Saturday, May 20, 2006

Off Road Apostasy....

One ride was all it took. Goodbye gears.

Clapped together the Unit with some spare parts (a wheelset I built earlier, some RaceFace cranks and stem, Azonic bar from my KM, an Oval Concepts seatpost I pulled from my fixie, an old but still good SID sussy fork, to name a few) and not-so-spare parts (a new King headset that gave me a little trouble on the pressing in), slapped on the obligatory FTYTV sticker, and presented it to my girl on Friday evening for her first off-road single speed ride on her first off-road steel bike, clipped into her first off-road clipless pedals. I set her up with a 32:18 till she gets a better handle on her out-of-the-saddle climbing proficiency.

With Jonny B., we started at Difficult Run at Great Falls and rode portions of the CCT till we hit Route 7, then connected to the Colt's Neck branch that heads to the Reston Ice Rink. After a short water break, we turned around and came back. My girl took to the SS bike like the proverbial fish to the proverbial water, stomping up the hills and ripping down same, smiling the whole time with that look we all flashed the first time we reveled in the pagan pleasures of gearless enlightenment. I was truly surprised by the speed she carried on the downhills. The clipless experience went smoothly, with the sole and minor exception of one slo-mo mishap at a wobbly palate mud crossing.

We managed over 15 miles on the out-and-back, arriving in the parking lot as the last rays of the sun dissolved in the darkness seeping into the evening sky. Not bad for a first run. It was interesting to see how certain sections of the CCT had taken shape since late last year when DT and I had measured out and marked the pre-trail miles in preparation.

Next in line is Schaeffer Farms...yee ha!

(Pic at right is of the hi-tech homemade headset press, a.k.a. the Warranty Voider. It can be temperamental at times, but does the trick nicely with a bit of patience, and comes in somewhere around $115 less than this less portable model, though it probably doesn't work as well as this economy version. I installed the crown race with the help of a length of common PVC tubing.)


gmr2048 said...

Very cool about the new bike! If you guys wouldn't mind som slow company, and you hit Schaffer during non-work hours, let me know. I would love to start riding up there more often.


iconoclasst said...

Always an open invitation...might be riding there this weekend; I'll keep ya in the loop.