Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Great Rides, Gear Issues and beauty on the road ...

Sometimes, those of us who love to ride get rewarded for putting up with all the rain and crappy weather with a really sweet run of perfect weather. I got in a whole bunch of riding over the week since the Stewart Super Six Pack, especially this past Memorial Day weekend.

Holiday Weekends ... is there anything better?

In fact, since Thursday I've been out for at least 15 miles off road or 40 miles on the road every day except Sunday morning, when I got out for a 20 mile road ride with Joanna (her first time on the bike in almost a year!) That was a lot of fun, and she did a great job -- fell right back into the flow of the ride. The only thing she was missing was miles in her legs. That'll come with time!

On Monday morning, I got out for a loop with Tim & Craig at Wissahickon. I figured it was as good a time as any to try my new set-up -- my new seatpost cage mount:

and bottle cage:

And also my "Awesome Strap" for holding spares tubes:

In short ... it didn't work. The Awesome Strap has been working on my road bike very well for a while now. I think I need to dial it in on the mountain bike, though -- the tube itself is too wide and the tube slid out of the strap on the first rocky descent. And so did the bottle. Not cool. I figure the Awesome Strap just needs some adjustments, but I don't know what to do about the bottle cage. After I tried to get it re-dialed, the cage started sliding down and hitting the rear tire. I'm going to have to figure this one out. The bigger problem is a simple oversight by the bike manufacturers: it's really hard to find a small frame that can accommodate more than one bottle cage. I understand why this is the case, but it seems like a problem that should have been solved by now -- I mean, there are a lot of short people like me who ride long distances and we need to drink just as much as taller riders. Why can't the industry figure this one out? I'm forced to try these compromises that are far from ideal. Maybe I'll figure out how to get this dialed, but I don't understand why the industry hasn't solved it for me already.

Anyway ... once I accepted that the set-up wasn't going to work, I just packed my pockets again and we rode on. We ultimately did about 17 miles. It was great to get out with those guys -- I haven't rode with them since a trip we took to Middle Run in Delaware back in December. But it was hot as hell -- when we stopped to fix my bottle cage mount, I was sweating so much I felt like my shoes were filling with water! Not complaining -- after this winter and spring, heat is a far better option than rain and cold and mud. But yesterday was the first real humid day, and I felt it the whole ride. Still, an awesome time!

Tonight, I got out on the road again (third road ride since Saturday!) As much as I enjoy the mountainbiking in this region, we're also pretty lucky when it comes to road riding in the Bucks/Montgomery County area.

Upper Stump Road

Farmhouse near Route 313

This area is really nice -- Holicong Road just off Route 413

A tractor works a field near Holicong Road

Finally, I saw this as I was coming out of Doylestown on the way back home ...

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