Friday, January 31, 2020

The End of an Era, The Beginning of Another

Things change, constantly.  Ideals, dreams, desires, reality, goals, etc. They change.   It appears that even I change.  I had a goal and and a dream and those were fulfilled.  I came, I saw, I stood up and pedaled that single speed to the best of my ability.  I stood on some podiums, I dnf'ed some races, I pushed myself and enjoyed the ride.   

Then I got burned out.  Maybe it was training through the cold, wet, winter for my 10th and final Pisgah Stage Race. Maybe it was a myriad of other reasons.  I'm not really sure.  What I do know is, I was not looking forward to riding my bike much anymore.  I was tired, my legs were tired, my mind was tired.  I was still doing it, but it wasn't fun like it used to be.  Something needed to change. 

The Single Speed that made dreams come true.
 So I pulled out my trusty steel Salsa El Mariachi with gears.  This bike has taken me on many adventures and I pictured us going on many more.  I "upgraded" to a 1x10, which involved taking of the front deraileur, and then I added a brand new Thomson dropper post.  Sweet, ready to roll.  Now I had two bikes, exactly the same, ready to roll.  One geared, and one single speed.  I started riding the geared El Mar fairly often.  It was odd.  Sitting on the uphills,  pushing gears on the flats and downhills.  It took several rides before I could decide if I liked it or not.

I finally admitted that I liked it, and I was having fun again.  But something wasn't right.   Something was missing.  While this bike climbs great and descends just as good for better than any steel frame on the market,  I could feel the difference from the Ti El Mar. 

Dilema.  I wanted to keep the Ti El Mar set up single speed so I could still ride it when I felt like it.  But the Ti material is so much smoother than steel.  What to do.  Again, it took a little while, but then I sealed the fate of the steel framed El Mar and did the inevitable.....

 ....I put the gears on the Ti El Mar!!!
Beginning of an Era

 And just like that,  I'm having fun again. ( I even briefly thought about taking on The Snake and Pisgah Stage Race with gears! Just briefly though).

I'm having fun again,  sitting on the climbs, pushing gears on flats and downhills.  Relaxing, enjoying, railing, ripping fun times!  

I might have a steel framed El Mariachi (large) for sale.  How else am I going to pay for upgrades to my new geared bike?

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Writing Again...

...maybe.  I get inspired, then I don't.  I get inspired to write, to ride.  I do it for a while, then I don't.  I've raced for so long it is hard transitioning to not racing.  I want to join in on the events, but the entry fee have made this cost prohibitive.  So I just ride, with the goal of riding.  But,  I like to go fast and be strong.  So I try to ride fast and choose challenging routes.  But then some days, I don't.  I take it easy, and rest and enjoy the sounds.

 I rode Bent Creek today and broke my chain.  I didn't have any tools with me.  I've never broken  a chain, and I was only out for an hour.  I've been riding BC without a spare or toolkit for a couple of years and finally got a warning shot across the bow.  I'm glad it was warmish.  I still rode the downhills and walked the uphills so that was interestingly slow.

A dude rode up from behind and joked that I should get a chain, it would be more fun.   He rode away without any offers of help.  I lamented that mountain biking is not what it used to be.  Seems like your everyday recreational rider has not learned trail etiquette and the leave no mountain biker behind mentality.   We were at the top of a downhill section of trail.  He said "sorry about that" and took off,  I jumped on the bike, coasted and caught him!  He pulled away at the next climb, and I didn't see him until the parking lot.  I let it go.  Its not worth it.
It was a nice day to go slow though.