Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Happily Re-tired in Florida

Monday we stopped at the Bike Shop to get the rear flat on Al's bike fixed. Matthew examined the tire. He tactfully pointed out that the tire was wearing through in spots. Hmmmm. "They're just a year old," we whined. Matthew patiently explained about the expected lifespan of road bike tires. OK, he had a point. We had put a lot of miles on them, and we do ride pretty much all the time on chip rock/bituminous roads. It was quickly determined that both bikes needed new tires. He asked if we want the same type we had now or something different. Duh? As is often the case, we didn't have a clue. We asked for advice.

Matthew walked us back near the work area and grabbed a wheel hanging there. It was from LW's bike and was also in for a new tire. LW is a local legend, a guy in his mid 70s, who rides 10,000 miles a year. He's been doing that for as long as I can remember--and he's still going strong. Matthew explained about the type of tires LW was using and why they were working out so well. LW puts all those miles on the same roads we ride, he patiently pointed out.

Al and I are very unlikely to ride 10,000 miles this year. But we do put on a lot of miles. Al and I glanced at each other, doing that silent communication thing that comes with spending most of a lifetime together. The reason we go to Matthew is because Matthew knows what he's doing. He spends a lot of time and energy keeping current on just this type of thing. If anyone has an opinion that is worth listening to, it's Matthew. So we go with his recommendation. We don't need a tire like LWs, but we do need one that's a whole lot tougher than what we've been using.

The bikes look pretty good with their new tires, Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase road tires. The all black tire on the all black wheel looks good, too. Toughens the look of the bikes some. And that's a good thing. The white sidewalls on the old tires were a nice touch, but they were a bitch to keep clean. And maybe they did look a bit prissy, all said. The black is definitely better.

Now it's time to go have some fun and get them dirty...