Criterium Corner with Euro Freddie


I would like to begin this month by replying to some of my Eagle reader’s mail. In answer to the letter dated 12/29/97... Why, thank you very much. In response to a letter dated 1/20/98... Yes, emphatically yes, and really, wouldn’t the world be a better place for it? From a letter dated 1/22/98, my only comment is, this poor misguided soul probably owns a bicycle outfitted with Asian fishing reel components. And finally, from the perfumed letter dated 2/14/98, by a reader who spells her name with a “y” instead of an “i”... Well, only if you promise to wear nothing but Sidis!

For the rest of this month’s column, I would like to cover some indoor training tips. So you are dejected because the weather is not fit for man nor beast? Being stuck on rollers need not be totally mind numbing. Actually, with the right shift in perspective, this situation could result in one of your best rides yet! Just think about it... Your two most favorite possessions, your bike and your bike’s tools, can both be involved in the convenience of your own home. First off, let’s take the Campagnolo crank bolt spanner. Now when Chris Boardman is burning down the circumference of a set of rollers while rehearsing for another hour record attempt, what tool do you think he reaches for? That’s right, but not to wrench down a loose crank arm, no, for Chris needs refueling, and this beloved tool performs beautifully as a peanut butter knife.

Now a Campy Record hub dust-cap remover makes a glorious nut cracker, and the famous Campy T-Wrench, with a little practice, will pit olives and cherries with aplomb. Be creative, and even if you have the misfortune of owning a tool manufactured by an Asian fishing reel firm, take heart, as I have found a use for it -but PLEASE, don’t ever allow a fishing implement near your food or mouth! My faithful old set of Cinelli rollers don’t have leveling feet, and if the floor is uneven, such a “tool” will save ruining a folded paper napkin for a shim. However, even here, one should exercise caution, and limit this use to the front legs only, as the “tool” could snap when you get out of the saddle to sprint (rather like the million+ Altus, Acera and Alivio crank sets which are presently being recalled by this very company for crank arm failure).

So keep a fertile cycling mindset and champion the doldrums. Let me hear what tricks your own favorite tool can perform. Until next month... Bon Appetit -Euro Freddie.

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