Monday, June 15, 2009

Pre-24hr Firetower Excursion

The last time I rode to the Firetower was last summer. Rodd and I did the route from town on our 'cross bikes. Our eyes shook around in our heads a fair bit. We were mentally tired at the end more than anything else. Riding the skinny tires required extreme vigilance. It was fun.

On Sunday Rodd, Greg, Candace, Pascal and I headed out for the ride at 9. It was the first glorious summer-like day I've been out for a ride on this year. Its was spectacular. My Niner shares a few things in common with my 'cross bike, being both 700c rimmed and rigid. However the extra inch of tire on the ground, tubeless no less, makes the world of difference. The bike was in its element, smooth, responsive and efficient. Sure, I bottomed rocks to my front rim a few times, but that's what sealant is for isn't it! If you plan to ride a rigid bike fast, tubeless tires go a long way. Better traction, lower rolling resistance, lighter and harder to flat. Messy too! The Stan's rims are proving superior to the UST Mavics I've used. I love Mavic, but Stan's beadlock simply works better. They are also incredibly strong for the weight. I'm glad I trusted friends who swear by them and gave them a try. 

Le Niner Magic Carpet Ride (MCR)
We confirm our hands are still there, under a tall tree
I treated the group to one of my pairs of see-through shorts. The new team clothing won't arrive a moment too soon; these things have been way too revealing!
Candace is about to pass Pascal and Greg through the middle. No prisoners!
We crossed paths with Anna and her friend Marie-Helene on route. Rodd didn't take a photo of their hommes, Neil and Matt when we encountered them later on. Weird.
Ah, there's Rodd.

Our ride was both eventful and uneventful; in other words, it went swimmingly. We enjoyed a few blazing downhills, had a few close calls on turns and generally had a good time. We ended up with 80-85k all told, riding a total of about 4.5 hours. Aside from a flare-up of a chronic cramp for Greg, I think we were all riding at levels we were happy with. All of us are racing the 24hr this weekend, so we wanted to give our legs a good working on the climbs. Glad to say I think we all needed more climbing that we encountered to really put the hurt on. This bodes well for the weekend. 

We struck a plan to ride the Parkway on Wednesday night and attempt to rip our legs off. The idea will be to warm up at the usual pace, then commence leg and lung torture on Pink. Hitting each climb at the limit should get us just where we need to be for Saturday. We'll incorporate an extra loop into the ride to make the ride a little longer. It'll be paved. We'll meet at the gate at 6:30. So near to the Solstice, it'll be light past 9. What a treat!


Andrew Schwab said...

My fork! I practically sponsored this post, given the origins of your cross bike, assuming you were speaking about the Pinarello. Although, thinking about it, you were more likely speaking about your Surly. So nevermind.

the original big ring said...

Can't make this weeks ride, unfortunately. If I don't see you folks before Solstice, good luck to you all !


Andy said...

I'll be there trying not to get my ass dropped tomorrow night. Looks like the last nice weather for a couple of days so I won't mind being destroyed. :)

the original big ring said...

I changed my mind, I'll be there to go deep into the hurt locker.

Wait for me at the top of the climbs!

the original big ring said...

I changed my mind again. I just got off the bike and my wrist is f*cked. I had a crash on Sunday and it must have messed it up. Booooo.

Next week for sure. Have a good one.

Matt Surch said...

Andrew, yes, I was speaking about the Surly. I haven't been on the Pinarello for a while. Its a joy to ride. The rigid fork will be put to good use this weekend at Albion. Then I'll cast it aside and install my new Fox wunderfork! It'll be nice having the option to swap. BTW, you have credit for your fork at the shop. They wouldn't let me steal it from you.

Craig, we missed you tonight. However, it was as if you were there in spirit, as we laughed over your latest posts. With you, not at you. Seems like the lollipop was the key to your success. Perhaps you should arrange to have that occur before every race?

the original big ring said...

too sticky!