Tuesday, October 11, 2011

(Landmine) Classic overconfidence, and some 'new bike pron'

Haven't "composed" in a while.  I find that blog posts with pictures tend to be more interesting, so I'll start this post with a couple cute ones of the fam during our 'funny hat day' walk.
Future "Toddlers and Tiaras" contestants

Surly sent me that cap and some cool socks after I broke one of their bars -
which was probably my fault, but shows how cool Surly is. Julian is in his Thomas hat, of course.

I did have another race, Landmine Classic, which was good until it sucked. 

Going in, I had dreams of winning my Singlespeed Cat2 class and then applying for (and receiving) an upgrade to Cat1.  Reality set in soon after the start.  I took off and after a few miles, I felt like I was comfortably ahead of the other two guys in my class.  I even started thinking about the upgrade...Murphy's law and hubris being what that are, my left crank started coming loose...repeatedly.  The 2nd time I stopped to tighten it, I was passed.  I re-passed and re-took the lead, and then re-lost it for good when I had to re-stop to re-tighten the crank.  I rode behind the eventual winner (Chris) for a while, but my crank and crankiness got the best of me and he soon was re-gone. 

He was riding really well, so it's debatable whether or not I would have beat him anyway.  But then I flatted and lost 2nd place while pumping up my 'tyre'.  At that point I had given up, so I stopped at the 3rd aid station to eat a banana and drink a coke and chat up the volunteers and pump up my tire some more.  I finished a while later, with a flat tire and a flatter mood.  But hey, I got to ride my bike with a bunch of other like-minded and very cool people, so no complaints.  I especially enjoyed riding for a spell with Cat 1 female winner Susan Lynch, not only a great rider, but super nice. 

All that happened on my 2011 Stumpy Singlespeed.  I've had a couple problems with that bike that were fixed, but soured me on it.  So I decided to sell it and buy something else...a Stumpjumper Carbon Comp (huge thanks to my team's sponsor shop Bike Zone in Hyannis for hooking me up).  Witness:
Gears?  Gasp! 

I've ridden it a bunch and am amazed at how well it handles.  I'm also amazed at how difficult riding a bike with gears is...you'd think going from a single speed to gears would be a fairly easy transition...it's definitely not.  I haven't ridden a mt bike with gears for a long time, and it's totally different.  Part of the difference is certainly on hills, where staying seated with gears works a different set of muscles than the standing and mashing method that a single speed often requires.  And it seems like you have to keep your motor humming more with gears - and that'll take some time as well.

That said, this bike is fast...very fast.  And I'm not, but for occasional bursts.  During those bursts, the bike is really smooth and flows along with a devilish grin.  But I can't sustain that for too long...yet.  A few more thigh-and-lung-busting rides should hopefully do the trick. 

I've also been on my road bike a bit lately and have loved it.  I leave early enough in the morning that I can enjoy any Cape Cod road without the concern of excessive traffic.

Obligatory rising-sun-in-front-hub shot.
Makes me love Cape Cod even more - the sun coming up over the south-facing coast, and over my left shoulder, as I cruise past Allen harbour in Harwich Port and down lower county road to the West Dennis beach rotary - one of my favorite stretches (for safety reasons, I generally keep the sun behind me when it's low in the sky at dawn or dusk...going into the sun would mean the cars behind might not see me because of the glare, even with my crazy blinking light and strategically-placed strips of fluorescent green).
So that's what I've been up to.  What have you been up to?

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