8.21.2006

standard post work ride...

tonight was a standard post work ride
there was not much time for a ride
but I rode just the same
it all falls into my notion that life is cumulative

but I have not been playing all my old tricks
have not been pulling the kids in the trailer as much as I should
have not been taking the stairs instead of the elevator like I should
have not bee walking the dog as much as I should

tonight I got a quick ride in
tonight I got to extend my post ride for a few extra minutes
tonight I got to ride the specialized tri cross

the specialize tri-cross has not been much in the rotation
actually the specialized tri-cross is sort of reserved for cross riding and cross racing so it has not been riden much at all since its purchase
well, more specifically since my shoulder dislocation

the bike flows and floats
it is light and smooth
it makes me realize that all my other bikes are slugs
mountain bikes are known to be slow and sluggish compared to road bikes
but, I think that my collection of mountain bikes may be sluggish in the world of mountain bikes as well

so I am enjoying the frictionless roll of my next to new cross bike
the tires were pumped to the max and the chain is show room new
had to stop to raise the seat then got off the streets of georgetown onto the capital crescent trail
early into the trail I encountered a guy on an old lotus built into a fixie
he was going fast and I was not going so fast to justify a pass
so I pulled up along side of him and started up some small talk

we talked bikes and tried to work the trail fast, safe, and considerate
it was good to share the trial
although his destination spun off from my about halfway through my short post work ride

later into the ride I was on Rock Creek Parkway
just doing my thing
not trying to get into anything with anybody I make a pass on a very nice salsa cross bike
I give a "nice bike" that goes unheard by the older man with a silver beard and headphones

up the one hill
down the one hill
back onto the long winding flats of Beach Drive
at the parking lot before the Park Police Station I get buzzed
grandpa passes me within inches
I had glanced back thinking he was there
but I guess he was pulling some ninja shit and riding in my blind spot

as I can be grumpyI barked, "nice audible" as he passed
seeing that he did not hear me due to his headphones I pull up on his left
turn to him and give it to him straight...
"you passed me a little close... my wife does not sleep that close to me... what the f_ck is up that"
or something to that effect
he gives me an apology
he repeats his apology
cyclists can be such geeks
this guy had a nice bike
he was moving along at a good pace for an old guy with a gut
but... he was not in my tribe
he was a sub faction of the road culture
I have been dealing with this sort for some time
they have a different thing going on
they draft off people uninvited
the race to be king of the trail
they sprint to make a pass then turn off right in front of you to end their ride

the road dropped to a slight downgrade at the police station
I make a foolish risk
at the police station I pick up the pace
never looked back
this guy could have been on my tail he could have let me go
I did not care
it was more a matter of trying to enjoy the speed potential of this bike
the comfort of this bike cornering the long winding bends at high speed
the bike is unfamiliar so I did not get aggressive on the turns
glided without rotating the cranks around the sharper turns
slowed for the turn at piney branch in anticipation of the car that fails to see me
then slowed for the turn up park road
the light was red but the path was clear
so I turned it up the hill

once on the hill I glanced at the watch
the ride was short and the shenandoah mountain 100 is close
so I motored up the hill a few times
up and down a handful of times

I think I will ride the Specialized tri-cross a few more times this week

getting stoked on the notion of getting my Jamis Nova warrantied
as the new and improved Nova is pretty sweet
would love to build it up all fresh and new
not sure which frame will get to keep the Paul's Levers and the Spooky brakes...

watching Mean Girls
it is good... but it is no Heathers
then again... I am old and they did not write and direct this movie for me or other old people like me
so I

I think that people in the road culture may view me as a Fred.... my backpack/my lights/my utilitarian approach to cycling

4 comments:

gwadzilla said...

the guy on the lotus fixed gear was a tall rider
a Clydesdale in fact
although he leans more towards road than mountain

a few pounds lighter than me
and
drawn to long group rides

he rides the Sunday morning Rock Creek rides
there are some fast folk on those rides
or so I have heard
the Goon ride and the Sunday mornig rides are things I have seen but never participated in

there are so many levels to the cycling culture here in DC

Haines Point at lunch...
informal cross practices...
team meeting point and team rides...

I just tend to do my thing alone

gwadzilla said...

oh....
I am not in the habit of sharing my blog address with everyone I encounter
wonder if the guy with the Lotus that pulled off in Kenwood ever bothered to chase down the address

I know people give me info
it gets scrambled in my brain before I get home

Frank Brigandi said...

Sluggish...geometry is probablly just not right for you. Most bikes are setup to try and fit everyone, though no 2 people are alike, not even twins....so 71/73 mountain bikes are just pretty wrong from the get go. i have my own feelings on geometry, I like a steep head angle and a slack seat angle, it seems to center you on the bike...that's important...I like 72/72..it's kick ass, steers fast yes, but that's what a mountain bike is supposed to do. that gemoetry is insane going up a hill, it just rolls through things. the seat angle never allows you to be in the worng position and you can tuck the rear tire under you on a single, it's great.....if you ever inherit some green stuff joel, give me a call I'll hook you up with one of my steel single frames at my cost. Just so there's one less sluggish bike out there......
for cross bikes, I like 72/74 for me, I'm 5'8 1/2 I ride a 54 or 55, road bike but a 54 cross for sure....
geometry is everything...

gwadzilla said...

yes....

if I get any money I will consult you before I go custom

right now...
I am good with a bike out of a box
just need to find the right box

right now I am looking at the 2007 Jamis 29ers for my next new fleet

any word on those?