Thursday, June 11, 2009

Maybe it was the coffee and tailwind.

Recently my rides have been consisting of: short commutes to and from full time job, medium commutes to and from part time job, and 1 or 2 long rides on the weekend. Do I now qualify as a weekend warrior? Who knows.

Anywho, after reading the adventures of Mr. Cronin with these guys, I decided to build up a gravel monster ride(this frame, but roadish parts) for the Shabbos +1 we did last Sunday. I figured it'd be nice on gravel to have a more upright position, so I used a short, steep stem. After some tinkering at the beginning of the ride, I had a real comfy position. Mr, Miles, who was in attendance, mentioned that I was riding rather strong. I don't know if it was the fact that I hadn't done a long ride in quite a while so I had fresh legs, but I did feel quite plucky during the ride. I rode the gravel monster to work Monday and Tuesday, but then switched back over to my race machine yesterday. The aggressive lowered-stem position of the roadie just didn't feel right, especially standing up to sprint/climb. So I real quick switched the stem to the upright position for the ride between UNMC and High Gear in the afternoon. I WAS FLYING!! I felt more comfortable and stronger on that bike than I had for a long time. Granted, a couple hours before I had just downed an Italiano from the local Charbucks kiosk (espresso shot mixed with coffee), and I had a decent cross/tail wind.... But man I felt good.

Well it must have been the coffee and tailwind. Cause on the ride home into a slight headwind, I was nowhere near as strong. I felt comfy... until my rib muscles did a weird spasm thing a half mile from home. It was kinda like a side-ache like you get when you swim right after eating, but more like only when I breathed all the air out of my lungs. It reminded me of the crash I had in Norfolk a few years ago. Very weird.

So I like the more upright position cause I think I'm not as flexible as I used to be. And I surely don't have the core strength needed to comfortably lean over in an aero/aggressive position for hours on end. I also have been contemplating a near complete cleaning out of my bike stable. I've been working for a few years on finding the "perfect" commuter bike. Guess what I figured out? Any bike can be a perfect commuter bike. And it only took me 3 bikes to figure that out. I've said to myself after each one was done, "I've made a huge mistake." But yet I went back for more....such is the life of a bike tinkerer.

Bikes are meant to be ridden in all kinds of weather, on all kinds of terrain. If the Lincoln/Rapha guys can ride road bikes for 150 miles on gravel, so should I. Sure, some bikes are better suited to certain conditions than others. Being that the majority of my riding is on road, that's probably what my bike should tailor to. So I think I'm going to sell my commuters and just have one roadish and one mtb bike. Once parts fail on my roadie, then I'll replace with parts that are more geared toward my current riding needs. I'll run my current Bonty Race X-lite wheels into the ground and replace with something similar to these. Simple, strong, lightweight. I have no idea how long my Lemond Frame is going to last, but I do really like the Rapha guys take on bikes. A well built lightweight steel frame will replace the aluminum Lemond I current use. That's probably not going to happen for quite a few years since Lemonds are/were good bikes. So hopefully I'll be way more out of debt by the time that happens and I can actually "afford" to go for a custom hand build steel ride. Hey, maybe by then, War Axe bikes will be up and running and I can support some great local guys.

And that's enough rambling and linking for today, campers. Have a good one!


Biker Bob said...

What you really need is a fast, light, single speed, hard tail mountain bike for a bargain price of $600. And I just happend to know somebody selling one.

What are the ride plans this Sunday. I have to be home in time to get ready for 11:00 church service, but I'm available prior to that. My knee is still a bit iffy, so I wont be able to ride fast.

Biker Bob said...

BTW... I'm keeping a close eye on a frame on ebay. Trying to get a good deal on a race level frame to build up this fall/winter.

Then I'd have to save my pennies for a wheelset to put on it.

munsoned said...


Sunday ride plans may work out perfect. I'm wanting more vitamin G and more of that Dutch Hall road has yet to be explored. So we could make a nice trip up North, do some gravel, then drop you off at home by 11am. If we met/left Crane at 7am, that'd give us plenty of time to go 'splorin.

Race frame, eh? Thinking more about road racing next year? It's a ton o' fun and you're definitely strong enough to have a good showing.

Miles said...

I'd be down for Dutch Hall again if you wanted Mike. We could roll that with Bob for a while then hit Tranq for a lap or two before calling it a day. Thoughts?

Bob what size frame do you ride? I think you're too tall for anything I'm marketing but never hurts to ask.

Biker Bob said...

I think I would pass on gravel. I don't have anything set up for gravel and my MTB is all shined up for selling.

Mike, I'm riding a 58cm frame at the moment.

Scott Redd said...

I'm gonna go back and kick some Dutch Hall butt someday. Last time, it was the other way around. :)

I might have been able to make it all the way to the end, but thinking we might go back the way we came, I knew I wasn't going to be able to keep up. Coming back on the highway was a godsend, plus it gave me a feel for how the new Tricross handles on the road.

RD said...

I'm going to Norfolk Sunday but I will be up for riding Saturday. let me know