I've been of the blog circuit b/c I, well, have been off the blog circuit. The Tour's been interesting, but I don't think today's Ventoux drama was worth 2 weeks of extremely boring racing at the start. The good wife and #2 were at camp this past week, so #1 and I were men of the house. We made supper a couple nights (steak and later italian) and helped my mom some on her kitchen project. Because I was single parenting, I didn't have tiem for substantial days of mileage, so I used the week to take short, controlled rides in the parks (to stay close to home), so I decided to use it as "Bike Week", and ride different bikes, since I have several (so many?). Here are some brief thoughts:
On the first day of Bike Week I got very little riding in. #1 and I took the bikes out, I on the LHT, for an errand. I've done more miles on the LHT than on any other bikeh the last few years. I like the set-up right now quite a bit, although I've thought more than once of buying a longer stem, like one of these from VeloOrange. The other recent change on the LHT is that I have a non-generator hub on right now. I decided to do so for the Mixed-Terrain a bit back and since I'm not doing much night riding, I've kept it on with its montrous Serfas 2". Once school starts I'll certainly switch back. Writing about this Saturday, I have no remembrance of where we went, but we went somewhere. Now I remember; we rode the bikes to Ramsi's to meet some other fellows for lunch.
I did the 19.8m loop that I would another time during the week. I warmed up via Casselberry and entered the park via Chauffers' Rest. I then went towards Seneca and up Old Cannons to connect to some St. Matthews roads before returning to the Seneca Loop for a lap. Then it was towards Cherokee and a bit of climbing before heading home via Millvale. I took the RB-1, having gotten in back from LithoDale. The only change I made on the return was to put some 700x28c Gatorskinz on there. After riding lots of fat tyres, the 28c looks sort of skinny, but not as skinny as the 23c's on there. My first ride on the race-oriented RB-1 a bit ago was more difficult than Tuesday's. I could definitely feel a difference in the sprightliness of the ride as compared to my Bleriot or LHT. Actually I'm pretty happy for the RB-1 as a once-a-week "fast" bike. With so many rides in the 12-13mph range, it was nice to add a few more mph to that.
I continued the Bike Week's pattern with an afternoon ride in the pouring rain on the Blueridge. I did the same exact loop as Tuesday, with the Chauffer's Rest Hill thrown in for good measure. The Blueridge is wearing fenders right now, which helped, and of course the titanium isn't supposed to rust. If the RB-1 has me in full "racer" position, the Blueridge as me a bit higher up, but I still ride in the hoods alot and maintain a lower position than, say, on the Bleriot. There are 2 things I really like about the Blueridge. First is that I'm charmed by the Pasela 35cm on there. They're a great tire and I wouldn't mind if any of my other bikes wore them. The other is that I think the butt/saddle interface is actually more comfy on the BR than any of the others. The B-17 is nicely broken in and for some reason, the angle just works.
After Thursday off, I chose another set of wheels for Friday's ride, in this case with a colleague from work. We set off early on Friday, I on the Crosscheck, which was seeing its first work since the North Dakota trip. Having no real idea of my colleague's level, I designed a route that went downtown and took in a bit of the Riverwalk. I ascertained that she strong enough so we then looped back up RiverRd. to the Indians Hills area and linked up to Seneca on the return and a total of 26m. Compared to the RB-1 and BR both, the Crosscheck felt cramped, but that befits a 'cross frame instead of a pure road frame. Right now the CC is also carrying the heavy Vittoria Rando tire, but they inspire confidence that flats will be unlikely. Although the CC wouldn't be my century choice, it is a quick, efficient, battle-trod bike for the city, or the cross course.
Friday was further enchanced by a first, the first mt.bike ride for #1. He, his neighborhood friend and I set off for Cherokee to give both boys their first taste of real mtbiking. #1 rode is own KHS quasi-mtbke. It's too small for him but it's the only option at present. I rode the C'Dale Caffeine 29-er and 'J' rode my singlespeed Redline Monocog. We did the Cherokee loop, with our total ride time of just a bit short of 2 hours. I was very, very pleased that they did a good job all in all on the trails. 'J' was limited to SS, but he's a strong little guy (he's entering high school but isn't the biggest freshman I've ever seen- strong though) and pretty daring, so he made good work of most of the obstacles. #1 was a bit "cautious"-his own word- but he didn't suffer any calamities and rode well. The only thing I fussed at both of them for was first, to get off the saddle and get the weight back. After about half the ride they started doing that. The other was that #1 kept riding in slightly too big a gear and it hurt his transitions, but he ignored me, as sons often do. I had a pretty easy time on the 29-er. I definitely noticed an improvement in overall fitness (though not weight), so some of the climbing came easier. I think a bit of the testostarone kicked in, b/c I found myself very confident on some portions as a means to show the boys the best lines, etc. It was a great afternoon and I'll definitely drag them out again. #1 said he definitely had fun, but that it was also "exhausting". And that's great. I did do one small portion of the trail on the Redline. Even with that short portion, I really think that bike is the best for what Cherokee offers. Its tight frame and wheelbase make for the twisty trails and the stiff frame make for adequate climbing. The only prob is that either the left pedal or BB is near death, so it's something that needs near immediate attention. I intend to take another trail ride next week with the updated Redline. Zippy indeed.
So if you include 'Bike Week' as being from Sat to Fri, then those 7 days encompassed 6 rides on 6 different bikes- 1 RBW road bike, 1 classic steel road, 1 titanium nee-tourer, 1 'cross set up for road, 1 suspended mtbike, and 1 SS mtbike. Quite an array, but I'm glad to have gotten time of each. And no ride included the Quickbeam or 'bent. Guess those will have to get workouts this week as well.