Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What's good about a 4 mile climb...

A four mile descent, duh. I finally got out for a ride this morning. Took the cross bike down to Five Brooks and climbed Stewart Trail to the ridge top and then headed back home. The climb up Stewart trail is a 4.1 mile climb to Fir Top at the top elev. 1324 feet. The 34/27 gearing on the cross bike is perfect for the climb, but totally inadequate for the climb back if one (me) decides to ride over the top to the Pacific Ocean. Hence the reason, I turned back at the top.

After missing out on riding the previous two beautiful, perfectly clear (read cold) days, I quit making excuses and just went for a ride. It was overcast and a little drizzly. It was also 50 degrees at 9:00 instead of 35 which made for a much more comfortable ride.

For the past several weeks, the only bike I've ridden is one of my fixed gear bikes. It was a very odd feeling hopping on a freewheelin' bike after a bunch of time on a fixie. My legs didn't want to stop turning the pedals and as I was coming to a spot where I would be needing to slow/stop, I could feel each of my legs working against the other trying to stop the bike with back pedal pressure. I kept thinking the bearings in my D/A cranks were shot, but it was just me (after hopping off the bike and spinning the cranks). Took about 1/2 hour to absolve myself of that fixie feeling.

I'm sporting 38c WTB InterWolf tires on my cross bike and at 55-60psi, they feel really smooth on the road - almost like tubulars. I'm really liking the feel and comfort of larger volume tires on the road. There is something about the smoothness that almost makes you feel like you are floating. Wonderful feeling. I wish so many road riders weren't so hung up on 23C tires blasted to 120psi. They would like their bikes so much better with 25C (or even 28C) tires at a reasonable pressure. Great way to transform an uncomfortable riding bike. The problem is that most modern "racing" bikes barely have clearance for 25C tires, but I digress.

As I was saying, the climb up Stewart Trail was perfect. I like climbing and really like climbing in the conditions today - damp trail, some sections a little slippery, diffused light, near absolute quietness (except for the birds and the running water). Decided to bring the camera in case there were some photo ops. Guess there were.

(What's playing: Bob Dylan Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine) from Blond on Blonde)