Ride the Puddles


Posted by bikezilla on July 23, 2009

First day climing with the new bike.

The “big hill”, as I call it, out at Waterfall Glen can be damned scarey.  No, not “ex wife’s bloated, blotchy face scarey”, but still quite unnerving.

For this area of the country, and for a rail trail style path more generally, it’s very technical, and the nature of the compacted limestone surface makes it even more treacherous. I need perfect nerve and handling — riding even on my old skanky ho MTB, Jen, which was heavier and had wider tires —  to take the final 200 feet properly for maximum speed.

I don’t yet have confidence either in my ability to handle the new style of bike (going from MTB to CX) nor in the skinnier tires (from 1.75″ on the skanky ho MTB, to 35mm on the CX) down Big Hill’s length, and certainly not over that closing 200 feet.

The loose, bumpy surface and the final series of curves unnerved me and I didn’t even approach my best speed. It didn’t help that I could not get the new bike to hold the right line and kept going way wide on the two final curves.

Twice I nearly drifted into the railroad embankment and the corrigated steel culvert that juts from it.

As for the actual climbing, it was good. The gearing IS harder, but the bike feels airy beneath me. No matter how I may be struggling to keep my legs churning, something in the ride lends a sense of gliding. It’s beautiful.

Today, the day after that ride, my legs actually ache from lactic acid build up for the first time in weeks.

It’ll take a few rides to get used to this — assuming I don’t end up a crumpled, bleeding mass of goo, impaled on the dented, rusty edge of that damned steel culvert.


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