Rocket Fuel

The cardinal rule: Michael doesn’t do anything in the morning before her cup of coffee. There are rarely exceptions to the rule and it pretty much takes extraordinary circumstances to circumvent the morning routine of French press and green smoothie. So this morning, when I wanted to get out on the bikes at dawn before the heat set in (we’re in the midst of an early heat wave), it took the promise of a muffin and coffee at her favorite cafe to entice the sleepy one. Funny thing: I had to soft pedal all the way to the coffee shop, but on the way home I could hardly keep up, even with me on my Civia and her on the boat anchor Pashley Princess. The Pashley is a lovely bike, but it usually goes one speed — slow. But, add two cups of the potent rocket fuel that is French Roast, and watch out. It made me wonder, who needs EPO when you have espresso?

14 Responses to “Rocket Fuel”

  • andy parmentier says:

    espressway-bean there, don..ut

  • Alan says:

    Good one, Andy.. :-)

  • 2whls3spds says:

    No coffee, no movement from me either…

    Used to have a mug that said “No Coffee? No Workee!”


  • Ari Hornick says:

    How much does the Pashley Princess weigh?

  • Alan says:

    You know, Ari, I don’t even know (I’m afraid to check… LOL). I’d have to guess close to 45-50 lbs though…


  • Alan says:


    “No Coffee? No Workee!”

    I Likee! ;-)

  • Ari Hornick says:

    I don’t remember where I read it, but I think somebody finished 3rd or 4th in PBP on an 80 pound velomobile. I think lightness is over-rated. The Pashley is beautiful.

  • beth h says:

    If they’d let everyone drink coffee and ban absolutely everything else, bike racing MIGHT be fair again…

  • Ari Hornick says:

    If they would allow recumbents, maybe people would focus on engineering their bikes rather than their body chemistry. ;)

  • Thomas Barone says:

    I wish i could enjoy your early ride times here, — this a.m. it was 33 deg. F A great shot of java would have been nice but i would prefer an extra shot of your warm weather!!!!

  • Donald says:

    To Thomas:

    Be careful what you wish for. I rode yesterday at about 5:00 pm and it must have been 100 degrees F plus some. It was OK unless you got stuck at a light in the sun. I call it the “Warm Hug of the Sacramento Summer”. You go outside from an air conditioned space and the warmth just envelops you and gives you a big hug. (When the heat breaks it will be caused by the “Cool Kiss of the Delta Breeze”) The early mornings are nice though, in the mid 60’s. Just get your riding in before about 10:00 AM.

    Sacramento, CA

  • simon says:

    Dont knock those heavy bikes! In hilly terrain or stop start terrain the are a liability , but on flat progressive terrain, theyre often better than a lighweight. Their momentum takes them over all those lumps, bumps and gusts of winds.

    I can remember trying a rolling test with my dawes, a mates old mtb and my wifes ancient heavyweight ladies bike. We matched speeds and stopped pedalling. My mates mtb stopped dead after a few yards. The dawes rolled pretty well and went for 50 yds or so. My wifes bike made it all the way to end of the road nearly 200yds!

  • Alan says:


    Yeah, they’re plenty fast going downhill. ;-) Seriously though, we’re rarely concerned with speed, and in any case, the Pashleys are lovely bikes that are perfect for how they’re intended to be used. And as you mentioned, they do like to roll and roll; once they get up to speed, their momentum carries them along very nicely. They’re a unique experience among all the bikes I’ve owned.

  • 2whls3spds says:

    There is an annual gravity race at the ABCE Tour in MSP. Some amazing distances area achieved, the winner the year I was there took all the grease out of his bearings and substituted oil. Won by a healthy margin too.


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