The 2009 Veloforma F1R: Hot White Sex on Wheels
Forgive me, Sante Pogliaghi, for I have sinned.
I know. I know that steel is real. I know that you spent all those many years in your shop making the most beautiful bikes known to man. I know that you are infinite and great. I still love you. I still bow my head. I still think about you almost every single night. My obsession is intact.
But I’ve found carbon.
And I am not ashamed.
Last year I rode the Damocles and opened Pandora’s Box. I tried to forget. I tried to move on. To go back.
But it stuck with me. The warp speed. Mach ten for 6 blocks up Clinton. So I gave in. I caved.
The Veloforma F1R arrived early in the week and I expected it to be black. I’m not sure why, I guess that I’d seen a picture of the previous year’s model.
It wasn’t black. It was shiny white. Like all the bikes of my dreams. Like roadie-heaven. White-lightening, shocking in its audacity. The color of innocence dipped in speed. It came out of the truck and into my hands and it gleamed. It might have even glowed.
It’s been 8 years now with Nonna – her blue and orange aluminum frame giving me all the road vibration I could handle. I love her, I swear. I’ll always love her. But she was rough with me. You know it and I know it. She is ten years old and tired.
The Veloforma is gentle. Smooth. Giving the feeling of the road to me like a soft suggestion, not a forced march.
And, oh, but she climbs. She wants to go uphill, though I never do. She convinces me – I’ll follow her anywhere.
I had good legs on the maiden voyage and maybe it was just the excitement of the new bike but either way, we flew. I felt strong and tall and smaller and faster than I actually am. I climbed and stood and sat and pushed and marveled.
Two point five hours and I felt like I’d just left the house. Three point five hours and my body was singing praises. Worshipping at the altar of tubeless Hutchinson road tires on DA wheels. Raising hands up to the sky and singing SRAM Force!!! Chanting in a fever: carbon carbon carbon.
Home after almost four point five hours and I sat with Sal, quietly stunned. Borderline angry. So that’s what I’ve been missing? And no one urged me? No one grabbed my arms and shook me and said Girl! What are you doing!?
I’m not saying it’s only about the bike. I’m not saying you can’t go win stuff and ride hard on your well-loved older frame. You can, and you probably will. I’ll still be impressed when you fly by me – promise.
But I’ll also be sitting there with a shit-eating grin enjoying the feeling of Hot White Sex on Wheels. Ten years worth of technological catch-up, all in one fell swoop.
This bike, she sings. She glides and careens. She’s optimistic and willing and ready. Snappy. Fresh.
I could not have hoped for a better maiden voyage – the Veloforma crew flying out on country roads and sailing over rollers. A pack of riders that looks out for each other. When we roll, we roll together. When we’ve got a pony off the back, we go help.
The girls came sliding up next to me all day long to get reports.
“How’s the bike?”
“It’s a whole new universe.”
I did not expect to be so impressed. “It’s just a tool.” I told myself as I rolled out. It’s just a tool, I am the engine. I didn’t think it would affect me so much.
I was wrong. And, frankly, I’m sort of stunned. And wildly impressed.
And giddy. I’m goddam giddy.
Welcome to the stable, baby. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
I took some shots of her after our first religious ride together. She’s a little grubby, but it’s all in a day’s work.