I quit riding regularly about four or five years ago. No reason in particular — my interests turned elsewhere. So when I started again this year I set a modest goal of 1,500 miles. A lot less than I used to ride, and a lot more than last year. I was pleased to realize today that I’m almost there at 1,428 and counting.
Equipment has changed a lot since I was logging a lot of miles. In the early 90’s my Pinarello Treviso was almost-state-of-the-art, and it was similar to the bikes my riding buddies were on. Not anymore. When I started doing GVC group rides this season, most of the other riders were on some kind of carbon fiber or aluminum framed bike. STI was a given. And “system” wheels like Ksyriums were the rule.
But I kept riding the Pinarello most of the season and never felt like the lack of new technology was holding me back. What was holding me back was lack of fitness, but I got over that (at least to a degree). But I did keep running into the problem of upgrading my bike — I wanted a wider spread of gearing, mainly — without spending too much money. After looking at a lot of solutions — triple cranks, 9-spd compatible cassette wheels, etc. — I decided to just upgrade the whole bike.
I’ll fast forward past the process, which I didn’t find all that pleasant, and point out that I ended up with the closest thing to a modern interpretation of my Pinarello, a Burley Fox Hollow. And so far I really like it, and am finding that some of the modern technology it’s dressed with suits me. Hang on, and soon I’ll post my thoughts on STI, modern wheels, and other parts, and how they’re getting along with me.