Tanner’s C&V Ride in Chillicothe, IL

Went up to Chillicothe, IL for a ride out to Tanner’s Orchard for an apple cider doughnut.  You may reasonably question the sanity of driving 6 hours, then riding 20 miles for a doughnut, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

We got to Chillicothe around 9pm Friday night, checked into the hotel and went in search of food.  Had a pizza at Monical’s just before they closed, which tasted pretty good.  Fuel, you know, for tomorrow’s ride.

Met some nice guys riding classic steel bikes along the banks of the Illinois River in Chillicothe on a brisk Saturday morning, temperatures were in the low 50s.  I brought my Lemond Alpe d’Huez, with tubular wheels installed and it rode very nicely.  There’s not many miles on this bike after the restoration was finished, but it was like reconnecting with an old friend.  No introduction needed, no getting to know you questions, just “let’s get going.”

I enjoy the classic bikes more than the carbon wonder-bikes, because they have a air of elegance and quality about them that easily hides the number of miles or years they’ve been around.  Riding with like-minded people is fun too – I don’t think I’ve ever met a cyclist on a classic bike that didn’t end with “great bike, enjoy the ride.”

The doughnuts lived up to their billing, but it seemed colder when we left the orchard than when we got there.  Oh, well – we’ll warm up again soon enough.  We took a different route back to Chillicothe, and the descent down to the valley from the bluff was great fun – I got up to 37 mph on the descent.  Not a lot for some riders, but still fun.  Drivers were considerate, and we were only honked at once, which might be a record.

Many thanks to Steve (steelbikeguy on BF) for organizing this ride.  We’ll be back next year.

Pinarello Turismo

Wow.  This bike just moves.  A full 2 mph faster average than the Merckx carbon on several different rides.  I don’t know exactly what it is that makes it faster, but there’s no doubt about it.

I’ve gone through the entire bike, cleaning, re-greasing, and adjusting it as well as I’m able.  I just rode it on a 62 mile ride in Paducah, Kentucky and there were no problems – aside from needing a better engine, but that’s a topic for a different discussion.

Fitwise, the stem is shorter than I would normally use, but I won’t change it out because I don’t want to lose the Pinarello panto’d on the stem.  Maybe not the best choice but I’ll adapt.

The 35 year old Campagnolo Gran Sport group rides and shifts very well.  The brakes are noisy, which isn’t a big surprise with old pads.  The braking isn’t horrible, but I’ve ordered some new pads that should improve braking and stop the squealing.

Later this year, I’m planning to strip the parts from the frame and fork, and have them painted red.  To me an Italian frame, especially one as nice as a Pinarello, should be red.  The bike has already been partially repainted, so there’s no concern with destroying original paint.  I’ll replace the decals too, and the bike will look like new.

But it will continue to rack up the miles.  It’s too much fun to ride to let it waste away as a display bike.  Bikes are made to be ridden first, and admired as examples of fine craftsmanship second.  At least that’s my take on it.

Misaligned Minds ride in Paducah, Kentucky

We chose to do the metric century, called that because it’s 100 kilometers in length, about 62 miles.  Rolling hills, nothing too serious.  The start point, at Bob Noble Park in Paducah, is about an hour from my house, so we had a little drive to get there.  Picking up our registration packet was simple enough, and then we got the bikes ready to go.  Aired up the tires, checked to be sure we had what we needed, and headed out.

I left my phone at home (grrr) but it turns out you don’t actually need a phone to ride.  It would have been nice to get some photos during the ride, but oh well – we came to ride.

The riders in my group are from the midwest – Evansville (Rob), Florence (John), Cadiz (me), and Memphis (Bob).  We all rode bikes that are 20+ years old, in the cycling vernacular they are Classic and Vintage (C&V), just like their riders.  The carbon, plastic, go-fast bikes are certainly capable but we all enjoy the fun of maintaining and riding older bikes.  They have a charm and quality that we all find enjoyable – and spending the day riding with like-minded people is fun.

The rest stops were very well done.  Ice cold water and Gatorade, good selection of snacks, and really nice folks manning the stops.  Every one of the four rest stops was as good as the previous one, something that has not always been true at other rides.  The route marking was good but there were some old marks that were plainly visible and that caused two of our group to follow a previous route.  We met up with them later.  Drivers were courteous too, most of them moving completely into the far lane when passing us.  We rode side by side, but moved into a single file when we saw a car approaching.

The SAG vehicles (Support And Gear) were out and about, and even brought us a bottle of water when we were between stops.  It was warm out and that was appreciated.

While cresting hills, drivers waited behind us and passed after they could see the oncoming lane was clear – and this happened several times.  A sincere thank you to the drivers for their courtesy today.  No one that passed us seemed irritated that we may have delayed them a few seconds, no angry car horns, no drivers yelling, just a nice ride on a Saturday.  It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Chain Reaction Cycling Club in Paducah, Kentucky puts this ride together, and to my mind, this was the way a ride should be done.  From the smiles at the end of the ride, they were more than successful.  We’ll definitely be back next year.