Monday, June 20, 2011

Assos Bib shorts and handwashing

I was fortunate enough to receive a pair of Assos bibs shorts for my last birthday.  I was so excited to try on and then ride with some of the  cycling worlds most expensive and technically advanced piece of apparel.  When I put them on the magic started immediately.  The easy snugness of the leg grippers.  The strong yet gentle shoulder straps.  Comfort personified.   Possibly it was  the next day I went out for a spin to try them out and see if the chamois lived up to, not only it's reputation, but my initial high praise .

This guy I know says 'Boom!!!!' a lot.  Generally when something is pretty explosively cool.  I think I can safely issue a serious BOOM! to the bibs after ride #1.   They felt like I had a new seat on my bike.  But not a racing seat, more like a leather sofa seat.  Nicest chamois ever.  Better than my Castellis, Pearl Izumis, Sugois, Garneaus, Champion Systems,  even better than Hincapies  and any other bibs I have owned over the years.  I never get uncomfortable when I in them.  No matter the heat.  I put 600-700 florida kms in them this past March.  No sores,  no chafing, no STD's.

I just acquired some Assos apparel detergent.  It comes in very small quantities as you don't need much, but Assos knows that, and they don't sell anything that could be considered cheap.  I think if you ride and wash your bibs everyday it will cost you about $40 a month to clean them.

So I follow the directions and fill the (kitchen) sink with water and the detergent and continue my endeavor to clean, properly the second most expensive bibs in the world.    After a few minutes I wring them out, and hang them outside to dry.  The detergent promises to be more gentle on the fabric than traditional laundry soaps.  I can't actually confirm that without drinking it but I can affirm that it does smell really good. Like a grade 1 school teachers perfume mixed with some exotic flowers that we don't get here in Canada. 

Swallowing colours of the sound I hear

This weekend was a really great weekend fun-wise, but race results-wise ......."how you say not so good?".
We got up to Ottawa about lunchtime on Saturday, checked into our hotel and went over to Hull to ride the Gatineaus.  I haven't been there for 2 years, and it's still one of my favorite places to ride.   On Sundays they don't even let cars into the park, but there were still very few yesterday, and they were all courteous to us.  We rode up past Fortune Lake to the top of the park, and did some loops around.  Nothing too hard so as to not burn out our legs for the next day

                                                  I think this was the highest point

 The Gatineau Parc ride isn't really that long but it loops around so you can do repeats and not have just ride up and then go right down.   Never too steep, but better than anything in Ontario I'd say.   If I lived in Ottawa again, I would ride there every day.

                                                                    Pink Lake lookout

So as it turns out we secure a pretty nice hotel in the gay district/area of Ottawa.  Marc and I are slim, shaven legged dudes walking around looking for a good pub, but really looking more like a gay couple of tourists.  I decide it would maybe throw people off if I walk 10 or so feet behind him, so no one thinks we're together.  But that doesn't work, I still get the feeling that now people just think we are 2 gay dudes in a fight.  Can't win.........I did, however, like the magazine/smoke shop called MAGS AND FAGS.

We are both probably asleep by 10:00 and to the Cartier Hotels credit, the beds were really comfortable, and the air-conditioning was quiet and somehow set at a perfect temp.  Our room even had a full kitchen, large balcony, and a phone in the bathroom.  Actually , that was kind of weird.

The view when looking around town for breakfast

We get to the race and I get a halfassed warm up in before the race, but not before noticing the all the TV cameras and spectators and how the street were properly blocked off etc etc, this race is the real deal.  In Ottawa people actually come out to see a bike race, unlike Toronto.  Or at least the promoters know to hold a bike race in a spot where people will be.  In some spots along the finishing stretch you couldn't get to the road to see, there were so many people.  Up and down one side of the main street were pubs with patios full of people drinking and sort of watching the race, but mostly just enjoying the heat and  the ever delicious beer.

When the whistle sounded and everyone took off I had a bad position.  One that gradually worsened.  I could see Marco and Jeff at the front, and Phil and Martin slightly ahead of me.  I couldn't seem to find the opening or the power to move up.  I sat on the back until the end, but still an early demise.  I can't truly figure out what went wrong.  I'm not dwelling on it. Even with the 3 or more crashes the  guys did awesome , and Marco seems to enjoy playing at the front with everyone and then pulling back on the last lap.  More on that as it gets figured out.

Little Italy was pure style

The M1/Elite race was crazy fast.  They mixed in the younger elite racers with the older elite racers and it made for a pretty exciting race.  Stan, Andy and Marc all did well.  Marc got caught in a crash on the second last lap, running over some guys wheel which kept him off of the podium, but at least he stayed upright.  Andy got a decent 3'd, and Stan won.  Second win for that bastard.  I wish Bruce Bird and the WOB guys would have been there to contest that.  Not a lot of room on the podium for those Men in Black.

you know I lost my mind when I saw this place....

I would love to start going up to the Ottawa and Quebec area  for more races.  It's so much cooler up there than the GTA.  By cooler I mean different.  But definitely more my speed than Toronto.  Plus I would love to pretend I understood Francais.

                                                                                                 Pic by K.J. Carr
                                                                                                                                             pic by K.J Carr
I was checking to see which gasket I had blown