Friday, June 12, 2009

Up to the divide

I've been needing this. A long solo grind up to Marshall Pass, to look over to the Western Slope after getting to The Ridge under my own power. I've been honing in on bike fit setup on my new Hunter Cycles rigid "Adventure Touring" bike.

Close-up of the bike

Detail pictures of it clean can be seen at this prior post.

It took me a while to get there, well, like it always does. It's 3 hours if I'm really hittin' on all sixes. I've done it in 2:50, but I'm just not in that kind of fitness right now.

Also, I decided to set the Hunter up with thumbies, for the sake of total simplicity and reliability. But that kind of means 8-speed. I know, it can be done with 9-speed if you don't mind friction, which I don't. But I also like the durability of 8-speed.

Why does that have anything to do with how long it took me to get up there?

Gosh, it's kind of embarrassing...

I was between the gearing that I normally have going when I climb that. With 9-speed I get a 12-34 cluster (well, maybe 11-34, but that's not important). With the 34 I have mid-ring 1st gear 32:34, 2nd gear 32:30, 3rd gear 32:26. With a 12-32 block, it's 32:32, 32:28, 32:24.

I usually climb the first half in 3rd, 32:26 then slip to 2nd when the air gets thinner and my legs get tired. Well, 32:24 was too high and I couldn't really stay on top of it. But 32:28 was too low. Until I got tired and it was too high. I know, whining is unacceptable.

But I do know that with a load, 22:32 is going to be a not low enough granny. I wanted to use 20-30-42 chainrings on this bike, but I also wanted a Shimano crank with external bearings. I see Mr Whirly crankarms in my future.

I was really hoping to discover that the snow melt had happened enough that I could ride down the Silver Creek Trail. I headed south on the CDT to check it out.


Those drifts were not soft. They were hard. I hit that section of trail at about 10 AM, and those suckers were hard as rock. Not much melt probably happened today. It just hasn't been getting very warm.

I went down the Poncha Creek road. Haven't done that kind of rock gauntlet on a fully rigid bike in many years. Ouch. How do you do that Ed? Pinch flatted, which was a good excuse to let my wrists and hands recover.

It's almost summer. Time for high country riding, snow or no.


Gary B. said...

Nice bike Tom! You know if you rode the single speed more your legs would probably be happy with any gearing you had, whether 8 speed or even two speed. :-)

Ed said...

Tom, I have no freakin' idea how I do it.

Nice bike!!