There is a scene in the classic Jewish movie "Fiddler on the Roof". Set in an old Russian shtetl, the poor town's tailor finally acquires his much sought-after, hard worked-for sewing machine. The sewing machine draws the delight and excitement of not only the tailor for all it will allow him to do, but also draws a special blessing from the revered Rabbi, whom wishes that the Almighty will allow the tailor to derive joy, pride, and expected benefits from his beloved new purchase.
I feel the similar sentiments with my new bike.
In fact, I even received a similar blessing for my new Giant TCR-C2 Composite from my father-in-law; black hat and all. Much like the tailor's sewing machine, this bike was a worthy budget-stretcher. If you know about this bike, you're response is anything from "man, I've heard awesome things about that bike" to "yeah, you and like ten thousand hundred other riders out there - bet you're a big Team Columbia fan, eh?". Well, I am indeed a Columbia fan, especially of Mark Cavendish and Andre Griepel, but more so the mere fact that this bike is indeed awesome.
True to form, the Giant carbon is not only great bang-for-the-buck value, but the ride is incredible. Giant, along with Look, are the only manufacturers who source their own carbon fiber. The bike has a feel which is not only light, fast, and comfortable, which is typical of carbon frames, but also a unique characteristic of confidence and stability. Not only is it a great climbing and sprinting bike, and a comfortable all-day rider as well, but it's true brilliance shines as the bike tracks beautifully through high speed descents and maneuvers. With an Easton SL50sc wheelset, Shimano Ultegra shifters and derailleurs, and Fizik Alliante Ti saddle, this bike is all about fast.
Also, this bike is from The Bike Rack in Washington DC. The Bike Rack is an incredible shop which is new to the DC cycling scene, but has done more than any local shop to reach out to and embrace the local racing scene, from their cyclocross team for whom I race for, to their road and triathlon teams, to their rides and classes for all levels of recreational cyclists. They were patient and attentive in helping me select this bike, masterfully built it, and did a great job of fitting my complicated body measurements to the Giant's tricky geometry. If you live in the Washington DC region, I highly recommend this shop (check 'em out: www.bikerackdc.com). They are friendly, very knowlegable, extremely charismatic and fun, and they have dogs in the shop. What more can you ask for?
And as for me, I'm ready to reap the possibilities of this awesome new bike. Speed, fun, and a technically beautiful bike - sounds like "simcha and nachas" to The Complete Jewish Cyclist.