[CR]Gearing and bikes of L'EROICA

(Example: Events:Eroica)

Date: Thu, 07 Sep 2006 09:25:25 -0700
From: "Bob Freitas" <freitas1@pacbell.net>
To: CLASSIC RENDEZVOUS <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Gearing and bikes of L'EROICA

To answer your question on gearing. . Since the bikes cover a very large range of years, the number of gears was one to the Off topic numbers. There were guys on coaster brake bikes, Fixed gears, Cambio Corsa (many)PR (many) Margarita(many)with the bulk being 10 or so . The first part of the course is paved and then it switches to secondary and farm roads. Surfaces are everything from smooth pavement , lots of gravel(some of it quite deep) broken pavement (baby heads to you M*Bers) , and white road which is pressed dirt and gravel. There were many freewheels I saw with 24t or smaller, I rode an on topic bike (Montelaticci) with on topic wide gearing(Campy tripple 52/42/36) my main fear was traction , as trying to climb on loose gravel roads is a challenge. I was initially concerned about the road conditions but found that living on the slopes of Mt TAM here in Marin served me in good stead. I did not see many walkers. Tire choice looked pretty critical , the day before at the exposition hall I spotted a bike with 4 spare sewups(I thought it was funny) and that looked like just about the right number the next day. I think the real problem was there were to many old sewups being used and they did not seem to hold up well plus were a little narrow for the conditions. My choice was the fattest clinchers my bike could clear(32mm Paselas) and there were times I would have felt better on tires much fatter. But you adapt to the conditions quickly and learn where the road is best (deep gravel on the inside of turns was the worst) so you learned to stay outside and look for the best surfaces which was not always that easy on a downhill. I did not see anyone fall but I tried to be first out of town as a massed start of 800+ riders did not appeal to me. So on the gearing issue the fact I had many did not keep those with few from passing me on the hills of Tuscany.