It’s ALL about the bike.

My first road bike, after the banana seat and streamers phase, was the most expensive bike in the shop. Italian-made, red steel, and with Campy parts. I spent an entire year of babysitting money to buy it. And I felt really cool on that thing.

Paul Nolan got me interested in riding even before Breaking Away came out. We’d head out early Saturday mornings and go on long rides on the country roads of Berkey, Ohio, where nary a car passed by, there was not a hill in sight, and the biggest danger were the barnyard dogs from the farms. And they were dangerous – baring their teeth, biting at the tires. Paul liked to smack ’em with his portable tire pump. I doused ’em with water. Sometimes we carried a spray bottle with ammonia. That produced a lot of great dog noises and could probably be classified as cruel and unusual. But then so was the bared teeth and biting.

When I moved to Southern California, nothing prepared me for the hills. Whereas before I could whip off a century in four hours, now I was facing brutal climbs where I couldn’t crack 10 miles per hour. Or really even 5. I hung up my bike for film school. The only riding I did was for the first film I made at CalArts, a one-minute short featuring that red Italian Torpado.

Twenty-five years later I was still riding that thing… Until I hooked up with a couple of guys for early morning training and one of them, Steve, told me I could shave 10% off my time and limit the road vibration with a new bike. Done.
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