A Craig's List trophy find, an aluminum-framed Specialized, got me through two more English centuries -- but while daughter Laura and I were riding the Firecracker 100 (the 50 km option) the frame cracked near the rear wheel bracket.
So, for the first time in several years, I hit the road on Old Faithful. Enjoyed viewing the multiple layers of clouds, the way patches of sunlight brought out the colors on the mountains, etc. Turns out that this bike is a creature of the piedmont, rather than of the mountains. It's lighter than my hybrid Bianchi -- but subtracts two gears from the lower end, and adds them to the higher end. I could really travel going downhill, but uphill was more of a struggle.
Which one will I use for organized rides? Stay tuned!