Monday, August 15, 2011

Concessions to Modern Technology.

I like to think that I like to keep things simple. Though, sometimes in my quest for simplicity, I overcomplicate things, but that's beside the point. I like simplicity.

Take, for instance, my mountain bike. One gear, no suspension. Much like how bicycles were 100 years ago. Dependable. Very little to go wrong. Good stuff. Tri was much like bikes of yore, only a little lighter.

Was? What did I do to Tri?

Examine this artistic picture of Tri I took earlier this evening:

Can you see it?

Yep, you are correct. I added a disc brake. I figure, I have these nice wheels I built with disc ready hubs, why not put a disc brake on Tri? Of course, this does deviate from the simplicity of rim brakes, but I still have one on the rear, so if the disc up front eats itself, I still have my old reliable rim brake in the back to stop me.

Of course... to add this disc brake, I had to replace the fork, as Tri's original fork didn't accept discs. So, why not replace it with a suspension fork?

A little more of my treasured simplicity flutters out the window.

So, what's with all this, then?

Well, you may remember last year around this time, I signed up for a little mountain bike race, and proceeded to bash in a pedal. Well, I'm signed up again this year, in what is sure to be a fail of epic proportions. Once again, as it was last year, my only goal is to finish. I'm in no way prepared for this, but I'm better prepared this year than I was last year. Last year, I signed up the day before the race. This year, I'm two weeks early. Last year, I had never ridden on the trails the race takes place on. This year, I've already pre-ridden the course, and have a strategy to try to maintain my awareness. Last year I only did two laps before breaking my ride. This year... we'll see.

All of this doesn't mean I plan on doing well. My mantra last year was "Hey, I already know I'll finish last. I just don't want to slow your race!" This year, my mantra is "Well, someone's gotta bring up the rear. Might as well be me!"

Feel free to come laugh at me at the race. It's this coming Saturday, the 20'th.

So! Having updated Tri a bit this afternoon, I took him out for a test ride around Soldier's Loop, at Fort Tuthill. A test ride I decided to do at race pace. Mostly. I did stop to take some pictures of the sunset-lit clouds.

By the time I put my camera away, the color was gone.

Learning to ride with suspension is going to take some getting used to. I have a lot of habits to change. However... the disc brakes? They feel smoother, but that's about it. Other than that, I can't tell a difference.

Mileage: probably around 12 or so. (Tri's speedometer wire broke in the fork swap.)

1 comment:

DH said...

I bet you'll do great in the race, don't worry. I don't know much about bikes, but it still seems like Tri is one solid mo-fo as far as bikes go.

and as always, love them' nature photos. The Arizona skyline in you area always seems to do these really beautiful, painterly things that the DSM skyline doesn't want to. *shakesfist*