I think the time has come for everyone to meet my new cycling partner. So, I am pleased to introduce all of you to Thomas. I picked him up at NorCal Bike Sport last Friday and I have to admit it was love at first site. When they wheeled him out from the back room I think my jaw actually dropped. Even Sherry called him sexy.
In case you missed the last post, I got a new bike because Paolo, my 2005 Specialized Roubaix Comp, had to go to bike heaven (also known as the Specialized returns department). The short story is that I heard a noise coming out of the bottom bracket and upon inspection, NorCal found a defect that made the bike un-ridable. With one quick phone call, NorCal had a brand new, 2011 Specialized SL2 Roubaix Comp frame on the way. And, it was fully covered under warranty.
I need to add a quick side note. As usual, NorCal was simply superb to work with. I remember the call from Matt explaining the problem and thinking I had to buy a new bike. Then he said it was all covered by Specialized. Awesome! Then there was Frank who patiently answered a thousand questions as I thought about upgrading everything. Glenn, who just happened to be Levi Leipheimer’s mechanic in the 2010 Tour de France, did a masterful job on the rebuild. And finally, Jeff, master bike fitter extraordinaire, made sure Thomas and I were a great fit. These guys are all awesome and I see some beer in their future.
Now, back to the bike. You may be wondering, “Why Thomas?” Well, I always name my bikes after pro riders I really like. I also like to have a touch of European flare so I usually select names like Paolo or Phillipe. Not this time. I choose to name the bike after Thomas Voeckler because I believe he is the poster boy for all things good about cycling. Like a lot of the cycling world, I’ve been a Thomas fan since the first time he wore, and defended, the yellow jersey in Tour de France. He is also one of Sherry’s favorite riders as well.
During the bike fitting, Jeff was going over all the improvements on the bike since my 2005 edition. The bottom bracket area is larger and stiffer which allows for greater power transfer with each pedal stroke. The front tube is also stiffer and this will allow for greater steering control. The bottom line? I should be able to go up and down hills faster. I liked the sound of that.
Thomas and I have already been out for three rides. They were all awesome. The first was a short and sweet ride the day I got him. I wanted test all these new features so I headed for the hills where I snuck in 15 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing. It was all that Jeff said it would be and perhaps more.
The second ride was a nice little recovery ride where I made the route up as I went along. I was really just introducing Thomas to the scenery he would be riding in the most. The third was with Coach Tim but I’ll save that report for a future blog.
If the first few rides are any indication, I can’t wait to see what the future holds in store. While I miss Paolo, I will always be able to fondly reminisce about our 21,000 miles together as Thomas and I start creating stories and adventures of our own.