The Bikes of Bobke Strut…6

Year: 1998
Location: Somerville, NJ
Event: Pro/Am Tour of Somerville
Frame manufacturer: Specialized
Frame material: Carbon fiber
Gruppo: Sachs 8 speed

The story:
My days of steel are over. The Giordana was in shambles and I was offered a Specialized Epic frame for $50. Owned by a former Specialized rep, hardly ridden, just my size. Sold.

Yet again, I'm at the Tour of Somerville. I believe this was the last year of the classic 50 mile course, before the legendary circuit was lengthened ever so slightly to include a sharper turn designed to make the race perhaps more conducive to breakaways. Jonas Carney won that year and it was the fastest 50 miles ever raced on the streets of Somerville. If memory serves correct, Jonas barely got into the race and he raced as a one-day "guest" for the Breakaway Couriers squad. The Breakaway Couriers team manager was offering cash on the start line for anyone to give up their number. Someone finally cracked when the offer reached about $100. Jonas rapidly donned his new Breakaway Couriers skinsuit (normally he raced for Shaklee), put on his number, and delivered the goods about 1 hour, 41 minutes later.

This would be my final Tour of Somerville. Right now I'm discussing the insanity of the closing laps with my fan club. Standing in front of me (L-R) are my father, my brother, the sister of my wife's college friend, and my wife's college friend. That stout dude with the hat and shades lurking in the background is not part of my posse. My wife snapped the photo.

I wasn't really a fan of the Epic carbon frame, but it did serve me well on perhaps my favorite week of cycling ever. I spent 7 days training in Santa Rosa, totally on my own, just living in a hotel, and I rode 670 miles covering many of the roads seen in the recent Amgen Tour of California. If you read Bob Roll's book chronicling his early days with 7-Eleven, he gives enough information to map out some pretty epic rides. And ride I did...rain (lots) or shine (precious little). I would have actually rode more miles than 670, but a tempermental Achilles tendon thought otherwise. D'oh!
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