Greetings from sunny 60 degree Northern California:
Guy Apple of the C.R. list was gracious enough to organize a nice little ride this morning and the turnout was decent. It actually froze last night and was still in the 30's at 08:00, but it warmed up into the 50's by 10:00, when we all met. We chatted briefly and looked at some old photos that Jim McCoin brought. One showed a very young and handsome Jim standing with a beautiful Celeste green Bianchi infront of his San Francisco home in 1967. He was wearing a wool sweater and classic wool riding knickers, long wool socks and black cycling shoes and Ray-Ban dark glasses. What style! Another photo showed a very young Owen Mulholland kneeling next to a bike. We rolled out of the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce parking lot at around 10:25 and headed towards Portola Valley.
Here's a rundown of the riders and their bikes:
Our fearless leader, Guy, rode a beautiful '87 Colnago 'Master' with Campagnolo C-Record components and Delta brakes. The Gilco (Gilberto Columbo) tubing is uniquely diamond-shaped and the paint has a flashy fishnet pattern. Alright, not exactly "vintage" stuff, but he's trying...and I think I might even be able to sell him a wool jersey sometime soon. Besides, he's a great rider and a great guy!
Brad Stockwell rode his '81 Trek (but talked about his newest acquisition, a '74 Confente Masi, that we're all anxious to see). What intrigued us the most was the possible contents of his large backpack that he carried. Could he be planning a longer ride? Special food maybe? Extra clothing? We were all curious. When Brad wasn't looking, I stealthily snuck a peek into his cavernous knapsack and saw a turret lathe, a Coleman stove, a Garvin GPS instrument, a complete 8 place setting of Gorham sterling flatware, a portable defibrillator, a shopworn copy of "The Story of ZEUS", the latest Britney Spears CD and about six emergency flares. That guy comes prepared!
John Watkins rode his beautiful Mercian "Vincitore Special" which is set up for RODAX riding. John has a great Karradice 'Nelson' seat bag mounted on the back. If you don't have one, you're missing out. IMHO, they're the best for touring.
Dave Martinez showed up with the beautiful candy apple red Jack Taylor from the 60's. The seat tube has an interesting curve in it down near the BB. A really classy bike. Dave gets extra points for wearing one of the old Castelli longsleeve wool high neck jerseys that Bridgestone sold 10 years ago. He has the orange Dutch National which looks great. Buttons down the side of the neck look so cool! Noticeably absent was his lovely wife, Linda, who usually accompanies him on these soirees. But she had to work this day, so we'll expect to see her on the back of their Hetchin's tandem next month.
Jim McCoin brought a spectacular '75 Masi Gran Criterium painted a bright Porsche tangerine color. Jim is the original owner of this beauty. Bellissima!
Felix Chiu rode his 1980's Alan-built Guerciotti which has 'screwed and glued' construction. I don't know anything about this type of joint, but it looks cool because the 'lugs' are large aluminum pieces that the tubes get glued into. Very interesting.
Peter Johnson rode his 1973 lime green Schwinn Sting-Ray with banana seat, chopper handlebar and sissy bar in back. No...just kidding...he rode his Hetchin's Magnum Opus from 1972! Beautiful dark blue with chrome in all the right places. Perhaps one of the most beautiful bikes on the road. It's fitted with a Brooks B17 Swallow saddle which looks like it's guaranteed to cause some numbness somewhere! Peter is the original "retro grouch" and refuses to wear polyester anything. He wore an Alessandro MOLTENI Campagnolo longsleeve jersey with a Vittore Gianni track suit jacket and Vittore Gianni wool tights. The original wool guy.
and Jan Johnson (that's me!) rode the salmon red 1971 Masi Gran Criterium of which you've all previously heard. I did rather well considering all the fondue, french fries and chocolate from our Switzerland trip in November which has caught up with me. Guess I'd better start riding more if I want to get over the Alps this summer!
Only two flats and a dropped chain were the temporary setbacks. It warmed up to a practically balmy 60 degrees by noon and we enjoyed a splendid lunch at a local Menlo Park deli, sitting outside under the arbor. The lively banter and friendly joking makes these rides something to really look forward to. Our next meeting is planned for the last Sunday in January 2002. Same meeting place, so if you live in the Bay Area, come on out. Thanks Guy, for a great ride.
Happy holidays to everyone!
Portola Valley, California