Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shorts or pants?

That's the question that was in my head all day. It was just warm enough that cranking up hills made me wish for shorts, but coasting down long stretches made me glad I opted for pants.

Early yesterday, I decided that since today was going to be sunny with little wind, I was going to take Tri out for a nice long shakedown ride. Then, as I was leaving work, I decided to go for a cruise out towards Lake Mary, and see how the new shoulder/bike lane they put in was. (For those that don't know, Lake Mary Road had a narrow/non-existent shoulder most of the way out from town to the lake.) My plan was to turn around when I stopped casting a shadow, which I held to. I turned around halfway up Lower Lake Mary.

Yeah, I didn't plan on riding that far... which made me wonder how I was going to feel about riding today.

Well, I felt pretty good, because I took Tri out today on a nice long shakedown. I decided to push myself, which in turn would push the bike. Boy was I wrong... Tri kicked my butt on the hills. On the list of things to do include lower gearing. But that aside, Tri is a very fun bike, and by the time I got to the Cosnino tunnels, I had defined what a singlespeed mountain bike was to me.

Long periods of self-inflicted torture, with a reward of short moments of intense bliss.

I'll break that down: "Long periods of self-inflicted torture," Those are hills. Especially steep ones. And the further along the ride you are, the longer and steeper the hills. "with a reward of short moments of intense bliss." This is a bit trickier, and involves coasting down hills. The cresting of the hill, after cranking up one side of it means two things: One, I can sit down. Two, I can coast. And the feeling of those two things after a long grind uphill, as well as no chain slap, then hitting the bottom and carrying momentum up the next hill, and not having to worry about the rear derailler auto shifting, or the chain bouncing off the ring... it's a great feeling.

Anyways... I would call today a great ride. Out to Cosnino along my usual route, then along the base of Mt. Elden, then home via Lower Oldham Trail and McMillian Mesa. It's the first time in a while that I've been really tired at the end of a long ride.

Fisher point... so far so good.

WAAUUGH! On a side note, new Fat Cyclist jersey!

The Peaks from near Cosnino, with a bit of snow still on Humphrey's.


Mileage: 42.9

Friday, November 13, 2009

Successful test ride!

Normally I avoid riding in the rain when I can, especially offroad. However, if I need to, I usually take Bi, because he has fenders. Today, I went on a joyride in the rain, both on and off road, on a bike with no fenders.

And I had fun.


Let me introduce you to Bi's brother Tri:
It's like Bi, only naked!

Yup, finally built my single speed 29'er mountain bike. Identical frame and fork as Bi's, (hence the name, and you might remember when I got it at the bike fair.) and a 34 x 18 drivetrain, with a Surly chainring and cog, with Raceface cranks. Avid brakes make it all stop. For the time being, I'm keeping it full rigid, but if I find a good deal on a 29'er suspension fork (and can afford it) I'll give it some boing up front.

In order to build it, the parts that weren't 29'er or geared specific got pulled off the B-52. My plan is to eventually build Henry around the Giant frame, thus making for a lighter packmule.

But, in the end, my damp test ride was a success. Everything worked wonderfully, and the trail wasn't so muddy that it got all over the place. My jacket was sticking to my arms by the time I got home, but I was happy. I like this bike.

Totally unrelated, here's a sunset from a Friday night ride with TC a few weeks ago.

Mileage: 6.9