Centenario Coppi 2019 – Hollandale, WI

First, sincere thanks to Dave and Rob for their behind-the-scenes and in-front-of-the-camera hard work. It would not have been the success it was without your efforts. THANK YOU.

I missed the warmup ride on Friday, but the Friday get-together at Tony’s Tap was great. Nice to see some friends from previous rides, and to put names with new friend’s faces. This is a really remarkable group – different backgrounds, ages, education, jobs, from different parts of the country – but we all enjoy cycling and the people it brings together.

On Saturday morning, we met at the guest house for another warmup ride. Immediately, we’re climbing – this is a theme that repeats itself many times. Good roads, and the group stopped often enough to keep everyone together. In Dodgeville, we rode a rails-to-trails that I think is called the Military Ridge Trail. It ran the gamut – pavement, chip-n-seal, gravel, sand, and mud. The muddy parts made it a little risky to keep the speed up, but I don’t think there were any casualties. We agreed to meet up again at the A&W in Dodgeville for a root beer (as a recovery drink, of course), and then to head back together. A quick shower, and it was off to Hollandale to set up the bikes for the show. There were some VERY nice machines there, and some that are the only example of the breed (at least the only examples I’ve seen). A lot of time to talk and meet folks that weren’t at Tony’s the night before. Think about the accumulated bicycle knowledge that was in the Hollandale town hall on Saturday – truly staggering. There was bread, olive oil, and parmesan cheese to take the edge off before dinner. The dinner was first rate, can’t say enough good things about it. Afterwards the awards were handed out, and I apologize for not remembering the recipients. Then we packed up the bikes, cleaned up, and headed back to our various accomodations. Sunday’s ride awaits.

We met at the Hollandale town hall again Sunday morning at 8am, for coffee, scones, bananas, and other assorted delicacies. Fuel, you know. Dave and Rob were in the cat-herding business and were mostly successful. We rolled out around 9am, and guess what – a relatively flat start for a little while, then a right turn and a respectable climb. Someone had painted a purple COPPI on the road about 2/3 of the way up. The climb and subsequent descent theme played out often and was unrelenting. A couple of the climbs on County Road Z and Sandy Rock just weren’t fair – you crest what you think is the top, only to see a “wall” yet to be climbed. It wasn’t actually a wall when you got to it, but it was a little demoralizing to see it and realize that you’re not even close to being finished with that climb. But you persevere and you earn the reward on the other side.

One of the descents early on came up to a T, with a left turn and the fresh chip-n-seal had left a fair amount of loose gravel right where you needed to stop and check for traffic. There were a few skidmarks in that gravel when I got there, but I didn’t see any evidence of bandages, blood, or surplus bike parts – so apparently everyone got through that part safely. County Z had a few rough spots, but for the most part the roads were in great shape. My GPS track showed a couple of descents at over 40mph, so I guess the work to climb up for them was worth it.

The rest-stops-that-weren’t-rest-stops-because-this-was-an-unsupported-ride were welcome, and a sincere thanks to those folks spending their time to help a bunch of moderately-insane cyclists enjoy a great ride in beautiful southwest Wisconsin.

Brats back at the Hollandale town hall afterwards were a nice way to crown off the weekend. Congrats to Allan and Pete  for being beasts. A welcome to his first event to Nic with his very nicely done Trek. Nic and I rode together on Saturday and Sunday, and I enjoyed that very much.

I feel privileged to have enjoyed the people, bikes, and the rides as much as I did.

Masi Nuovo Strada – the wrap

The Chorus polished alloy calipers seemed a little sluggish.  So I took them apart and gave them a bath in the ultrasonic cleaner.  Lubed them with Chain-L, and reassembled them.  They’re now installed and centered – they look great with the rest of the alloy group.  The replacement pads arrived, but they are loose in the Campagnolo holders.  I’m going to use some Koolstop pads and holders for now, and I’ll sort out the Campy pads/holders later.

The 32 tooth small chainring arrived, so I removed the crankbolt and pulled the crankarm off the BB.  Switching the chainrings took less time than the disasssembly, and then it all went back together.  The 12-30 cassette is here, and I swapped it onto the rear hub.  I installed the Wippermann chain and sized it to big-big plus 1.  That’s the drivetrain ready for cables.

I traded another 13-26 cassette to Rob for a Cinelli 1A stem and Cinelli 64-40 bars.  A little polishing on the stem and the center of the bars and they’re ready to install.  I took a guess at the stem height and bar angle – it’s as good a starting point as any.  The levers are slipped on and tightened (mostly) so that the cables can be installed.

I installed the shift cables and checked to be sure that cable is pulled and released by the shifters.  Fit the front housing sections and put them in place, then cut some cable liner to use around the BB shell – there are grooves for the shift cables, and hopefully the cable liner will cut down on friction and prevent road dirt from causing shift problems.

There is a small hiccup with the rear derailleur housing section – the “diver’s bell” cable stop on the DS chainstay has an opening too small for the stepdown ferrules I have.  I don’t want to zip tie the housing to the chainstay, I want the correct part.  The proper OD of the small section is 3.5mm.  I’m looking for the correct ferrule now.  Found it, and the shift cabling is complete.

I taped the cables to the bars and will wrap the bars once the lever positions are correct.  It will take a few miles to be sure they’re right, but it’s worth it to wrap the bars just once.

Now on to the brake cables.  I usually install the brake housings first – it probably doesn’t matter in the long run but that sequence works for me.  This is the only frame I have where the rear brake cable runs inside the top tube.  It doesn’t use any additional ferrules, and the install was straightforward.  I’ve read that some internal cable runs are a nightmare, but fortunately this was an easy one.  That’s the brakes installed and adjusted.

A test ride is next, so I double-checked that all fasteners are properly tightened, aired up the tubublars, and rode out.  Firstly, the brakes work.  That’s the important part right up front.  Shifting the chain to the middle of the range in back, I checked the front shifting – works fine, but takes 1 extra click to shift compared to the double chainrings on my other bikes.  Staying in the middle ring up front, checked out the rear shifting.  It works fine, but the top pulley makes contact with the cogs in the lowest three gears.  I need a roadlink to move the rear derailleur down a little bit.  The chain has some sag in small-small, but that combination is pretty severely cross-chained and I won’t use it anyway.  Such is the result with a medium-cage rear derailleur with a triple.

Afterwards, I crimped caps on the ends of the shift and brake cables, and wrapped the bars.  For now, that’s the Masi finished.


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