Monday, April 23, 2012

Bike Pick Up

Brad with Ridley's owner Ron
We just got to Calgary and after a long flight it’s nice to have things for the trip in motion. We’re headed to Ridley’s Cycle in Kensington to pick up our new Trek 5.2 Madone bikes. Ridley’s is one of the biggest Trek dealers in western Canada and we’re lucky enough that my son Patrick works there.

Ron, the owner, greets us at the shop and after some catching up, we get changed into our bib shorts and sit upon our new bikes for the first time. I went first and spun on the rollers similar to when we originally got sized up at Bushtukah, in Ottawa, except this time the adjustments are more minute. Cycling greats like Lance Armstrong and Eddy Merckx were known to be fanatical about their bikes, stressing perfection down to the millimeter, so I know the importance of a good fit.

Pat takes a look and has Ron take a look for a second opinion. They seem to be channeling the spirits of those legends’ mechanics as he moves the seat forward slightly and swaps out the stem for one that’s slightly longer to accommodate my long gorilla arms. Erik goes next. It’s interesting to watch the process from a different perspective; you really can see how the smallest adjustments to the bike or seat position affect the way the rider moves on the bike. The more efficient we can make our riding, the easier it will be on those long days in the saddle that lay ahead.

Brad and son Patrick
Once we’re all fitted up, Pat starts up “The List.” With our spring start date and the unpredictable nature of the Rocky Mountains, we have to be ready for anything from rain to snow to sub zero temperatures. We gather all sorts of gear so we’ll be ready for anything and grab some spare parts so we can make minor repairs as needed. It may be a flat tire, snow over the mountains, or maybe even something worse but the more prepared we are to cope with what’s thrown in our path, the better.

Wheeling my bike out of the store, I’m excited to get out and go for a ride with Erik and Patrick around Calgary and try out my new bike. I’m feeling fast and strong and I can’t wait to dip my tires in the Pacific and start the journey.

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