Hi Dan,
This may be a question for Alastair. Don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll give it to the right person. Skip to the third paragraph below if you don’t have time for the recap of how my weekend ride went.

I am back from the benefit ride for ALS – the event for which I first visited your shop. I did both days for a total of 85 miles. There were “extra ten mile loops,” which I did not do. Each day the basic route included very steep inclines, and I felt they provided the challenge I needed. The second day was very, very hilly – 23 miles of it. The worst was to see folks ahead of me walking their bikes. This sight made it very difficult to not succumb to the discomfort of the struggle up the steep hills. Ended up off bike three times but not for very long stretches. The weirdest thing was that when I tried to stay with my slower moving colleagues on mountain bikes my bike seemed to want to go faster. Strange as that sounds, it really didn’t seem to be me – it was that bike. It had a pace it seemed to want to keep. Several times I had to offer apologies as I sped up and explained that my bike wanted to go faster.

Saturday the bottle opener turned heads – especially heads of the “drinking club with a cycling problem.” Sunday the bike turned a few heads -- “Spiffy little bike you’ve got there.” I made lots of referrals to your shop, so if you get folks coming in saying they had heard about you at a benefit ride, ask them which one, and if they say the DoubleDay for ALS, then know that they heard from me. Far as I know, mine was the only Rodriguez there. Those cycling drinkers wondered about attaching a bottle opener to their bikes, and I took the liberty of telling them that it comes standard on a Rodriguez, but I thought that attaching it to an off-brand might run them $1100. Hope that was okay. :-)

Okay, no spills, no need for band-aids, but did have an event that caused concern. With something like five miles left on day 2, I was alone rounding a turn, taking in the beautiful scenery, then, glancing down, I saw a bike-sized pothole – but too late to miss it. My entire world was a “BANG!” The bike kept going, but my wrist really hurt. I shook it out, pampered it for a bit, and continued on to the end. Walked a couple blocks through a steep hill in Mt. Vernon (during which that bike seemed to behave more like an eager pony, wanting to get back on the move), then road the mile-and-a-half back to the high school. Smooth riding, no problems. When I removed the front wheel, I looked it over with my novice’s eye and didn’t see anything wrong. Later, last night, my son checked in to see how things had gone and he said that a pothole is what broke the steel frame of his mountain bike, and he thought I should bring it in for your folks to check over.

Also, my boss (school principal) expressed the intention of calling Smiley to thank him for taking such good care of me.

See you later, after the next 500, unless you suggest sooner for a pothole check.
Dale M