You wouldn't know it by reading this blog, but I do still ride a bit. I don't have a lot to say about my riding, because I feel like I've said it all before a few times. And I'm not in the mindframe of late to talk about policy stuff. So that pretty much leaves gear discussion for the time being.
Lately, I've been into the mountain bike. It's a fall/spring thing I guess. Glen told me a couple weeks ago that he had some tires for me. I finally picked them up today: they are Schwalbe tires -- Rock Razors - 650Bx 2.35".
I've only got one High Drive ride on them so far, but I immediately noticed the cushy volume difference compared to the 2.10" Maxxis I had on there before. I liked the Maxxis, but I was drifting a bit too much on the wet trails this past weekend and was looking for a bit more grip as the moisture settles in for the season.
You can see the big honking knobbies on the edges of tire -- this is what Glen liked about them and after an hour of farting around on the wet trails, I can see his point. As noted, I also really appreciated the volume - they've got reasonably soft sidewalls for a mountain tire, and I like that. The center has a bunch of small knobbies -- sort of Thunder Burt-ish, but a bit bigger and more spaced out, knobbie-wise. So they roll good-enough on smooth trails and pavement.
Take note of the sparkly white bike. That's not just picture-clean. That's the new John... Glen sort of busted my ass about wanting a white mountain bike since I'm not known for fastidious (or any) post-ride wipe downs. But that's the old John. The White Elephant will always be white. Disclaimer: the new John approach to post-ride fussery does not extend to other bikes btw... that's just too much work.
Fenders went on the Legolas. And by fenders, I mean a rear fender and a front coroplast fender. This is a temporary state. I sold the Purple Elephant to fund the parts for the incoming stock NFE. When the new NFE comes along, the Legolas will go back to normal mode. Great bike. Notice the platform pedals on there. That's another gear change that I'll discuss in a future post. It's a big change for me.
The sharp observer will notice that the orange saddle pack is becoming the standard tool bag on my bikes. It's a cheap, just-big-enough solution for carrying the basic tools/tube. I like it because it's tiny and holds tight to the bottom of the saddle and doesn't encourage me to bring the kitchen sink, which I am wont to do with my previous solutions.
This bag change has actually been precipitated by my saddle changes. I'm done with Brooks. I have one on my beater bike, but otherwise -- I've decided not to care about saddles. I want cheap and plastic. And it's liberating. The saddles on the Legolas and the White Elephant are both XLC -- which is the cheap knock-off Seattle Bike Supply house brand. I dig them.