Monday, January 4, 2010

Tarmac Daddy, Daddy Tarmac

I struggled, but now I have relented. As often happens this time of year, I have begun to enjoy road riding.

I put on warm stuff and I try to choose the warmest time of the day. Sometimes, like yesterday, it seems as if it will never warm up enough to be enjoyable. Then I go outside for something mid-afternoon and discover that, yes, even though the thermometer shows a temperature south of 30° F, the sun and still air make it feel fine for a ride.

My Roubaix

Yesterday I scrambled, leaving the house at 3:40 PM to do a 1+ hour loop. The sun sets around 4:30 here since we have such a formidable ridge of mountains to the southwest. And when the sun sets, things start getting really cold right quick-like. I rode like a crazed wildebeest. Got back about 10 minutes after sunset, feet numb with cold. But I had a good ride.

I've had my red Roubaix for two and a half years now. It's the perfect road bike for me. Nice mix of performance and comfort/stability. It has a SRAM Rival group. It's a good solid group; very good value. Like all SRAM drivetrain gear, the shifts are direct and the shifters feel like high-quality, robust equipment. But I don't think I'll ever really like the idea of double-tap. Since you have to push the trigger harder past the click for an upshift to get a downshift, every once in a while when I'm going for a downshift and don't give it enough shove, or if my finger slips, I get an upshift.

But I don't race. I don't even ride it much other than in winter.

Also the cranks have too narrow a q-factor for me by far. I have pedal extenders on them, which are steel and quite heavy.

I sometimes consider getting a new set of 105 or Ultegra cranks for it, or even getting a whole 105 group.

But I don't race road! And I don't use it much other than in winter!

Ah but it's good to be enjoying the smooth, quiet serenity of riding through crisp, clear winter air. And I'm arresting my slide into sloth and obesity.

Now, what time is it? Does the thermometer read 25° F yet?

1 comment:

Gary B. said...

Your story sounds very similar to mine right now. I've ridden all the plowed dirt roads countless times on the cross bike but lately the road bike has been the ride of choice and I am enjoying it.

For cold feet Patti and I love our Lake MXZ300 boots. They don't eliminate cold feet but they sure make a difference. Ours are one or two sizes too big with a thick and a very thin sock underneath. They're also great for snow hike-a-biking.

I may head down to Big Bend next week in search of (relative) warmth and dirt.

Stay in touch!