A Long(ish) Ride

Logged my the first long(ish) road ride on the IF in quite some time. ~48 miles. Charlotte dirt, covered bridges, some ‘road’ that is glorified double track.

I am feeling crispy from the sun, and enjoyed the day. Cruising the dirt is always wonderful. Lazy hands and remembering that the gearing on the IF is very different than the Fargo had me mashing out most of the climbing. Some days I wonder if I’m more suited to a 1×9 or 1×10 setup. I do miss the fixed gear CrossCheck for long(er) solo rides (and worked up to a century, including some dirt), and I absolutely miss the Soma single speed in the woods. Limiting choices and you just go. Gears are certainly nice, especially when riding with other folks, the Fargo is a great touring rig, fun mountain bike, and the IF has certainly proven its worth on brevets, group rides, and lite tour duty… but lately I miss the simplicity. Dave wrote up his thoughts a bit, and I am intrigued with his Mukluk drivetrain. Not sold on ditching all the low gears on the Pugsley for snow – conditions change quite a bit here in the NE, but for an off road / wilderness adventure I could see going to a 2×4 or 2×2 setup. Really wish the Fargo had alternator drops, then an IGH or SS would come into play.

Lots of charity riders out today for the MS ride. We shared Dorset with them for a bit, until we ventured off the paved path, then passed many more coming the opposite way as we were inbound. I admire folks who ‘ride for a cause’ – but I just can’t do it. The group and tribe mentality on these things just irks me the wrong way, and some charities are more charitable than others. Add in the often horrific bike handling and group riding skills (not to mention general awareness of where one is on the road) and it becomes comical. While I often rag on the local club racer guys and gals at least (most) of them can hold a line and are somewhat aware of what they are doing when they block traffic and hog lanes while sprinting for the town line. Regardless, MS riders, I salute you. Riding for a good cause is honorable, and your colorful jerseys, aerobars on hybrids, full aero tuck with hands on the bar extensions on the knobby tired mountain bike, and blissful unawares while playing in traffic brightened my day, and reminded me that people do love to ride bikes.

6 Responses to “A Long(ish) Ride”

  1. jim says:

    We covered about the same distance just in the opposite direction….roads are in great shape. Hit Chapin and Colonel Page for some different looks bombing down to Essex. :-)

  2. mb says:

    nice jim. those are fun roads…!

    i forgot how steep leavensworth gets as you leave hinesburg. reminded me for a minute of mars hollow.

    southern roads did have quite a bit of washout from the downpour saturday night. nothing that couldn’t be negotiated on skinny tires – but care was taken to not leave oneself exposed to traffic with loose gravel and mini ravines as your only exit option.

  3. jim says:

    Glad you got out..MS banditos and all! My cause that I rode for yesterday was iced coffee.

  4. Pondero says:

    That looks like a fantastic route. Long enough to get you relaxed, but not so long to get you shattered. Happy to hear it was enjoyed.

  5. wil says:

    Chris, you were spoken about on our ride yesterday. I mentioned your latest excursion which I find real appealing. Mike, check it out if you haven’t yet.

  6. greg says:

    Hey Mike.

    I hear ya on the riders, I saw two very scary cyclist passing cyclist moments on the Harpoon ride. Lookin’ forward to that Classic Fall ride. Glad to see you got out.