Kristian House has a new toy for winter in Austin: a steel Condor Tempo single speed bike.
The Dude said: "I want something that isn't too aggressive; I spend my life on the drops so I don't need to be aero to get some milk."
We play up our jealousy of Kristian's annual pilgrimage to a state famous for Lance Armstrong, Davy Crockett, the Battle of the Alamo and warmer, drier weather. It has been known to snow and for the weather to dip below freezing, so a wider, grippier tyre and a steel frame feel more planted on tricky terrain. And if he was to fall from his steed, then a knock to steel is easy to assess and repair.
"Winter is an important time as it helps you get your mind back on track. I want to goof around when I'm not training and sometimes it's nice just to cruise."
The Tempo was just the ticket: made from steel, with a taller head tube, slightly longer wheel base, and curved rear stays, which all aid comfort out on the road - meaning the perfect machine for Kristian's joyrides from Long Creek to Sunset Valley, back in time for a beer in Old West Austin.
Just in case the weather decides to turn wet, there is clearance for a full length mudguard and wider tyres. We don't expect that to happen too often, but it's nice to know that he won't get his Rapha Jeans mucky if he pops out to the local steak house.
The frame allows for wider tyre clearance (up to 28c) for better grip on mucky roads, gravel and a touch of mud - or in Kristian's case a winding ranch farm track made from sand. "Single speed or fixed is perfect in the winter. It helps technique and pedalling style. It's always good to go back to basics and with one gear you can never really go too fast, especially if you choose smaller gearing. You have to be smooth and steady, which helps with recovery."