Thursday, February 11, 2010

Why Green?

Why green? Well, it matches my handlebar tape, that's why! I'm rather well known for my green handlebar tape. I wish I were better known for my palmares, but hey, such is life. Back in 1990 or so, I was racing my beloved Vitus 979 frame. This was a frame that my mother and father bought for me for my 20th birthday. I had replaced the Vitus with a beautiful red and white Guerciotti in 1988.

For some reason, the Guerciotti and I didn't get along. Part of it was mental. My mother had been an instrumental factor in getting my father to purchase the Vitus. It was my first real race bike. It was a great one too. That bike was spectacular. Not too long after getting my Vitus in 1985, my mother passed away on February 11, 1986. I cherished that bike.

But, like all bike racers, we're always looking for that edge and always for a new bike. My Guerciotti was a treat to myself for my first engineering co-op. It was a beautiful bike, but as I stated before, we just never clicked. Somewhere in 1990, I picked up my Vitus, now covered with dust, and noticed it was 3 lbs lighter. So I started riding it again. I rode better, further, faster. Suddenly, I was competitive in races again. It was like magic. It was almost as if, the Vitus embodied my mother's competitive spirit.

In 1991, I got knocked into a ditch during a training ride. I survived, but the Vitus didn't. It took a few weeks to realize this sad fact. I kept having trouble cornering, and it turned out the reason was the rear triangle was bent. It was devastating!!!! I had to switch back to the Guerciotti. It was a whole 3 lbs heavier, and it didn't have Mom's mojo. I spent a few days psyching myself up to ride the Guerciotti. Part of this involved building up the bike. Somewhere along the way, I noticed that in the Guerciotti decals, there was a bit of green. Considering the bike was red and white, it seemed natural to add the green handlebar tape to round out the Italiano look.

Well, for some reason the green handlebar tape sealed the deal. The Guerciotti and I got along great! The rest of the 1991 season went well, and I even upgraded to a cat 2! Being a bike racer, the Guerciotti got replaced with a Trek the next year, but the green handlebar taped stayed. I also noticed that it helped me get picked in race finishes. You see, I'm rather small, and I tend to get eclipsed by larger riders in finish line photos, but usually my handlebars can be seen. The green stands out!

So from there on, as long as I could find it, I had green handlebar tape. For some reason, other color tapes don't work quite as well. In 2006, I switched to orange to match my new team's colors. Well, that switch (both the tape and team) turned out to be disastrous. It took a full 3 years to recover!

Every now and then I think about switching colors. The green tape doesn't match my team's new kits. It's tempting, up until the point I remember the last time I changed colors...

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