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Thread: July riding

  1. #16
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108

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    Don't blame you a bit. That is some very serious heat. Way out of my league.

    Did 30 plus road miles on the Pugsley, yesterday, plus some trail miles. Pugsley on the road, you ask? Actually makes a lot of sense for what we have happening in the area, this week.


    First, we have the big Hodag Countryfest country music festival. I kid you, not, this is a nationally known music festival. Picture some 300 acres literally packed with many thousands of huge RVs and campers. Unfortunately, its right next door to us, along my favorite road route, so the Pugsley gives me the ability to ride in the soft sandy road shoulder to get by this complex. Riding the soft sand on the shoulder presents no challenge to the Pugs, of course. It's happy riding the road or the shoulder. Sure beats sharing the pavement with a steady stream of these monsters. Not an option with any road bike. The sandy shoulders along this mile of road will swallow a road bike


    Second, been a lot of logging activity along this same route. Logging is the main agricultural activity in our area. Very few actual farms. Believe me, when you hear a logging truck coming up behind you on these narrow paved roads, taking the road ditch is an attractive strategy. Again, the Pugs can make the transition from pavement to dirt and sand on the shoulder practically seamless. Definitely NOT an option on a traditional road bike.


    And, of course, I can never resist going off pavement when I find a new gravel or dirt road to explore. The Pugs can't resist either. The Pugs may be slow, but my pal always gets me home.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Nice pictures, NWG. As someone who's about to put a heavy leather saddle on a carbon road bike, I support your choice of bike for road riding. Sometimes the typical set up is just not the best for our individual purposes.

    This reminds me -- last weekend I rode with someone who is an old-school steel bike rider through and through. The guy who shows up to a big club road road in khaki cargo shorts and a wool jersey. He was riding an Austro-Daimler bike. With a leather saddle of course. It's always fun to see bikes like that in the wild. And he's a very nice man and enjoyable ride companion, too.

    As for the heat, I would have ridden outside last night if I wasn't dealing with this saddle pain which takes a week to subside. Riding on very hots days is manageable in the evenings, especially once I get away from the highway and closer to the tree-lined neighorhoods near the river. But, that's not an option this week. I got to the gym late (as usual) but managed to get in a good 30-minute interval workout. Afterwards I sat outside for a while in an attempt to get some acclimation to the hot weather.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #18
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Based on my September visit to Florida, last year, going from our northern climate to that Florida climate, cold turkey, almost did me in. Oh, I rented a bike, first thing when we arrived, but it took a bit of riding every day, carrying a lot of water, and stopping in the shade or where the was breeze to rest. After one week, I was only beginning to adapt, but felt like I could do it, given enough time. Bottom line is that I have a ton of respect for that kind of humid heat and folks that have adapted to it. Will never underestimate the danger of that kind of heat, again.

    Yeah, sometimes we get wrapped up in the latest, greatest bike technology trend, forgetting that people did some amazing things on that old school stuff. Steel bikes and leather saddles have been getting it done since the very first bikes. You probably won/t set any records for time in this all carbon world, but you will get home and do it with some a degree of comfort that is sometimes missing from the carbon bike scene. I'm no retro junkie by any means. Ride carbon and aluminum, too, but still something very special about the feel of a good steel bike, whether on the road or on the trail.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-13-2017 at 09:25 AM.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,227
    NY…WHITE???? ...once you’ve got the saddle position right, break-in just makes a leather saddle a little more comfortable. If it’s not reasonably comfortable on the first rides it probably won’t be after the time it takes the leather to make the slight adjustments to the contours needed for your body. Thinking the nose tension bolt can help regulate tension for those rides on it at first. Good luck on it being a good saddle for you!!!


    Good grief NWG…..I would just completely bailout on a narrow road with logging trucks going by close to me, even with a bike that can navigate from pavement to dirt/sand without problems……When riding up the entrance road to the Arches National Park I learned about oversized RV mirrors and very little shoulder….we did make it without problems though and had a wonderful view at the top to meditate the jangled nerves away with. Thinking nothings wrong with material advances for different kinds of riding....steel is real though, well, for my touring bike
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Steel remains my fav after all these years. Speaking of touring, people have used a Pugsley to tour up and down and across entire continents with a Pugs. It uses old standard MTB axle and wheel spacings (unlike all the new bikes), so parts are available anywhere in the world and, of course, what passes for roads in some third world countries are not a problem for a Pugsley.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,889
    Agreed regarding steel. Back when I could still ride and I meandered on isolated country roads for 4-6 hours at a time - I dearly loved my steel Gunnar. I've also heard very good things about Pugs for areas with less than...optimum roads. Or that passes for roads. Or goat tracks...

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Today I led a 31 mile ride with another woman. It's someone I was in outdoor leadership training with and she came on my first ride I led. Anyway, only 3 people came, but it was really nice. Was spritzing and a bit cool at first, but after we stopped at 3.5 miles, it had stopped raining. That was good, as I had no jacket. I led all but the first 3 miles. One of these women is someone who always rides behind my husband when we lead; however, she must have not been feeling it today. When we had gone about 6-7 miles, right near where I used to live in Boxborough, all of a sudden we started seeing tons of riders going the other way, and coming from a couple of different directions. It was obviously a charity type ride (I saw a sign that said BHA, but i have no idea what that was). So, we had that and a HS nordic ski team roller skiing, also the opposite way on one street. Thankfully, it was only for about 2 miles, but during all this, the other leader who was sweeping, lost one of our people! We stopped, but I made the decsion to go ahead, as she did have a cue sheet and she's from this area. As we were regrouping at the top of the biggest climb, she caught up with us and had realized her mistake quite quickly.
    This ride has some of the most beautiful and quietest roads that used to be my go-to roads for riding. It's hilly, but nice. Then we went down a steep (I mean so steep I have seen people walk up this street on group rides) downhill near my old school where I taught. At this point, I was feeling exhausted and knew I needed to eat, but we had a stop a couple of miles after that. I ate my bar and on we went. As we turned back toward our start I asked them if they would like to cut out some of the neighborhood streets on the route, that I added, just to get 33 miles. Everyone was in agreement, as we all had commitments, so we headed straight back to the start, and the ride ended up at 30.7 miles.
    I got lots of thanks, which is nice. Usually, I am sweeping for DH, so this was no stress, as we always argue about speed! Going to dinner at a friend's tonight; I hope i can stay up.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Watched the Tour all morning, while having homemade challah French toast... it was hot by the time we got out, so planned a shorter, local ride.
    We did 20 miles, the first half shady, the second, not so much. There seemed to be a lot of cyclists out for 1 pm on a hot day. Not large groups, just lots of couples, groups of 3-4, and solo riders. Maybe they were all watching the Tour, too. I've decided that I do feel stronger since coming back from my trip, but still trying to keep the same mental attitude that got me through.
    I finally looked at my total mileage since January. Sigh... I am about 2-3 weeks behind where I usually am. Most of it is due to taking time off for various injuries, some for weather. I should be able to make it up, as we are going for our annual riding weekend in the Berkshires on Thursday, plus doing a club ride Wednesday. The key will be keeping it up after that. I want to do more hiking, and that definitely interferes. My legs need time to recover between riding and hiking.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  9. #24
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I haven't bothered to add them up, but I know my mileage is way way off this year. But I am still hopeful to get back on track.

    And in that vein...on Saturday I brought the bike and new Rivet Independence saddle to the LBS to see the fitter. He started by setting up the new saddle in the same position as the old one, then did the plum line thing which indicated it was a bit farther back than it should have been. Last week he had determined that the old saddle was slightly set back, and he moved it up a little but not as far as he could have. But he moved the Rivet up so my knee was in line with the spindle. Things felt good as I pedaled on the trainer, and he said he could see the saddle move as I pedaled, in a good way. The Rivet did feel a bit slippery and the seat area seemed smaller than what I was used to, even though it is really very similar to my old saddle.

    For my first test ride, I decided to do a ride in Virginia in an area southwest of where I live. It was with the club that I occasionally with, and I had done this particular route with the same ride leader last fall. Officially there was a choice of 52 miles or 35 miles, with the decision point at mile 18. I checked the map and noted several options to bail in the first 10 miles if the saddle felt really bad.

    As I started out, the saddle no longer seemed slippery or too small. It was quite comfortable. After a few miles I was conscious of the backs of my legs hitting the leather on the front edges of the wider part of the saddle. I could definitely tell that I was sitting farther forward than usual. At the first rest stop, about an hour into the ride, things felt good. And by the way the weather was perfect for July, warm and sunny but not humid, with very light wind from the NW. One my friends had shown up for the same ride, so I had someone to ride with. So when we reached the turn for the 35-mile route I decided to go ahead and ride the longer route. I haven't ridden more than 45 miles all year and had only done one 32-mile ride in the past month, but what the hell.

    By the end of the ride -- well, I was very tired, was feeling the heat a bit since I'm totally not acclimated, my back and shoulders were not happy. But overall the saddle test was a success. I was a bit sore on the front edges of the sit bones, which I think is okay for the way I usually sit on the road bike. The spot on the right side where I've been having problems with pain and swelling was fine (yay!). I do think the nose might need to be tilted down a little. And maybe the saddle should be shifted back a hair -- toward the end I realized the backs of my legs were hitting the plastic frame around the back edge of the saddle, so I think was sitting too far back. So there are some adjustments to play with, and most likely it will take a few months to break in the leather. But in general I was happy.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Glad you found the new saddle to work, NY. Hopefully, your search for that just right saddle is over.

    Been in the steel bike mood, of late, so dusted off my old 1996 Kona Kilauea and took it for a spin. This bike won MTB bike of the year in '96 and has a superb steel frame of Tange Prestige steel. After experimenting with various types of bikes, this became my standard commuting bike in my Chicago days. It may not look like much, given all the touch up paint on the frame, but looking a bit old and worn is actually a good thing for a commuting bike in Chicago to reduce the risk of theft. A closer look, though, would reveal that I did some serious upgrades to the bike. The include a full Shimano XT crankset and a 9 speed SRAM X9/XO derailleur and shifter. All else, though, is original, except the seat.

    In the old days, the Kona was just bit slower on my 8 mile commute than the cyclocross and road bikes I had tried, but I found it to be a safer bike for commuting. It could accelerate and get out of a dangerous traffic situation much faster than a drop bar bike and sitting more upright was also an advantage for seeing traffic dangers. The wider 2" tires also handles bad roads better. On my 8 mile traffic commute, this was a good trade off for the 4 or 5 minute extra minutes the bike cost me on my commute.

    Riding my trails with the Kilauea, this week, brought back many memories. It also was quite an interesting lesson in how bike technology has changed. Still love that old geometry and the way the bike handled, but, wow, those old center pull brakes are pretty crude by comparison to today's disc brakes. Still a place for these old 26" MTBs, though. They accelerate like a rabbit, climb like a goat and turn on a dime. They don't hold their speed as well as my larger wheeled bikes and they can't handle the soft stuff as well, but still lots of fun.

    They really don't make them like this, anymore. Lots of miles left in my old pal, though.

  11. #26
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Thanks.

    The saddle is actually not bad. Has enough padding that I could ride comfy in jean shorts or slacks for a quick trip to the grocery store. Worked fine for a grab and go kind of bike. Still have the original Kona saddle, though. Has zilch for padding.

  12. #27
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,162
    shhhh, don't tell but we might actually get out for an S24O Friday! It has been such a crazy year between work and weather this will only be our 2nd time. We volunteer for the Owyhee Wilderness close to Boise and our friend, the Wilderness Ranger stopped in and asked if we'd go with him to ride a boundary - oh twist my arm Technically it isn't an S24O as we are base camping but hey I am not going to nikpick, especially as we get to go in the official government vehicle and to an area we have yet to explore. Taking the new Tenkara Fly Rods too. Will post photos!
    Sky King
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  13. #28
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Please do. I really miss that country, so very different from where I live now. Lived in Boise for a short time back in the 70s.

  14. #29
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Put my two drop bar bikes on consignment at a local bike shop and looks like I already have a nibble on the Salsa Warbird. Not surprised, since gravel specific road bikes are hot products, these days.

    One of the reasons I let the Warbird go was this bike, my 2008 vintage Trek 8000 MTB.


    It was my other bike I used for commuting in my Chicago days during the winter. With an extra wheel set with studded 26" tires, I could change wheels to suit the weather in a jiffy, thanks to disc brakes. That's one of the overlooked advantages of disc brakes, by the way. Changing wheels is much quicker and easier than dealing with center pull brakes.

    As with my Kona, I did a lot of upgrades on this bike. It's a full SRAM X9 with XT crank and I also upgraded the wheels to Bontrager's best aluminum MTB version in the Race Lite. Tires are a very fast Bontrager XR Team Issue. The reason I bought this Trek, however, was the excellent Alpha Red frame. Aluminum frames don't usually get me excited, but this one is really outstanding. It can turn on a dime, yet it tracks as straight as an arrow. This was a real plus for commuting, by the way. I could ride a perfect steady line on the narrowest of streets in heavy traffic, but I could also respond, instantly, to any situation. Definitely a better handling bike in the tight spots than a road bike. The front suspension was also a big plus on some of those crummy Chicago area streets.

    Anyway, I did a 15 mile sprint with the Trek, today, with a couple miles of gravel and some sand and then finished with an hour of serious single track work. The Trek is very nearly as fast as the Warbird on pavement, but, unlike the Warbird, it has the gearing to handle any hill. Actually a pretty decent pavement bike the way it's set up. Not sure I'd want to do a century on it, but I have done plenty of 30 and 40 mile trips on it.

    Compared to the Warbird, though, it's still the better bike on gravel and it can handle some sand, too, though it's no fat bike or plus bike. Best of all, when I get tired of roads, the Trek begs to be ridden on hard-pack single track. It really screams, there. That's something the Warbird could never do.

    I may get another drop bar road bike, sometime, but my mixed bag riding is best served with flat bar bikes on one kind or another. Just not my nature to stay on pavement all the time, I guess. Each to her own, though.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-19-2017 at 12:21 PM.

  15. #30
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,108
    Great minds think alike, Sheila. The Warbird got sold, so we just ordered a Krampus! I also ordered a set of Surly Knard tires for more all around riding. The Krampus now comes with Surly Dirt Wizards. That's a very aggressive tire with heavy tread, designed for serious trail crunching, but way too clunky for road work. Besides, I already have the heavy duty trail thing covered with other bikes.

    Was going to order the Surly ECR, but that one is out of stock and no date on availability. Apparently, Surly is doing some design changes. Just as well, since the ECR is really a heavy duty "load up the bike with packs" and head into the wilderness kind of bike. The Krampus is a lighter built bike, designed specifically for trail work and general riding, which is really more what I do, though I do dream about heading out on an expedition like Sky is planning to do. Not likely to happen, though, since I'd have to do that kind of extended trip without my husband. It's way beyond his capabilities.

 

 

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