Happy 23rd birthday to our Bertrand bike
The Bertrand bike has been very, very good to us.
You only have to buy one really good road bike (and then stop listening to bike advertising and marketing BS), and ride happily ever after.
This approach to life assumes the standard 3-bike collection: a road bike, mountain bike, city bike. This is the minimum: a touring bike, a rain bike, a cargo bike, a unicycle, a Bixi, etc can all add to the fun and utility to be had from cycling.
No bike wheel lasts forever, and here are the original specs, and the parts we have changed on the Bert.
the bike began as a full campy chorus on a custom measured columbus slx frame of the 1988 specs. The frame is hand built steel in what is described as classique 1980s TdF style. This is before the materials revolution that brought us fancy aluminum alloys and bikes made from plastique.
both wheels (3rd set) (presently ultegra/open pro), Back wheels and me don't have long-term relationships
rear derailleur - now a ultegra long cage
gearing: since I ride hillz, it's a mountain bike cassette
tires (700x25 tuff-tires preferred so I can ride ANY road)
bike computers, presently a nice little cateye wireless
SPD pedals - so I use one pair of shoes for all riding.
Parts that need changing include:
rear wheel (hub and rim)
brake cable housing (its been 23 years chris')
What annoys us?
the bike's finish could be better. A lot better.
seat post should be a little more adjustable.
Shifter is a bit slippy.
I eat back wheels.
What do we love the most.
Point this bike down any road and ride!
Most memorable bystander comment
at the 80 km point in a 100 mile ride (aka a century ride) I was really slacking off in the pedalling department, and a kid (around 10 years old) outside a house in the country shouted at me to "Ride that bike!!!"
You can easily see that the bike isn't set up for pure speed anymore. It is set up for adventure... and fun! It has given back to me more fun than anything else in life. This has substantial value in the quality of life department.
Best ride ever
too many to count, Quebec is a terrific place to ride. Here's some favorites
St-Jean-de-Matha / Sainte-Emilie-de-l'Energie / Ste-Beatrix in northern lanaudiere
St-Alexis-des-Monts to Hotel Lac Sacacomie
Jay Peak loop from Sutton
Any variation of a ride around the Chateauguay Valley (Haut-St-Laurent) (2 dozen)
Any variation of a ride around the MRC Maskinongé on this side of Trois Rivieres (a dozen)
Chemin Craig/Gosford Appalachian ride - an amazing area for riding.
OK, we like hills.
Rides we still have to do:
Montreal -> Quebec city