However, I did ride my road bike on a mountain bike trail at one point, which officially made my road ride "epic:"
Granted, I did so extremely gingerly and only for only about 10 minutes, so in that sense it was like having sex after surgery. But that didn't matter, because the point of my brief skinny-tired off-road foray was reconnaissance, as I am in the process of "curating" a mixed-terrain route which I plan to have dialed in by the fall. Ideally, I'd like this route to be cyclocross bike-friendly and to include some singletrack, so I figured if I could pick my way through a section of this particular trail on a road bike than a cyclocross bike should be no problem.
So you'll be pleased to know that I am now that much closer to charting a route of unprecedented awesomeness, and because I don't use Strava or a Garmin or anything else you can be assured I will take it to the grave:
The rest of you can just keep on shuttling to Nyack and back.
By the way, you'll notice there are no longer any decals on my Ritte von Finkelstein:
(That's not some sort of soft Instagram filter, that's just a smartphone camera lens covered in sweat.)
This is in no way an indication that I am disenchanted with the bicycle or the brand. Rather, it simply means the decals were starting to come off and so I finished the job. As for the bike itself, I remain extremely pleased with it, and even though it's not a "gravel bike" it spends the majority of its time on terrain like this and performs with aplomb:
(It's almost like this whole "gravel bike" thing is complete BS.)
In fact, I'm this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to saying "fuck it" and putting mountain bike pedals on it, though my Inner Fred still refuses to let me stop walking around like a duck for no good reason. I'm also still tempted to put a metal fork on the bike, because crabon sucks:
“Anyone in a team who’s being honest with you will tell you how frequently their bikes are breaking; everybody knows,” said Mark Greve, a physician and assistant professor of sports medicine at Brown University who studied injuries to 3,500 competitive cyclists. “Few people in the public appreciate how many bikes a pro team will go through in a season, because they break for one reason or another. The bikes, they completely explode.”
Did you hear that? They COMPLETELY EXPLODE:
(Age of Crabon.)
That's right, pro cyclists shatter their bikes with their scranuses (or scranii) on a regular basis:
But when they spoke on the condition they not be identified, their stories emerged. Riders described landing on the top, horizontal tube of the bikes during crashes and ending up on the road after their frames splintered and collapsed. Small spills that used to mean, at best, straightening handlebars often require a bike change. Mechanics say they sometimes return the shattered remains of frames to manufacturers in bags intended to hold a single bicycle wheel.
It seems to me that instead of worrying about saddles causing impotence we should be worried about crabon top tube splinters causing genital impalement, but unsurprisingly Specialized had this to say on the subject of crabon and durability:
Chris Riekert, a spokesman for Specialized, an American company that supplies bikes to three Tour teams, said in a statement, “Carbon gives our engineers the ability to produce much stronger and lighter products than traditional steel or alloy by letting us put more material in high stress areas to ensure performance and safety in real world riding conditions.”
Even though this is what a Specialized bicycle looks like after it touches another bicycle while on a car's roof rack:
Not that it matters, because all the Freds will see is this:
And, to be fair, most of us Freds will probably never have a problem with our crabon bicycles--though the reason cited by the New York Times is obviously wrong:
Greve and Perovic agreed that for consumers who are not constantly banging their bikes around on team vehicles and who are unlikely to be involved in crashes, the risks in buying a carbon bike made by a reputable company should be minimal. Greve said many riders had told him that the performance gains from superlight frames reached the point of diminishing returns long ago, and he questions the wisdom of consumers’ buying what are, in effect, very costly throwaway items if they crash.
Actually, if there two things you can count on from a Fred, it's transport mishaps and crashing:
Which is why the real reason our bikes last more than a season is that these companies know we suck so badly that we can't even stress a crappy hunk of brittle plastic to its perpetually imminent failure point.
Lastly, you've probably already seen this video of Kevin Reza filming his own crotch with some guy's helment cam:
I really hope this viral marketing from Team Europcar, because if it's actually real then the guy who owns the helment cam is a complete idiot, as evidenced by his explanation:
ok ppl, 1st I am not standing in the road im standing on the pathway,2nd the helmet camera is being held out at arms lengh, 3rd the riders pass very close to the left side of the road due to spectators on the right standing in the road, 4th I am a massive cycling fan and ride a my bike 365 days a year covering over 13000kms per year, 5th as for the lotto rider elboing it from my hands, he is not protecting any other riders by knocking it from my hands where it is under controll into the road where other riders could ride into it! lastly the camera recording this is a contour roam 2, it has an extreamly wide angle lense and at close range like this destorts things massivly, enjoy the vid, its a unique view of the tour and just a bit of fun :)
Holding a helment camera at arm's length into the Tour de France peloton is basically the Fredly equivalent of doing this.