2015 The Year of the Gitane

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The first ride of ’15. Maine was pummeled with snow this past year. It was one of the longest winters I’ve known. I’ve been grateful for all the miles, smiles, and rides in ’15. While my first ride of the year wasn’t on the Gitane, I was glad to be out riding all the same.

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This was an exceptional year for riding. I explored many new routes, revisited familiar ones, and rode many many miles all season. I dispensed with a bike computer when I get started riding the Gitane. It’s nice to be free from stream of “data” when riding. *A confession, I do use “Ride with GPS” to log routes. However, it’s on my phone and out of sight, so I don’t think about miles, speed, etc when riding, just riding.

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Maiden voyage for the restored Gitane Tour De France. It is a smooth and effortless ride that I can’t get enough of.

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Took the TDF on one last of what were my regular loops. Oceanside orchard in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

 

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For my 40th birthday, my best friend surprised me with these lovely Quoc Pham cycling shoes to pedal many miles in. After a couple thousand miles in them, they are still comfortable and highly enjoyable. The shoes are light and  sturdy, nice to walk around in, and perfect to push the pedals around. *and yeah, they’re pretty badass.

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The American Lung Associations largest fundraiser in the US takes place in Maine, the Trek Across Maine. This ride has become an annual event with  great friends. It’s a fun, supported ride, and for a great cause. I’m looking forward to year 4! And you can join us: Trek Across Maine

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Many miles with good friends, especially this guy, made for a fun season of riding. Day 2 of the Trek Across Maine.

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End of day two of the Trek Across Maine. It’s a propulsive ride from Farmington to Waterville. This year I brought along a stomach virus for all three days. By day 3 I had nearly recovered. That entire day was a wind driven monsoon. That said, I’m already signed up for 2016 which will be my 4th year.

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My spot for many post ride swims.

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Taking a break down on the dock.

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The ride out to Mere Point, Brunswick is filled with hills. But the halfway point is just a stunner

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The inaugural Tour De Franco. A 50+ mile ride around the ocean and into the western hills around Biddeford, Maine. The ride coincided with the  celebration of my friends 40th and ended at Banded Horn Brewery in Biddeford.

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After work I’d convince friends to come up to my house and ride the rolling landscape and into the waning light

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Wolfe’s Neck Farm has nice dirt roads to ride, take you by scenic views, and catch up with the cows.

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Last bits of light on a summer ride out to Mere Point in Brunswick

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The road.

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When I needed help, Port City Bikes were there.

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The farm nearby our house. This tree and field gets me every time.

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Late summer evening rides

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On the dock on a sunny day. Mere Point.

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Summer post work ride. My great friend drove up to my house nearly every week after work to ride the hills around our place.

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On a dirt road in the woods near Wolfe’s Neck State Park

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The Merrymeeting Bay Loop is a nice 60-ish mile ride that takes you through Cumberland and Sagadahoc counties. We paused at this  meetinghouse for a break and a banana.

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On the road home with friends.

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On the Merrymeeting Bay loop in Bowdoinham, Maine

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View from a recently completed bridge in Richmond Maine on the Merrymeeting Bay Loop. From the bridge you get stunning views on both sides. There isn’t much shoulder so it’s necessary to keep an eye on the traffic if you want to snap a shot.

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Free as can be.

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Post ride smiles. This is also post donut too! I got to ride many miles with these two, nothing better.

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Riding the Merrymeeting Bay Loop, solo this time.

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I rode my second Dempsey Challenge. The dates for the ride change each year, and this year it was right after a big cold snap. Temps were just above 30 with a solid wind (it was warmer on Christmas Day) It was tough ride, but a ride with great purpose. This year I rode for my dad’s wife.

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I can’t get enough of the farm land. This was one of the few rides I took the Masi out. It is a more sluggish ride in comparison to the Gitane. The Gitane just glides along the road effortlessly, while the Masi is pushed up and over every mile.

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Stopping at a farm stand in Kennebunkport just after Thanksgiving.

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As the cable stretches out, Mafac brakes get their squeal on, big time. To the point you won’t want to ride with them, at all. When you “toe in” the shoes so the front part of the pad makes first contact, this can minimize the aforementioned squealfest. However, as the cable stretches and the gap between the wheel and the pads grows, so does the howl and squeal. The trick is, to keep the pads as close to the wheel as possible with a snug cable and it’s quiet braking all day long.

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More dirt roads!

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December 25, 2015. 54 degrees in Maine. Last ride of 2015.

 

All Over But The Tire-ing

I’ll admit it, this winter got to me. Snow. Cold. Long. It crept in and colored the day to day and the week to week.

Now it’s the end of March and my project has stalled out for two months. There are extenuating circumstances at play here – life got busy, we had some house projects, and I got lazy. But as the days are filled with more light, more melting, and more bikes, I realize I need to move on this project.

This sunny Sunday with temps at 40 degrees kicked me into gear. I packed up the Gitane and brought it over to the Portland Gear Hub for the next steps: brake cables, brake adjustments, handlebar fine tuning, bar tape, and truing the wheels. I arrived just as they opened.

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Not only do they have all the tools you need, but there is an expert mechanic to help figure stuff out.

We looked at the wheels, they are true. They spin smoothly, no wobble, no sway. I ran the cables and housing back when I did the gear cables, so they are in place, just not set up.

I first adjusted the pads to line them up with the rim. They need to hit the rim evenly and be level so the braking is solid. Next I need three to four hands for tightening up the cables. I had to pull the cable, push the cable yoke, and tighten down the nut that keeps the cable taut. Not an easy task. Apparently, tool companies make a “third hand” tool. I stick with the kind folks at the Hub. With relative ease, we got both brakes on, good tension on the cable, and stopping these wheels on a dime.

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I then adjusted the bars to a more relaxed position. I had the “drops” set flat, but that is a racing position and more aggressive. I dialed them back and set the brake hoods.
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I run through the brakes one last time, we adjust the front again as it had too much play in the cable, we picked up a 1/4″ of slack, so even better braking!

After I pack up, I head over to Back Bay Bicycle to peruse the bar tape. I had contemplated leather wraps, but it wasn’t something I felt was a fit for this bike. And true to form, this bike had bar tape on it from the factory, so bar tape it is. The black tape offers a classic look with the white Gitane.

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Wrapping bars is not my forte, but I made it work.

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All that remains are the tires. I’ve ordered a pair of Compass “Stampede Pass” 32mm in all black. These wider tires allow a lower rolling resistance, with lower air pressure, as well as extra light casing to provide a supple and smooth ride, all in the name of comfort. I hope to have them on by next weekend for a maiden voyage.

Stymied, Stumped, And Success

Today I went over to the Portland Gear Hub to see about getting in gear (sorry, there are too many puns concerning bikes to not entertain them). The gear in particular, is number six.

Gears one – five are smooth and fluid. But six, six is a train wreck. I’ve backed off the limit screw till it nearly falls out and still no luck.

At the gear hub (located in the bottom of the Portland based, Cumberland County YMCA) they offer not only used gear of all vintages (as well as skis, snowshoes, and etc), but help. Sundays (as well as Thursdays 4-6) from noon – 2PM you can clamp your bike to a stand, use their vast tool library, and get support on your project.

We start by looking for what could be hindering the derailleur. The bolt on the bottom of the derailleur is semi-stripped which does impede the function of keeping the cable taut, we swap it out. The new cable I had put on has been manhandled by this man (me) and gotten a kink-size kink in it, so we swap that out as well.

With a fresh cable, a better bolt to button it all in, we are hopeful. And, at times, there are glimmers of hope and function. But it’s still not spot on. With a running start from fourth, we can make it leap effortlessly to sixth. But five to six, nope, ain’t happening.

Time has flown by and the bench time is wrapping up. But before packing things up we adjust the front derailleur and have it running smoothly. It was a matter of the limit screws and my limit in seeing theirs.

Next weekend, I tackle the brakes.

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Help is found here.

Sign up, sign in, let me begin.

Sign up, sign in, let me begin.

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Some improvement and movement. As if in need of momentum, the chain can jump smoothly from four to six and that at least is something, even though to do so is to bypass five altogether.

Same As It Ever Was

Over the holidays I had hoped to get some work done – shifter cables, bars placed, brakes. One can hope, right?

I started with the shifter levers and cables. Thought it’d be an easier place to start than with brakes and handlebar alignment.

Threading the cable is pretty simple and self explanatory – hook one end (the end w/ a little stopper on it) into the the top of the shifter and down to the cable guide.

Front Derailleur: First, I aligned the derailleur by eye, from the side and above. It needs to line up with the chain ring. I measured the space between the chain and the underside of the derailleur (about 1.5-2mm). With this scientific part out of the way, it was on to the next steps.

When the cable reaches the bottom of the down tube, it is guided through a small (3-4″) bit of cable housing to direct the cable up to the cinch bolt on the derailleur. *Anytime you need to bend a cable, the housing and guides are what is needed to make this happen. Using pliers, I put tension on the cable and with another pair of pliers tighten the fix bolt. And like that, it worked, pretty well. The Suntour Cyclone moved the chain where it should, with a degree of awkwardness.

Fine Tuning: There are two “limit” screws that help center the derailleur so it doesn’t get all wanky and dropping the chain. But something isn’t quite right. The limit screws are limited in their ability to line this up just right. I can’t seem to zero it in on where it should be.

How about the rear derailleur?

Rear Derailleur: The rear can be more problematic from what I’ve read. Same process as with the front, thread the cable, guide it back to the welded guides and insert it into a small amount of housing to bend and meet the derailleur. Fairly simple. If the housing is too small it won’t work, tool long and it’s a one way ticket to sloppy-shifting-ville. The cable meets the tension bolt and again, tighten it to keep it in place. Now the test.

The first few gears work, success! Then it doesn’t.

I repeat the process and big surprise here – same results. I consult Zinn’s book and learn about the “b-screw” on the back of the derailleur. This little guy puts tension on the chain and brings smoother shifting.

Tighten things up, run through the gears, cable gives way. I come at this over and over. Read more, watch videos, takes brakes, watch more and read more. In the end, I’m able to get 5 gears shifting smoothly. The chain won’t make the jump to the lowest gear. It’s as if there is not enough cable? Did I cut the housing too short?

I’ve pulled all the cables off, started from the start. Still same place – no dice.

Soldiering on: Brakes? Brake Cables? Bars? I greased the stem, threaded the bars, set the brake levers, and ran the housing and cables for the brakes. I set the bars to “classic”. The bottom (*the drops) of the bars are set to level. OK, done. Then the brake levers level with the bottom of the bars (utilize a level here) and see how they “feel”. This is tough to do with no tires on yet, but I can get a sense of how it’ll feel and there is room to adjust, so all is cool. I cut the housing to the right length, and file the ends for a clean fit. The cables and the housing ran fairly smooth. I haven’t tightened or adjusted the cables yet, just got it in place. One of the brakes is missing a bolt to hold the cable in place, so I quit while ahead. But overall, it “looks” right?

But I need some help. I need to call a “wrench” (the industry term for a mechanic). However, I’m not looking to just have someone “do this” for me. I want to do it with guidance and learning from them. This is where the Portland Gear Hub comes into play. Not only do they have great deals on bikes, a wealth of used vintage parts, but they work with you to get your bike rolling. I’m making some time for this Sunday.

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Power comes from here or “Oldest trick in the book.”

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Taut and clean on the down tube.

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Hooray for Huret! This little gem of guide is so nice.

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5 outta 6 ain’t bad?

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You. What is wrong with you?

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Underside of the beast.

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Kinda – almost – sort of there.

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The bars, classic position. The levers, not so much.

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Brake cable runs down the crossbar with *Problem Solver* brand clips keeping it clean and real.

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What? These are just here. Leftover? Ugh!

The Miles of Twenty Fourteen

This year I spent more time on my bike than I ever have. I rode meandering roads by the ocean, hilly routes that traversed across the state, group rides with great friends for great causes, and for most of the summer I commuted a couple miles to and fro.

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First ride of 2014.

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This became one of my favorite rides, cutting through Scarborough Marsh over to Old Orchard Beach. The dirt path (East Coast Greenway) is decent and full of birds and bird watchers.

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An after work ride around the marsh.

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At Acadia National Park in May. Temps hit the 70’s (a rare treat) and I took to a rental bike for a spin. There is a stunning 25 mile loop on the park loop road (one way traffic!!!) which includes a tough climb up Cadillac Mtn. In May there are hardly any cars or tour busses. I may have been passed by only a handful of cars.

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A brief stop at Sand Beach on Mount Desert Island (Park Loop Road).

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My second year as Team Cutters, riding the Trek Across Maine, a 180 mile ride to benefit the American Lung Assoc. My co-captain (in the Cutters shirt, our team name) and I recruited nine other riders to join us. This early June rides boasts nearly 3,000 riders each year and millions of dollars raised to support lungs. One of the best times I’ve ever had on a bike or in life.

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Team Cutters at the end of the 3 day ride (Trek Across Maine) and still smiling!

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Out for an early AM summer ride and enjoying the beautiful light.

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The tranquil marshes around Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough.

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My first century. The Lobster Ride (a stunner if there ever was one) supports the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. We were fortunate that in July it wasn’t the temps weren’t too toasty. I had a pre ride flat right before we took off. Some day I’ll learn how to use a pump.

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Rest stop 1 on the Lobster Ride at the beautiful Cellardoor Winery. This first stop seemed early, then at mile 75 I was wishing there was one every 5 miles.

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Sometimes, the view is up.

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Bike Maine is a seven day ride around Maine and is again put on by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. I participated in day one, Westbrook to Norway (Maine) as the company I work for was a sponsor. Fun to ride with folks from all over the country.

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First pit stop on day 1 of Bike Maine. At the shores of the lovely Sebago Lake. I was tempted to take a dip, but wet bike shorts are no fun when it’s the start of a 60+ mile ride.

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I’ve ridden the most miles this year and every year with this guy, my oldest and dearest friend, Joshua Bodwell. Late this summer we quickly put together a three day ride that covered 220 miles with a hilly century smack in the middle. I take full credit for cobbling together this punishing route, but that is what made it fun.

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At the edge of the Sheepscot River in Wiscasset on a most circuitous day one of our three day ride.

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Noted without comment.

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When you ride past an oyster farm, especially Glidden Point Oyster Co., you stop and shuck, no questions asked.

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On the hilly and exhausting century of Day 2 from the coast in East Boothbay to my dad’s house in Bridgeton. I began snapping photos on the longer hills at 7mph.

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Leaving the hellish hills of Western Maine behind. The 40+ miles from my dad’s house to home were an unrelenting and unending bunch.

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Cutters till the end. Longest multi day ride i’ve done. More hills and varied terrain (each day a little off-roading / dirt) than any other stretch. One of the most beautiful rides. Came home to a lovingly prepared spread by my wife of pulled pork sandwiches, ginger beer and salad.

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Late summer with the light escaping, a surfer gets some wave time.

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Occasionally, this horse gets hitched up.

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One of my final rides in 2014. Temps were well above 40 degrees in and plenty of sun made for a nice December ride.

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Crops are sleeping and riding season is waning.

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Second to last ride of ’14

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Year two of riding comes to a close. Lovely rides, long rides, short rides, hilly rides, and rides with great friends. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Winter’s Reprieve

Last weekend I took a break from working on the the Gitane and hit the road.

Temps here in Maine got above 35 degrees and I took the Masi off the trainer and went for a cruise.

It’s worth noting, I found out why the Masi was making all kinds of noise. I incorrectly threaded the chain, which rubbed a chain guide in the rear derailleur cage (where the two little jockey pulleys are). The kind folks over at Port City Bikes worked with me to fix the chain.

While there, I also looked through their selection of used bars. The current drop bars that came with the Masi are too wide for me, 48cm. I’m looking for a standard 44cm. I checked out some used randonneuring bars. Rando bars have a bit more flare and some sway. Flare in the drops, less incline behind the brakes, and sometimes a sway coming out of the stem. There was a pair I was interested in, but they didn’t fit my stem (sometimes new and old parts don’t match up). The owner, Pete, has a pair of Nitto Noodle bars on a bike at home that he is looking to part with. So I’ll check those out next time.

The ride was so lovely. I feel fortunate to pedal around Maine. The day was full of bright blue skies, plenty of ocean, and roads mostly free of dirt.

With the holidays I’ll have some extra time to dig back into the Gitane, and possibly get another ride in. The forecast calls for 40+ and clear skies after Christmas.

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Memorial Day Ride

I left in the quiet of morning for a longer ride. The day was cool and sunny. My mind was clear and open.

I planned for 75 miles. The loop around Merrymeeting Bay in coastal Maine is gorgeous. With its stunning scenery and beautiful roads each mile is lovely.

I adore solo rides. They provide the space for concentration and focus on technique and also, and more importantly, the opportunity to settle into being. I think of them as rolling meditations. Letting go of time, schedules, and responsibility, and the space to sink into the present of each moment.

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A small and well loved cemetery.

I stopped often. Sat beside gentle rivers, took pictures, drank a lot of coffee, sought refuge from the sun beside the road under big shade trees, and soaked in the beauty of the day.

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The mother protecting her calf.

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An open field sits tucked behind a wall of trees. along the road in Dresden

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On the dock in Richmond, the water is still.

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I’d rather be biking, but being on a boat on a river would be OK too.

The Gitane rides smoothly over the hills and along the stretches of flat that snug up against the bay.

Over one year into riding the Tour de France and it’s as enjoyable as the inaugural ride. I have some modifications I think about – wider bars and a new stem. But not much else. It’s without braze ons for racks. There are other solutions, but I’m not sure this 70’s racer is happy with too much weight. I think I’ll keep it as a medium – longer distance day ride.

The sun rose quickly. The day got hot, fast. By the time I reached the outskirts of Bath, I was feeling the heat. More coffee and a smoothie kept me going. I stopped in Brunswick on the bike path that hugs route one. My wife had just sent me a text. “It’s hot, how about I come meet you and we get lunch?” It was such a lovely message to read – thoughtful and at the right moment. And how could I say no?

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Under the tracks in Brunswick.

Part of me thought about “completing” the ride, finishing the 75 miles to kick my spring riding into high gear. Another part thought about attachment to an outcome. What did completing really mean? Did it matter? I had enjoyed every moment of the ride, why persevere and for what?

I felt good changing course and letting go of my own expectations and the clinging I’d had to an outcome.

We’d meet at Frontier Cafe in Brunswick. I asked her to bring a change of clothes, soft cotton is joyous after hours in lycra / spandex. I got to the restaurant quickly as I was only a couple of miles from it. I rested and cooled off under a shade tree and watched the traffic roll by.

I had some extra time, as I was early. So, I went over to the flea market and flipped through records. I found a lovely and pristine copy of John Coltrane’s “Coltrane Plays the Blues” and Prince’s “Around the World in a Day” and had a good chat with Dave, the proprietor of Vinyl Junkie Records.

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A later 70’s pressing, but lush and lovely all the same.

Jocelyn met me at Frontier and had brought all I needed and more. A thoughtful bag with a wash cloth, dry clothes, and more, it was so sweet and kind. I felt refreshed, rejuvenated, and loved.
For lunch I devoured a burger and fries while Jocelyn had a mixed vegetable tart.

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Decimated lunch.

We meandered our way home from Portland, enjoying the drive. Hours later, we found a Lady Slipper in the woods near our house, it felt like finding a treasure, both of us excited and remembering how cautious we both were as kids finding one.

A treasure found

A treasure found

We picked up our annual park pass, took a quick and cold swim, showered off under the even colder outdoor faucet. The beginning of our swimming ritual over the summer.

We were hungry. We headed for dinner to cap off the day, not caring that a fish shack on the water would be packed or that we’d have to wait. What was the rush?

We had a feast of onion rings. A fish sandwich. A hot dog. Blueberry crisp. Indian pudding.

We drove home our belly’s full and happy. We went on the back porch and took in the stillness at the end of a most lovely day.

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The rubber has met the road.

I’ll admit, it was sorta anticlimactic. By it, I mean the first ride. It wasn’t really, but let me explain.

As mentioned previously, I got the tires installed and came home early evening and put the wheels on. We had plans that night and I had minutes to get ready. But, how could I not just take one little lap around the block, just one?

I put on the wheels, my shoes, and the Gitane on the road.

The first pedal stroke is smooth and joyous. Gliding down the small hill by house I hit the brakes. My body jerked and recoiled at the screaming sound from the brakes. Damn. Painful. My neighbor was up the street and quickly turned around with a look of shock / horror on his face as I came shooting towards him. I zipped by, nervous smile in tow, not wanting to touch the brakes I couldn’t say how the bike felt. All I could hear, feel, and think about was those banshee brakes.

The first ride, it was done in moments.

The brakes came with instructions on how to “toe in” the shoes. This positions the front of the pad to connect with the rim at the front of the pad and then the rest of the pad makes contact. It eliminates “chatter”, vibrations, and most importantly the scream.

Place a couple of business cards at the back of the brake. Squeeze the brake (*a friend or wiling family member is helpful, but I used a speed clamp and my son’s help), and then loosen the shoes. The cards allow the back of the pad to stay out while the front end makes contact with the rim. I had to do this twice on the back brake to get the right adjustment, but bye bye squeaky town.

On a warmish (*42 degrees) evening after work a couple of days later and I head out for a spin.

Damn. I mean, damn, this ride is nice. Reynolds 531 steel. Compass tires. Both make for an incredibly smooth and comfortable ride. I cruised along the flat, fly up hills, and careened around corners. It felt exhilarating and a bit scary at the same time. The bars are thinner in diameter and more narrow than the other bike, so there is a feeling of twitchy-ness that I’m not used to. But 25 mile ride later and I have better insight on the feel of the bike. I note some adjustments to make – bars up a tad, the brake lever position needs to roll inward a bit, and to raise the seat.

Freedom.

I have to admit, and for as odd as it may sound, this bike has been liberating.

I kept the baskets on the pedals, so no special shoes to speak of. And I have to say, it’s pretty great. And interestingly enough my pedal stroke is smoother and more fluid than with clip in shoes.

There is no onboard computer. On my normal routes, I know the distance, but I’m not constantly aware of it. I have a sense of speed, but not obsessed. But it’s so freeing to not have speed and distance numbers in front you and not be wondering how you are stacking up, against who, yourself? In the few rides I’ve done, I’ve noticed it just hasn’t mattered.

Adjusting.

I put the seat up a quarter / half an inch, gave a little tilt to the bars and made a minor adjustment to the brake levers.

I’ve been uncertain about putting a water bottle cage on the tubes. The decals could easily get marred and charred. But after a bit of consideration I was able to put one low enough on the down tube to miss the decals (there are no pre drilled holes here, clamp bottle cages only).

Glide.

I can’t get over how smooth a ride this is. The 40+ year old cranks and bottom bracket are smooth and easy. Pedal strokes just feel good. In comparison, my other bike (2007 Masi) has drag to it and sometimes feels sluggish. I can’t speak to why. This bike is thinner and lighter and cruises along effortlessly. Perhaps the components, but perhaps a better fit.

The Compass Tires are sweet. They handle effortlessly all while being a wider tire (32MM) with a lower level of air (70PSI) compared to 25MM and 90PSI on my other bike. I could wax wistfully about them, but I think you get the drift.

With the down tube friction shifting (no clicks, just find it and don’t grind it) I feel more connected to the gears. Again, it may sound fru-fru, it feels more natural? You know the exact gear you’re in and when you need to shift and what each gear can accomplish.

I spend more time in the drops. I never did. The distance of the bars on the Masi doesn’t feel great, so I stay away from them. On the Gitane, I live in them. They are solid, comfortable, and confident.

While the bike has a couple of years on me, there is some enjoyment to be turning 40 this weekend and riding a 40+ year old bike. And the bike has been a great reminder of simplicity. No frills. Just a bike. But, what a bike.

So is this it? An end? Thinking no, there’ll be more.

But for this 1972 Gitane “Tour de France”, it is reborn, onto its second life, experiencing its revival.  

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Pine Point Pier.

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Pine Point Pier 2

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A pit stop by a horse farm in Biddeford.

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Soundtrack: Frightened Rabbit (Sings the Greys), Cat Power (Cherokee), De La Soul (3 Feet High and Rising), Nina Simone (collection).

Wheels Up!

Tire selection, it wasn’t a labored decision. I had narrowed it down over the winter.

I wanted something wide, comfortable, and light. The choice was easy, Compass Tires.

These tires are made in Japan by Panaracer (a top tire company). They are lightweight, supple (their word not mine), and smooth.

I have little to compare them to. I’ve only had a few different tires.

The instructions for installation made me overly cautious. I’ve installed a couple of tires, but not many. There were lots of precautions (understandably). I got the front tire on, but struggled with the back. There are little lines that need to be even and not dip below the rim or be too high. I felt a sense of paralysis when reading the instructions.

I caved.

I brought my other tire over to my pals at Back Bay Bicycle. They installed the tire and said the front was fine. While I probably would’ve been OK to put the back tire on, however, I wanted to be sure my investment wouldn’t blow out.

I’ll have images of the finished bike up soon as well as my experience of riding a lovingly restored, 40+ year old bike.

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The older tape that I took off was Velox, with all French text. Leads me to believe that the tape was 40 years old. The new tape went on smooth and easily.

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The remains of 40 year old rim tape. The sticky part turned into a plastic like stuff. Fortunately, it was easy to remove.

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Black. Light. Awesomeness awaits.

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Strong smell of rubber.

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This will somehow support my weight and be a good ride.

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Waiting for rubber.