Tuesday, August 16, 2011

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.

Bike history
No bike wheel lasts forever, and here are the original specs, and the parts we have changed on the Bert.

original bike
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)
handlebar tape
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!!!"

Bike Philosophy
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


At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love your blog (it is one of the great resources for cycling in and around Montreal. A couple of days ago, I biked from Montreal to Saint Jerome. I followed directions from a friend which, once we passed through Laval, included going west on blvd Ste Rose, then North on 117 to Cote Saint Louis, then east to rejoin the bike path enroute to Saint Jerome. Is there a better route (i.e less traffic/cars) by which we can avoid the highways? thanks & all the best, Andrew

At 6:19 PM, Blogger Cycle Fun Montreal said...

the route verte goes east from where you turned west on Ste-Rose. It very indirectly meets the bike path along the train tracks at cote st-louis. Look for signs. this is the only weakness to an excellent route to the north of Montreal.

At 7:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the additional info. Now that I'm 'emboldened' by the Montreal-Saint Jerome bike ride, I have started searching your archives for a similar biking trip to the south (Monteregie, I guess) of about 50-60 km.

Thanks again for a great biking resource,

At 6:02 AM, Blogger Victor Chisholm said...

23 years for your bike: that's fantastic! I think you ought to give your bike a birthday present of a Montreal-Quebec ride along the Chemin du Roy. One day? Two days? Three or more days? You choose!

Thanks for your blog--I enjoy your posts, the general updates on cycling you provide, and the suggestions for future rides.


Post a Comment

<< Home