[CR]Sunday with JB

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Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2003 22:04:30 -0700
From: "Brian Baylis" <rocklube@adnc.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Sunday with JB


Back again. Normally I wouldn't spend time writing about a regular Sunday ride but in this case there is something I would like to tell about. JB and I are the "ambassadors" for vintage bike appreciation on the otherwise Ti, carbon, aluminium laden Sunday ride up to Alpine from Rancho San Diego. We had decided to ride our matching electric blue Colnagos just for grins. This was the second ride on this bike for me aside from the 7 mile shakedown cruise. As I mentioned before, this bike just wants to go. I haven't ridden since the ride in Cupertino when the bike just picked me up and took me with it. This bike seems to defy my lack of miles and seems perfectly happy to take ME for a ride!

The weather has been really crap for what seems like forever and the last few days have been even worse than normal. The ride starts 6 miles east of my house where it is ordinarily less foggy or overcast than on the coast (20 mi west) or even at my house. Today the streets were wet and I almost didn't go out, figureing that most people would not show up. I got there and I was alone except for one car. I decided to hang around and have some coffee and see if anyone showed up. I was beginning to think it was a bust when "Fast Eddie" arrived. From his house where it was apparently somewhat clear he stepped out of his truck into this fog soup and drizzle. He was wearing a sleeveless t-shirt sort of thing and shorts. Oops! Eddie is tough and it actually wasn't that cold, just wet and foggy. I was dressed in tights and long sleeve t-shirt under my wool jersey. Finally a small but determined group formed up and we headed out. The first 10 miles are pretty much flat and we warmed up as usual. I had fitted a freewheel with a 26T cog that I hoped was enough to get me up the hill. Once the climbing starts JB and I take it easy, stop and smell the roses, and enjoy the climb. We began to talk about our bikes. We both discovered that we each totally love the feel and the ride of our Colnagos. JB rides about a 59cm frame and he tells me that his bike rides like my bike, even though it is a much bigger frame. The bikes respond to every effort without hesitation, advance straight forward without winding like a snake while climbing or standing out of the saddle. The bike LOVES fast curvey downhills as much as I do. I found near the top of the 4 mile climb when I was most tired I was still able to sit back on the bike and spin a low gear while keeping the bike within a 6"wide smooth strip in the otherwise slightly bumpy road surface. I steered the bike simply by raising or lowering my elbow! The bike was rock steady and yet would respond to subtle changes in the level of my elbow. I'd never done that before, but it was very interesting and a testament to the character of this bike.

We made it to the top and then on to the coffee shop. (No John, she was not there. I've only seen her that one time you were with us!) As we prepared to head down the hill we noticed a drop in temp. so we all grabbed a copy of the "San Diego County Herald" to stuff in our jerseys. Fast Eddie was in the bathroom just before we left and we had to wait up for him. It was getting sort of cold. We headed down and again the Colnago begged me to break the sound barrier or set the land speed record. JB and I always spearhead the downhills and it was like the two of us were riding on rails. It was a sublime experience. We had climbed from the lower drizzleing altitudes up into the dryer dense fog at the top. Now we were flailing down Harbinson Canyon as if we were on hovercraft. Our entheusiasm for the bikes was infectious as everyone noticed how much fun WE were having. We hit the valley floor and then the painful fast paceline formed up for the final 10 miles to the finish. I'm always fairly gassed by that time so I hang on for dear life so I can have a wheel to suck to the finish. JB and I must have talked about our bikes and our love affair with them most of the ride. This Colnago is my favorite vintage ride and the color (the electric blue you guys discussed forever last week) is the most beautiful blue in the world in my opinion. BTW, this poppycock about "rare this and that" and "toxic components" was comical. I'm glad JB spoke up about it. JB discovered the toner quite a few years ago and I am deeply imdebted to him for that; it truely makes the bikes look 100% authentic. The Gios version is not quite as nice even though it is exactly the same toner. There are a few tricks to using it that I will keep to myself. Just know that it DOES exist and no chemist was required to reverse engineer it. You should have heard me laughing as that discussion was going on.

Anyway, we get to the finish and as we're hanging around talking, Fast Eddie comes over to where JB and I and a few others were talking. I remove the SD County Herald from my jersey as I get comfortable. Then with a sheepish grin of slight embarrassment, Eddie removes several layers of "ass gaskets" (toilet seat liners) that he had stuffed under his sleeveless t-shirt for the downhill. Now we know what he was doing in the bathroom. We all roared! You would have to really know Eddie to fully appreciate how funny that was. It so fits his old school minimalist lugged steel frame riding no helmet wearing personna. We really had a blast and it was good to go up the mountain again. The conditions made it interesting since normally this time of year we would be roasting out there. I think JB was so pleased with the day maybe on account of some memories of past epic rides into the clouds that the day envoked. He kept commenting that he wished someone had a camera to capture us on our Colnagos. Trust me, there will be many more chances. Stay tuned for the announcement of the "JB Colnago" ride we will be having in a few months. The So.Cal Faction will be pooling our collection of Colnagos on that day. Talk about blasting wood!

Enough for today. I need to focus on catching up on personal emails which always lag behind my public rambleings by a considerable amount.

I have recieved some interesting Masi Prestige photos that will help us determine more about the frame Matteo has. This bike is very early as far as Prestiges go and still has Nervex DuBois lugs, Fischer BB shell(stamped with a city code for the subcontractor) and fork crown, and a considerable number of simularities to Matteos' bike. This bike has Alberto Masi all over it and yet (as I knew was the case) still has the BB shell with the "M" cutout. The stay ends are just like Matteos'. The only actual differences are the fork crown and the seat stay caps. One thing suggests Matteos' bike is slightly newer than the Prestige and the other aspect suggests it is older. There are LOTS of variations to what was made in Italy after (and before) Faliero was in CA, but all of the bikes are still extremely simular. I am more convinced now that Matteos' bike was part of the "normal" goings on in Italy. They did lots of things. I will study all of the photos I have and see what else I can discover. There are several things I'm still curious about. We're not done with this yet. Sorry Bruce.

Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA New convert to the lightweight "ass gasket" method, NOT! It was funny though.