Thursday, March 15, 2012

throwing caution to the wind

With two rides in on the temporarily named singlespeed, "the frog" I'm definitely feeling the effects. I don't know if it's the usual lack of fitness left over from the winter season or just the fact that I've not been on a singlespeed in over a year but I'm definitely enjoying myself. I hit Warriors full bore yesterday, throwing caution to the wind and rode a full lap minus Rock City. Why did I skip Rock City? I'm not sure, part of me wasn't fully in tune with the singlespeed skills I think. There is more than just being able to stand up and mash a big gear over and over. Cleaning obstacles smoothly is different especially when you're used to doing so in a higher gear. With a singlespeed you have to mash your way through and sometimes do a bit of the half pedal dance. My norm is to stop at the intersections but yesterday I found myself stopping a little more, usually after a climb or somewhere halfway through the trail and then again at the end.

For the most part I cleaned everything except the sketchy rock section that dumps you into more rocks just at the base of the Boneyard climb. This one can be difficult on any bike and yesterday I just couldn't pull it off. I know I had the power to make the climb but I didn't pull off the funky transition to even start the climb so I walked it. The JET9 has definitely made me soft with all the squish. I've had so much fun on the FS that the last couple of months saw the AIR9 staying home even when I headed towards Bays Mtn. I think the last time I even rode it at Warriors was a couple of months ago when the JET was having some kind of issue. My usual, just plow through the rock garden mentality was caught off guard yesterday when I quickly realized I was riding a hardtail and needed to pick cleaner lines. I was bouncing all over the trail like drunkard.

Even with the tough start I'm feeling good and excited about the new ride. Something about a singlespeed and a steel frame puts an evil smile on my face. I hope I can refrain myself from calling other riders with gears, a bunch of sissies, especially when I have a bunch of gears and squishiness sitting at the house begging to be unleashed.

Earlier in the year I said I was going to put more focus in overall fitness and running but I'm afraid today will be another bike day. In fact if everything goes as planned I might squeeze in 2 rides.

Maybe I'll find the time to run next week.

One thing I did notice was my brakes, I moved the trusty Avid Juicy 7's to the frog and put the new Shimano XT's on the JET. Now my Juicy's are 6 years old so I'm not sure if this is a fair comparison but the Shimanos definitely have more stopping power and of course are quieter. The only downside I can find on the Shimanos is the length of hydraulic hoses, I had a rat's nest of extra hose winding around my handlebars, just to look at it made me cringe. I'm not sure why the extra length, I've never had to cut the lines down before and I lack the necessary bleed kit so I had to let the professionals at my LBS handle this one.

One other thing, the pad adjustment screw, while easy to adjust, I can't seem to tell any difference in the adjustment, the Avid's you could tell a small difference but the Shimanos, nada.

I must not be holding my mouth right when I turn the knob.

No comments: