Built in 1999 in a small shop in Italy with classic European cyclocross geometry, this lugged steel beauty turned heads everywhere. Light, quick and nimble, it accelerated and cornered like a Formula 1 race car. It was much more bike than I was rider, but I loved giving it all I had.
Almost immediately, I shed the Ultegra drivetrain to convert to singlespeed, the perfect home for both of us. I loved riding it so much that I mounted 35 mm slicks on a spare wheelset, so I could commute on it regularly. I even spun it on a lap at a mountain bike race, the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo. But, true to its roots, its strength was cyclocross, which I raced in Colorado and later a little bit in South Dakota when we moved north to the Black Hills. Boy, was it fast.
|The Torelli carried me the length of the 109 mile Mickelson Trail at least once each year since 2006,
including a 218 mile Edgemont-to-Deadwood-to-Edgemont up-and-back ride in 2011.
|Crossing the finish at the inaugural 110 mile Gold Rush, finishing Third Place Singlespeed (out of 3).
The differences between the Torelli and the Black Mountain are stark. As I rode more and more longer distance, I rode the Torelli less and less until, finally, I wasn't riding it much at all. On the rare occasion I rode it a few miles to work, it felt twitchy, not responsive, and wandering, not nimble. I realized that the only time I would really enjoy riding that bike would be at cyclocross races, which I just didn't do much anymore.
|My final photo of the Torelli, shortly before leaving for its new home.
He will inject new life into this classic and both will be better for it. I certainly was.