With the weather heading south for the past couple weeks, this was only a good thing in preparation for testing out my new cyclocross bike build. In the immediate area there is not a large cyclocross scene, so a friend of mine, and I went out on a path with the muddiest and rutted roads we could find.
My friend that I just spoke about is completely what you would call a retro-grouch; that is if he had a bone to pick with modern components. He loves the look and design of many new things, but his older, more familiar bicycle components leave him with enough satisfaction without an upgrade. On this ride, he’s on a 20+yr old frame with a downtube shifter for the front derailleur, and a bar-end for the rear… such an amalgamation of parts. Heck, he even had fenders on this bike. 😮
Off we went to some abandoned county roads that have not seen tar & chip, or asphalt in quite some while; the bike took care of it with no problem. I was very hesitant on the descents, being the first ride on this bike, but everything was fine once I warmed up to it. The Hutchinson Bulldog tires were satisfactory everywhere they should have been. Attempting to stand up and pedal while on a 12% incline had some wheel slippage included, but with the tires inflated to 4 bar, I could not blame them.
Here is a prototype video I did with Google Earth of the ride.
The course took us through some pretty interesting terrain; I’m pretty sure we crossed through more streams than a typical MTB ride through the area. At 48 km, this was not a long ride if classified as a road ride, but this was trail riding on a cross bike, basically. I have yet to perfect my fit on the bike (to my surprise), so I had to stop about 3/4 through the ride to adjust my saddle for comfort. My back and knees still say the bike need tweaking, and this will be my project for the week…
Other than that, the ride was fine. We chatted about the history of parts, companies, people, and regions of places we have never been. It was an ideal test ride.