|Now that’s Irish! Sean Kelly and Guinness. But the real story of Sean Kelly is told below. Look at those leg’s|
|Sean Kelly -1988 photo:Barry Sandland I stole this Pic off Velomanati. Great write-up on the Man|
“The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is.” Sean Kelly
That quote was inspired by all of the pictures people have been posting on their various social media outlets. “Man it’s cold!” followed by a picture of the temp on their dashboard or “Seriously?” and a screenshot of their phone with the current temperature. Yes Seriously it is cold. It is winter. Some winter’s are colder than others. This one happens to be cold. Deal with it!
I am in touch with not having the motivation to ride outside, even more in touch with not having the motivation to ride inside. I love to ride my bike, I am not a huge fan of training. Riding inside smells alot like training. The riding has to be done either inside or out though. I went ahead and signed up for the Leesburg Bakers Dozen again. That thing sold out 450 people in under a half hour. Crazy. So If I want to suffer a bit less I better ride.
The cold riding isn’t that bad but single digits certainly send me to the rollers. On a totally useless skill note: I have perfected texting, facebooking, and tweeting while on the rollers this year though. After all it’s just riding, not “training”.
Would you like to know how a real man carries himself? Want some insight into the inner working’s of a modern day tough guy on the lines of Sean Kelly. Check out Jens Voigt’s new blog on Bicycling Magazine. Bookmark it and check back regularly or Jens will hear about it and you will be punished.
Going through some old picture’s I found a picture of my first “Real” road bike.
|Crochet Gloves Cateye Solar computer First clipless pedals Turbo saddle Modolo Bar and Stem. That bike got alot of miles. Mount Rainier in the background.|
Digging back into the addled depths of my brain that lovely Bianchi Campione D’ Italia was not the first real Bike. That replaced my original Bianchi Brava which was a very un Celeste Green bike. It was maroon and more in my budget. I had wanted the Campione D’ Italia even coveted one but still was happy on the Brava. That bike was a gateway drug into road cycling. Friction shifters made way for bar-end shifters. Bar-end shifters made way for Index shifters. Index shifters made way for STI shifters.
Clips and straps made my feet go to sleep. They would be clinched down so tight not to slip a pedal on the uphill that I would lose bloodflow to my toes. But some times my foot would still pull out. Then clipless pedals came out and my feet stopped going numb and would stay on the pedals on my daily time or five up the Manayunk wall.
The demise of my Brava was the first time I met Harry Havnoonian. I was coming home from class on the bike flying through the streets of Philadelphia and I won the Door Prize. Only this wasn’t a prize I particularly wanted. For those unfamiliar with city riding and the Door Prize, it is when someone opens their door to get out at the same time you are going past and you slam into said door. My Door Prize totalled my bike. Bent the top and down tube and pushed the fork in. Being young and dumb I figured I could ride it. The shop I got it from suggested I go see Harry since he was a framebuilder.
Harry advised me to stop riding that bike immediately if I valued life. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. Harry said he could fix my Brava but it would cost more than it was worth. He referred me back to my original shop to see if they would offer me a crash replacement. They did. The shop was going to get me a new Brava but the Campione d’ Italia came in instead. They enede up giving me the Campione d’ Italia for the Brava price and I was ecstatic.
Harry did end up doing work on that bike though. My lousy mechanic (ME) didnt set the limit screws on my derailleur correctly and about a month into owning the bike I threw the rear derailleur into the wheel and opened up the dropout like a clam shell. Harry brazed a new one in for me. Shortly after I went to work for him.
To bring this rambling back to where it all started look at that picture of Sean Kelly’s legs again. See that bicycle the eternal tough guy is leaning on? That is a Vitus. One of the first commercially available aluminum bikes. It was bonded together not welded and the designers of the day would not go to oversize aluminum. The adage that early aluminum bikes were stiff certainly didn’t come from these bicycles.
When I worked for Harry we had the contract to provide warranty for Vitus in the USA and fix the aluminum bicycles. Harry also had the exclusive distribution rights to Vitus tubing in America. Fixing those bicycles kept the shop busy and supplied a constant supply of work for us. One year while we were displaying at Interbike we split a booth with Vitus France. The president of Vitus told us directly that Sean Kelly would often go through several frames a month since they would flex so much after his leg’s tore them apart. He said that for a race like Paris Roubaix the frame would be done afterward. The pictures of Sean Kelly’s face covered in mud are still some of the coolest ones I can remember.
|Pic’s like these are worthy of the overused phrase EPIC|
Last story of the day and I am off.
We were standing around in the Interbike booth towards the end of the show with the President of Vitus. If you have been to Interbike you know the last day can be s l o w…. Especially the last part of the last day. Mr Prez was talking to us about the new Carbon Fiber monocoque bicycle. This was 1989 and revolutionary. There may have been some wine ingested during his lunch because he was definitely looser than he had been the previous days at the show.
He looks at the bike and says “This bike she is like a woman” Insert your french accent in when reading this quote. Now we nod and can kind of agree since it is curvy and really quite a sexy bicycle frame. Little did we know what he truly meant. He walked over grabbed the rear stays spread them open and proceeded to place his pelvis between them. Dennis, Harry and I can still crack each other if we say “Izz Like a Woman” That bike never came to market.
Now get back to work.