What a ride I had on Sunday. I know it is almost a week since the ride I am talking about, but work has been crazy and lots of things going on. I keep thinking about things I want to blog about, but never seem to have the time to actually put in down. My riding time is being squeezed by bowling and soccer season starting. I didn’t want to coach this year, but I have a hard time saying no when it comes to helping my kids.
Back to the ride. I took another step toward the dark side. I have really not been happy with the shock that was on the front of the 1×1. It was very heavy and it moved way too much for my liking. I am kind of old school when it comes to shocks. I liked them when they didn’t move much unless you really needed them. This new stuff moves more in the parking lot then most of my old shocks did on the trail. This caused issues with my riding. I really felt it when I was doing some technical sections, corners and climbing. This made me think of trying rigid again. I had the standard Surly fork on the front of my old 1×1 for a little bit, but didn’t really give it enough time. I wanted just a little more give then what I was getting.
After hearing how different forks would give more then some others and the Surly was noted to be on the stiffer side, I thought I would try it again with a different fork. So, I purchased a Pace 31 carbon rigid fork from the same guy who I picked up my current frame from. I figure that the added forgiveness from the fork and the carbon riser bars, that I have added to the bike since my last rigid effort, would make the little difference that I was looking to find. Well this all came together on Sunday for my initial ride with the new fork.
I must say that I was not sure what to expect. I knew that it would be rougher, but not sure just how bad. I did beat the hell out of me on the down hills. But, I still moved out fairly fast and not sure I was much slower then I would have been with the other fork. I had to hold on to the bars tighter then I normally do to keep them from pulling out of my hands, but I kept my arms very loose to soak up the beating. There were a lot of times that I actually forgot that I didn’t have a shock on the front. This happened way more times then I thought it would. I also climbed like a mountain goat! I am not sure if it was the 5 lbs I took off the bike with the new fork or the fact that all my energy went in to the bike and not in to moving the fork as I climbed, but who’s to complain.
Actually I did something that I have been trying to do ever since I started riding a SS and it came at the craziest time. It all starts off on Saturday. I had soccer practice in the morning. I normally have them scrimmage at the end of practice and we had an odd number of kids. So, I ended up planing with them. I normally would try to just be defense, but one kid hurt is ankle so I switched with him. Running around full speed, kicking a ball around put a hurting on my legs. They felt good to have the work out, but it took a toll on them. I then went home and push mowed part of the yard and burned up some blown down limbs that I had in a pile. I had to move a ton of large limbs around and all kinds of stuff. So, I we completely beat by that night. I woke up Sunday morning later then I normally would have because I was hurting all over and my body was wore out. I thought about not going for a ride. I knew that the way I felt I would not ride my SS very good, but I didn’t get out all week and knew that I really needed to ride. The ride started off with my legs hurting and I thought about taking a shorter loop, but when that intersection came along I was feeling better so I kept going my normal route. This is where the big accomplishment comes in to play. I actually rode the full lap that I normally ride with out walking anything. I have done all the hills before, but not in the same lap. I hurt bad doing it, but some how I just kept going. Feeling very good about this, I dropped back in to the woods for a victory lap. I had a little issue where I broke my chain on the first climb, but I fixed it and kept going. I ended up walking two more times and both of them are sections that I have walked with my geared bike, so I was feeling good about that. I ended up riding 15 miles and only walking those 3 times!! What a morale booster for me compared to how I have been riding latly. I just hope that it keeps up and the riding stays good. I still have a ways to go before I will decide if the rigid thing is the way to go, but it is off to a good start. I just ordered a 2.4 tire for the front to give a little more cush, so we will have to see how that goes.