[CR]Tour de...classic course

Example: Racing:Beryl Burton

From: "walter skrzypek" <wspokes1@hotmail.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2001 13:24:19 -0400
Subject: [CR]Tour de...classic course

Tour De CaNine

I rode my Classic cycling loop yesterday. The loop I began riding when I first began riding. Understand now that my entry into quality bikes and riding barely fits in the classic definition of the list, being 1988-89. The loop is a roller coaster ride with smooth roads and huge hills near the middle of the ride. It only measures 18 miles but then (and now) it is still a challenge. I figured I would reminisce a little and do the loop plus add a 10 mile extension. I also figured I would take out the 1980 Razesa for the trip. I knew I would feel this one with the 44x24 being my lowest gear but figured I would just take it easy and have fun. Well, things have changed! The once gentle roads are now battered and coal truck beaten. The tar strips across the road alone make it feel like speed bumps every few meters or so. But the Razesa rides so well! Very gentle and the bumps were barely noticable after a short distance. The first few hills were just little spinners and the day carried on well til the base of the middle-of-the-ride climb at 8 miles into the ride. Only 8 miles right! No problem, right? Wrong, a few hundred feet into the climb an all to energetic dalmation begins the ascent as well, still trailing me of course. I quickly kicked in the energy bursts and pulled ahead before entering the real section of the climb. The section with the sign at the top when coming the other way that reads 12% downhill (a sharp reminder for the coal trucks). Well 12% upgrade at a high pace in a 44x whatever in the back with tar strips cracking the road and a dalmation in pursuit is not a fun ride in 80+degree weather. I crested the apex, the dog still in tow but weakening. Two cars had passed while the amusing pursuit took place. As the sunday drivers cruised past with bewildered looks on their faces, kids pressed against the rear windows pointing from the air conditioned interior made me laugh. it reminded me too much of the old USCF officials in the races I used to do cruising by in the cool interior while you pumped your...legs off in the races. At the top, another dog hot off the porch of a trailer home. big and menacing. I applied my brake and watched the dog overshoot the front of the bicycle as I began another desperated sprint. Luckily the dalmation and trailer dog began playing or fighting, I didn't care, behind me and I passed over the remainder without further incident. Over the course of the next few miles of my old classic ride, I had six (yes six) more unplanned and previously not seen furry visitors try to bridge up to me but none managed thanks to the rolling roads. I managed to squeak out the fastest time I have ever accomplished on my loop. Years later, 40 pounds heavier, 5 minutes faster! Yet, all accomplished on a 1980 Razesa. Life is Good! Oh yes, the Nine in the Tour de CaNine. The ninth dog greeted me by my house and simply wanted to ran along with me on a few laps of the neighborhood. I let him catch me and he nearly licked me to death.

Well, I am off to work, then ride. Maybe not my old loop though, but I am sure I will ride my Razesa again!

Walter Skrzypek ------------------------------------------ Falls Creek, Pa ------------------------------------------


Walt Skrzypek
Falls Creek, PA