Thursday, August 20, 2009

August Update

Quick update before I go pedaling, to end the blogging neglect! After Cascade and Nationals I wanted to rest and retool, return to the root of biking joy. Enjoyed some epic rides in the Berkshires with friends, including the famed Greylock Century loop, featuring the repaved climb (awesome except the rumble strips) and the spectacular roads of the Deerfield Randonee. Tinkering with my bike fit and saddle position had reached a point of disaster and confusion, so I immersed myself in the project of setting that straight, compulsively coming to understand bike geometry - the interratationships of tube lengths and angles and stem lengths etc - and learn the tricks for measuring various essential measures of fit. Curse those crooked old floors! By necessity, I suddenly had to conduct some bike tinkering myself, and lo and behold in spite of my ridiculous mechanical inexperience I seem to have absorbed a lot by osmosis. One project was prepping the cross bike for Deerfield's 25 and 27% grades on dirt roads. I had to chalk up the hours - no days - of time invested as a crucial investment in my summer goal of learning more about bike repair. In spite of Leonard Zinn, it's still unclear whether or not the SRAM 9-sp XO mountain derailleur will work with Red shifters, because in principle the hallmark of each is that they are both 1-to-1 in ration of cable pull. At any rate, the eventual set-up was the 10sp SRAM bike with a hand-crafted 10sp 12-30 cassette, masterminded by Bob of College St. Cycles. It consisted of the big plates from my 9sp mountain cassette and the little ones from my 10sp road cassette, with 10sp road spacers inserted. And it turns out the Force derailleur works fine with a 30, in spite of the published max of 28. It's also August, which of course means we are now allowed to think about cross! In other news, a friend is searching for a speedy woman cyclist to compete in the bike leg of the legendary Berkshires event, the Josh Billings RunAground triathlon, Sunday Sept 13. Zip me an email if you're interested.

1 comment:

PoorDumbBastard said...

That cross bike gearing sounds like a good setup for Iron Cross. It's a pretty cool race if you can schedule for it.