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One more time  //   Friday - July 15, 2005

One last picture from CO. There's more, but you are probably tired of seeing them and it's about time to wrap up this series of photos. It's only been a couple of weeks since we were out there, but it now feels like forever. Guess that's what the daily grind does to you.

- riderx

Spin Cycle  //   Thursday - July 14, 2005

When I reassembled the Kelly the other night I flipped the wheel over to the fixed side. I rode it in that mode for many months over the winter, but once the weather turned consistently nice I was back to freewheeling off-road. As much as I like the challenges of fixed off-road, it is not a permanent setup for me. There is nothing quite like ripping down the long, long downhills with the freewheel buzzing and leaning into turns at high speed with the rubber on the virge of breaking loose.

Back in the fixed gear mode last night, I realized just how rusty my skills were when riding this way on the dirt. Cranks bashing rocks, legs flailing on the downhills, small logs that my wheels usually never touch are now negotiated in a totally different way. I was riding in my usual hell-bent style that may be better reserved for those times when I can level the cranks. By the end of the ride I felt like I was starting to settle back in the groove, but I'm not all the way there yet. And boy did I feel worked. Spinning that 52" gear on the downhills is more work than you realize. It is a big difference compared to the 69" gear I run on the fixed road bike.

The ride itself was definitely not the smoothest. We must have pissed off the MTB gods because we had 4 flats and I dropped my chain twice. Then the thunderstorms rolled in at the end of the ride. Bashed my shin into a bloody mess on the final downhill. Came unclipped from my Time pedals that are worn out beyond good use and with the fixed drivetrain still wailing, took a pedal to the bone. Ouch. The rain started down hard after that, making the last climb like riding in a stream. Water was pouring off my body in sheets, the heat and humidity from earlier had my skin coated in an oily, sweaty film and I don't think the water ever actually touched me. I gritted my teeth and pedaled harder hoping the pain in my leg would go away (it didn't) and imagined I was riding in Paris-Roubaix. But the end was actually fun, especially since there were no more mechanicals.

--------------------

This just in from the city of brotherly love:

TUSSLE AT THE TRESTLE single speed ride SAT. JULY 16 7pm, Philly, 31st and Chestnut Streets. 7pm.

Greets... please bring your single-speed self to TUSSLE at the TRESTLE--
flat grass track, straightaway on one side--slalom on the other--plywood ramp
for hot dogs.

NEW--Chintzy Prizes for first guy and gal finishers, also first BMXer across
the line. derailers: prohibited /lager reception: to follow /dress: casual / cost: FREE.

The TUSSLE is just off 31st and Chestnut... under the Walnut St. Bridge
overpass.... starts 7pm sharp.

- riderx

Weekend Pedal  //   Monday - July 11, 2005

Over 2 inches of rain dumped late last week meaning it was time to hit the road. Struck out solo on Saturday for a few solid hours on the fixed gear. The weather pattern that brought the rain also pushed out the high humidity meaning my midday ride felt really nice despite the mid 80 temps and sunny skies. Felt great spinning cirlces and ticking off miles, no stops, just rolling right along, legs felt strong. Just picked my route as I rode, unplanned and enjoying the solitude.

Sunday, believe it or not, the trails were dry and we headed out early. Joe F from DC and Butch from VA came up to join me and semi-local Mike for a fun route at Avalon. Always a good time to show the out-of-towners my favorite loops. One flat and a lost (then recovered) Jethro Tule were the only issues of the day. Still rockin' the 1x1 but I did manage to put the 29er back together last night and put her back into fixed status.

Picture: Markie Mark in the aspens; Crested Butte, CO.

- riderx

 

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