Today after work, I climbed into a dusty "loft" area where a few of my bikes are stored in the building. My two Coltello track racing bikes are both up there- one set up for time trial events and the other for sprint/ omnium events. The Coltello in Metallic Red, the first production frame we made, sat there with a good inch of dust on it. It hadn't been ridden since about two weeks before my crash last April 29th.
After grabbing the bike and the wheels, I scurried down from the loft in hopes of getting a few minutes to work on the bike and get it cleaned up. I got part of the way done when it was time to leave and the lights were being shut off. The bike and wheels got tossed into the back of the car and I drove home. Once home I replaced the tires on the wheels with some fresh rubber and tubes. I then proceeded to put a cog on the rear wheel, put some pedals on, set up the new saddle and generally polish and shine what is one of my most prized bikes- I worked very closely with our former Senior Product Development Manager to create the Coltello track frames using my years of experience racing on the track and his far superior skills in frame design. Together, the efforts brought about the Coltello... and it has brought me great joy ever since.
After chowing down on a bit of grilled tuna and some rice, I finished dialing in the bike and then put on some Mandex and headed outside with the rollers and my allen wrench set to finish setting the bike up to my preferred position. Thing is, I eyeballed it so well inside that I didn't even need to adjust anything once I got outside! The only difference from my "old" position of last year before the crash is that I moved the nose of the saddle forward a little- my back doesn't have quite the same range of flexibility right now.
After a few minutes rolling around on the street in the dark and on the rollers, I was satisfied with the fit and my position. It feels like a full blown race bike; light, stiff, low in front, high in back and ready to go as fast as I can possibly try to make it go.
One might ask the logical question, "hey, Masiguy, why you dialin' in a race bike?" Well, unless something springs up tomorrow, I'm hopping back on the track to race in the local Tuesday Night Race Series here on our velodrome... the one that nearly killed me. This will be my very first time back on the track since the crash and I am both nervous and excited. I love to race on the track and the friends I have there are amazing- their support since the crash and through my recovery has been more than I could have ever expected. I sincerely feel that I owe it to all of them to get back on the track and complete the cycle of my recovery- even if it means sitting at the back and suffering like a dog. At least I'll be suffering with a smile on my face and with friends.
I'll do my best to get pictures and possibly even video while I am there... so stay tuned.
Thanks again to every single person who has been so supportive during my recovery from the crash. Your support is what is making this return to racing possible and when I finally do stand on the podium to receive a medal- whether this year or several years from now- it will be with all of you at heart.