Re: [CR]It's still breathing (the horse)

Example: Events:BVVW

Date: Sat, 11 May 2002 01:19:17 EDT
Subject: Re: [CR]It's still breathing (the horse)

In a message dated 5/10/02 9:12:15 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< I actually thought that I could add value in the identification of the parameters and target values that decide any differences between a 1970s bicycle and a 2002 bicycle. For the record it is possible to do so but it takes time and a desire to make the identification materialize. >>

At risk of putting my foot in it, I think eRitchie already conceded that if you really wanted to spread the back end to 130, and put on all modern equipment, and spend the time to get it to work, you could race competitively on an older frame. A couple of other points to consider: 1) Frames have a working life. Better frames last longer, but will eventually go soft if ridden hard enough by a strong enough rider. How many miles are on that old puppy and do you want to put it "past it's prime" by riding it to death? At a certain point, old horses are put out to pasture. Doesn't mean you can't ride them, just not in the Kentucky Derby. 2) Wheel compatibility. If you don't run the same wheels as everyone else on your team... 3) There is some competitive advantage in equipment. If Merckx were riding now, he would be riding the latest stuff, like his competitors. The lore I heard when Merckx was in his prime was that on any given day, he was 1 to 2 freewheel gear teeth stronger than anyone else in the pack. Even with that strength advantage, someone who wanted to win as much as he did, would not give away any advantage no matter how slight. To digress a little, the difference between Eddie's hour record and Moser's wasn't just equipment. It was training. Moser trained with the guy who "invented" (I use the word loosely) the idea of target heart rate over time to develop fitness. I have a book by him called "Moser's Hour Records, a Human and Scientific Adventure" by Francesco Conconi, translated by Patricia Ennis. It's very interesting reading on the subject of scientific, quantifiable training. 4) Fit and proper position on the bike are probably more important than parts. If you're going to race, you really need a good position and a frame that allows you to get that position.

It boil down to: do whatever you like. If you want to race an old frame and parts, go for it. When it holds you back, do something about it. It's a journey in learning. I started building frames because they were all SL and I was too strong (then) and am still too big (6'2" but not as strong) for an all SL frame. FYI, I raced as a category B, sometimes A, when it was the ABLA and we had our nationals when everyone else had world's. When I came back to racing, I would have had to ride with the 4s and didn't feel suicidal enough for that. Now that I'm old enough I may race Vets. As an artistic type with a "princess and the pea complex" (that means I can feel and describe in detail "subjective" things that most people don't notice) I have a lot of respect for the experience of someone on his way to being a "master." The old guild tradition was, and still is, 4 years as an apprentice to make journeyman. Journeyman means you're good enough to make a living at it without necessarily being dangerous. If you have what it takes, and you apply yourself, in 20 or so years you MAY end up as a master. That doesn't mean you're done learning, and if you don't have passion and dedication, you won't get there. Some masters know a whole lot more than others. I also have respect for the scientific method but there is more than science involved, there is "art" involved. Science is valid, but does not trump art. If some aspect of art is disproved by science, then art changes, hence "state-of-the-art" evolves. Of the two, I personally weigh art more heavily and keep it leavened with science. Time to listen for the sound of one hand clapping and meditate on the thought that "to out-do the master is to repay the debt." That's art.
Stevan Thomas
Alameda, CA