Volunteering at the Cascade Bicycle Club Expo

It has been a Super-Saturday! I got up this morning for a 14.5 mile run.

I didn’t bring any gels or fuel with me on this run because I ran out and forgot to buy more. This was not an ideal decision. I maintained a decent pace the whole time, but I started feeling pretty depleted by the end of it. I do believe that it is occasionally beneficial to train in a glycogen depleted state; however, I also believe that improper fueling is a one-way ticket to injury-city. It is also far preferable to end your runs feeling like a fast gazell, as opposed to someone who just got trampled by a gazelle.

After a much-needed bowl of oatmeal I headed out to get my hair trimmed. I’m including a gratuitous selfie to document the occasion because this is probably the nicest my hair will look all year. There is no way I am going to start making time in my life for blow-drying.

Next I headed to the waterfront to volunteer at the Cascade Bicycle Club‘s annual Expo. The Cascade Bicycle Club is an awesome organization: they put on several big group rides (I did a half-century with them), they advocate for bike-friendly policies, they offer educational courses, AND they give out free bananas on bike-to-work day. I was amped to help them out and scope some of the deals.

The expo was held in the Cruise Ship Terminal. There were a ton of vendors with booths and bonus water-views.

There was entertainment, courtesy of the Bellevue Mountain Bike Club.

One of the coolest parts of the Expo was a classic bike gallery. Are these historical artifacts or works of art? Is there a difference?

My job at the expo was to help with the photo contest. I handed out ballots to select the “People’s Choice” award winner. There were so many great photos on display, it was hard to pick a favorite.

I cast my vote for this print. I love how the shot is composed.

I showed a remarkable degree of self restraint and did NOT walk out of there with a brand-new carbon-fiver bicycle that I cannot afford. I did, however, get the inside scoop on a Bianchi Via Nirone in my size and price range. 
I’m going to sleep on the decision, but I’d love some advice! Friends, Gear-heads (ahem…Paul and Laurie): A Bianchi bike for a commuter/triathlete/occasional tourer? Yea or Nay? I know the real answer is: 3 bikes, but on a grad student stipend that is sadly not in the cards.

3 thoughts on “Volunteering at the Cascade Bicycle Club Expo

  1. Hi Sam! Ooooo….new bike in your future! I have come to the conclusion that the most important consideration in buying a bike is simply how comfortable it is. Of course, there are a million tweaks that a good bike fitter can do with any frame to make it “Sam Specific.” But the goal is to find a great bike and then NOT spend $500 on “upgrades” to make it fit better. One thing I have noticed with a better fitting bike is that the ride is much more intuitive — I actually have to be more careful to hold my line because the bike jumps when I just think about making it move. That is what you want! A bike that is as sensitive as a horse!

    A properly fitted bike should take you there. I would try many different bikes once you get your “general” size. There is a lot of controversy about aluminum vs. steel vs. carbon vs. titanium. But without a good fit, the frame material does not make any difference, nor do the components. I spend years with a great bike that was about an inch too long in the top tube. Although technically it was “my size” I guess I just have stubby arms.

    So, my comments are not terribly helpful, I'm afraid. Ride lots of bikes, talk to the bike store people but remember they can be wrong(!), and trust your intuition.

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  2. I have known a couple people who were quite happy with their Bianchi bikes, so I think they do have quality bikes. I looked at their website to see if I could offer any advice about this specific model. Is this frame aluminum? I believe that the general thought is that aluminum is great for shorter rides, but not as comfortable once you start the longer tours.

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