green steel machine, flat crown forks, downtube shifters, polished hubs with oil ports and box section rims. This was not a bike from this age, it was at odds with all the deep section wheeled monsters that surrounded it. 

So what was the bike? It was the love of it's owner, purchased in 1965 from a man who built it especially for him, it was a bike that had been racing for coming on half a decade. The rider? He'd turned 71 only weeks before. 

I was told the pair were lapped in the later stages of the race when the pace became frenetic, but none of that matters. What does was the enduring bond between man and machine. I hope that I and the bike I love are still rolling for decades to come. I hope we all are.