Saturday, November 9, 2019

Christmas Comes Early

It's beginning to look a lot like ... the end of the 2019 cycling season!

Since the end of October, I have been walking through a winter wonderland. What choice have I had? It has been too cold and snowy to ride through it. (Have fun on your fat bikes, you plaid-clad guzzlers of cheap domestic beer, I’m just not into that whole scene.) My workouts on Tuesday and Wednesday were leaf raking and snow shoveling, respectively. We might spend all next week below 32° and a couple of days might not even make it out of the teens. It could be April before my yard is snow-free again.

My 2019 season barely has a heartbeat. But there will be a 2020 season, and I will need new stuff when it arrives. This week was as good a time as any to do a little shopping. It made me feel connected to my sport while I am literally disconnected from my bikes.

First item on the list: a new pair of Continental Gatorskins. They should be the only tires I need for my road bike in 2020, no matter how many miles I ride. Second: a replacement bottle cage for my cyclocross bike, which also serves as my gravel and rec trail bike. I broke one of my two matte white Bontrager RL cages in a little crash back in September, and that model is now discontinued. I had to find one online before they disappear forever. The gloss white version is still widely available, but I’m damned if I’m going to have mismatched cages on my bike.

Aside from the bottle cage, I did a really good job of not breaking things this season. I had to replace a shifter on my road bike in April—SRAM Red, thank you very much, so it wasn’t cheap—but that was a case of wearing something out after years of use, not of a mishap. Really, I spent very little on repairs and replacements. Last year was good in that regard too, so maybe I’ll treat myself to some more nice things for 2020. I feel like I deserve it, and with all the money I’m not spending on race entries right now, I can afford it.

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