Thursday, April 03, 2008

Getting Ready to Roll

I haven't ridden my Fujin SL since winter started. Although she lives in my apartment and I see her everyday we haven't touched each other in months. Sometimes a little time apart is good for a relationship. Especially one as intense as ours. It seems we can never just go for a ride and cruise. We are always pushing it faster and harder. Taking down one PR after another. Running down roadies and tri-athletes for breakfast. Don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining I've had more laid back bikes and I dig the Fujin's killer instinct. Now that winter is over we both know its time to ride.

So I've started cleaning her up and making sure everything is working well. I'm impressed how well she held up mechanically with all the riding last year. Not much needed other than some air in the tires and some lube on the chain. I am a little embarrassed with how beat up she looks though. Lots of scratches and marks. A bit dirty in those hard to clean places. She isn't a Sunday ride type bike that's for sure. I can imagine how beautiful and minty fresh she was the day she rolled off the Challenge production line. Gleaming white paint, shinny black seat, fresh rubber and glossy carbon fibre. I wonder if she could have guessed that she'd end up as a long distance bike in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies - so far from home? Probably not, but I am sure she sensed that she was destined to be special.

Even members of my rando club who will never own a recumbent can't help, but admit she is a mean machine. Low slung, sexy - full of European sophistication. Bristling with lights, reflectors, fenders, tools and spares she is ready for anything that comes her way. Letting me ride night and day in speed and comfort. Sometimes I do feel guilty when I ride past someone who is in obvious discomfort or who can't stay on my wheel because I'm too aero. Then I remember I used to be them and I chose to go down a different path for my long distance rides. I gave up my saddle for a reclined seat and instead of being hunched over the bars trying to crane my neck up to see down the road I'm relaxed ready to meet whatever comes my way with a smile. It isn't like I've got the only Fujin on the planet. Heck she's got a lot of sisters and [don't tell her I said this] some of them are even better looking! So if you are unhappy with your current ride stop coveting mine and get your own...=-)

It is a rare feeling for me to have a bike that fits my needs so well I can't really picture anything else I'd want to ride for the long haul. There are all sorts of cool bents out there that would work as a brevet bike for me, but when I look at all the factors I keep coming back to the Fujin SL that's waiting to ride in my apartment. I'm pretty sure Paul at Challenge will someday build a bent that will make me change my mind - he's that kind of guy. I can't picture what he could do to make the Fujin SL an even better rando bike, but I'm sure he will think of something. In the meantime I'm going enjoy the perfect bike.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm getting the feeling that if I turned to Jerome's blog I would read that about your old Volae. And if I look in my living room I will see the loving stares coming at me from my Rocket. The Strada is still hibernating in the basement. :-)

So I guess the snow and salt are almost gone from Cowtown?