Thursday, June 21, 2012

All That And A Bag Of Chips

For last week’s local group ride I decided to give it a go on my 35ish pound mountain bike turned commuter with fenders and 2.35” tires.  I’d done the group rides last year and the groups usually split into the A group and the B group and I figured I could drop back into the B group if necessary.  Also, these early season rides tend to be slower than some of the ones later in the season.

I showed up and was told I brought the wrong bike but I told them I was going to give it a try.  There were 3 other riders and probably 2 of their bikes together weighed the same as mine.  Still unfazed, I knew I’d been riding through the winter and I’d ridden and dropped the leader of the group last year.

We started off on our ride and I was able to hold my own pretty well but about ½ way through I was starting to notice the hills getting a little steeper and it was a little harder for me to hold my own.  Luckily, there was one other rider in the group that hadn’t been on a road ride – ever.  I was able to hold with the leaders for most of the ride and we would wait for the fourth rider every now and then.  Finally, the leader of the group dropped back to ride with the beginner and 2 of us went on to finish the ride.

At the end of the ride I hadn’t had my ass handed to me but I learned that my “low rolling resistance” tires “balloon tires” weren’t really any comparison for a 1” wide racing tire on a 17lb road bike.  This week I took my own 17lb bike and was able to hold my own.

Hold the chips.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Five Bikes In Five Days

Monday - Surly Cross Check, 25 miles.  This was an uneventful commute because I didn't set off the week with a 5 bikes in 5 days attitude.  To take advantage of this bike's strengths I should have taken a route that has some roads, dirt roads and light trails.

Tuesday - Scott CR1, 37 Miles. This is only the second time I’ve had this bike out so far this year.  I took the longer hilly route to work and added a few extra miles on the way home.  Since I’ve been riding my heavier bikes lately this one was a nice change, especially on the hills.

Wednesday – Bridgestone MB-3, 25 Miles.  A rainy day deserves an all-weather bike.  The ride in was extra soggy but the ride home was pretty dry.  Out of all my bikes this one probably gets the most use even though it is also the heaviest and slowest.  

Thursday – Univega Viva Sport, 29 Miles.  My old friend.  This bike could be one of my best purchases in life.  It's nearly 30 years old that can still hang with the big boys on a group ride.  It’s the energizer bunny of bikes.  

Friday – GT Sensor 1.0, around 22 Miles.  I can’t be sure because the cable to the speedo broke and I can’t estimate my trail mileage on google maps.  The trails were a little sloppy for the ride in since I can’t show up at work a mud ball.  But I decided to do them anyway to round out my 5 bikes / 5 days week.  This picture isn't from today's ride.  The bike is muddier and parked outside.

  Now for your enjoyment, 2:30 seconds of vertigo inducing heavy breathing: