Sunday, September 5, 2010

Of beer and ('cross) bikes...

The Labor Day weekend has been fantastic (so far anyway.) Since September actually heeded my previous request and has returned, bringing with it milder temperatures and a lack of humidity, it has been prime riding and training weather.

After spending quite a while rebuilding and tweaking my 'cross bike for the upcoming season, I've got this to work with:

Origin 8 Foxtrot frame (7005 butted aluminum with carbon rear triangle and full carbon fork)
Mavic Ksyrium Equipe wheels
Bontrager Jones CX tires
SRAM Force shifters
SRAM Rival front derailleur
SRAM Rival rear derailleur
Shimano 105 12-25 cassette
Shimano Ultegra 39/46 crankset
Wipperman ConneX chain
Tektro CR720 cantilever brakes
Selle Italia Octavia saddle
Crankbrothers Eggbeater pedals
FSA Stem and bars, Bontrager post, Fi:zik DualTape wrap

This should serve me well enough in the coming season, especially considering this will be my first season racing cyclocross. As a benchmark, and as a way to shake out the tweaks in the bike, I planned a 22ish mile route that included 3 laps of a 2.8 mile circuit which was 75% dirt, gravel and oil and loose stone. Each lap included about 230 feet of elevation gain to test the legs, and plenty of curves and corners to challenge the handling skills. The ONLY thing that the route didn't have were dismounts, barrier crossings and remounts. Those were practiced before we set out upon the ride.

Of course, one particularly botched dismount involved the bike tipping over opposite the side I was dismounting on, causing me to end up tripping over the fallen machine and sprawling out on the lawn. In the process, I was busy rolling my right ankle and covering myself with bruises. Awesome, I look like a battered housewife, and I only have my own "skills" to thank.

Fortunately, after a pretty decent ride (even with a sore ankle) I finally got to tear into one of these:

Home brewed Belgian Double. Not too bad, but it could still use a few more weeks of "cave aging", which has become my new term for aging beer in the rough hewn rock and mortar cave I call a basement or cellar.


Rest day, how I love thee.'s nice and sunny, only 72 degrees, and I could head out on the road bike for a recovery ride...

No comments: