Friday, January 8, 2010

Cold Palouse ride

It's been a while since I rode 50 miles. In fact, given the lack of snow this winter, it's been way too long.

Tom, Nate, and I rode out to Rockford today via the back roads of the Palouse: about half paved and half dirt.

It was damn cold. About 20F on the way out there and about 25F on the way home.

I pinched these pictures from Nate, who has a blog that requires permission to view.

I had two sort of interesting experiences on this ride.

The first was that I finally rode an Elephant CX bike for a few miles. This was Tom's bike. It fit eerily well and was set up with sensible components (by race bike standards) that are lighter than anything I run: nice wheels for light guys, carbon forks, 105 stuff.

I really enjoyed climbing and sprinting on it. I expected to like Glen's bikes, but I wasn't expecting to be this enamored with them. I need to ruminate more on this experience, and perhaps ride the bike some more to square it with my firmly-held religious beliefs on standard tubing and low trail.

The second experience, which fell out of riding the racey-Elephant, was a thought: the Ron Van Palouse is going to be f'ing rad. Which led to the question, "could I race a 50 mile dirt-roller "road" race?"

Which led to: how would the 747 like to be stripped of its fenders and shod with 30 mm Grand Bois Cerfs? How about putting my old n'er-used-by-me Ultrega brifters on there? Maybe a lighter wheelset?

What kind of heresy is this? What's happening to me? Maybe I'm just tired and rummy from a long, cold, hard ride?

Oops. Almost forgot

The new Pedals2People shop is open. Tomorrow (Saturday) we're open 11-6! Come down and rent a stand, hang out, buy some used stuff, say hi. 1802 E Sprague.


RJ said...

John. It's okay. You can be a "racer" and a "vintage curmudgeon" at the same time. After all, that's the entire point of my blog: to prove that the same person can, IN FACT, do both.

I make nerd out on Xtracycle and folding bikes.

And I race.

I swear by wool sweaters.

And I race.

So what?

rory said...

go for it. with authority. i'm talking mavic carbone wheels, sew up models, and then the challenge paris roubaix sewup tires.

John Speare said...

RJ: it's not so much the racing that gets me (well, mentally anyway -- phsycially, that's another story...) -- but the bike stuff that freaks me out. I'm not really into vintage; I just prefer stuff (standard steel tubing, steep geometry, low trail, DT shifters, etc) that's not produced by the big bike co's.

So to be thinking about racey, brifter-y,OS tubing, high trail bikes is new and weird for me.

Rory: i rode my first pair of sew-ups the other night. About 50 feet. Wow. I thought my Grand Bois Cerfs were about the most comfortable narrow-ish (by BOB standards) tires a guy could ride. The sew-ups I rode were 23mm pumped to about 85psi. Amazing. My buddy has a good stock of sew ups and rims and the knowledge. So I'm going to investigate these further over the next few months.

Anonymous said...

John you already ride your vintage twitchy low-trail bikes like you were Lance show-boating on the Champs Elysées.

Get a mod geometry bike and you may never have to steer again!

I agree with RJ--you can have it both ways. It can be about the bike and not about the bike. Seems like a natural progression for you.

Just don't forget us Freds and curmudgeons. We're salt of the earth, man, fucking salt of the earth!