Saturday, July 20, 2013

Rawland Nordavinden to Thaddeus Kosciuszko Park

It's been slow on the blogging front lately--too much work has been interfering with my life! But, we have to keep the lights on and the 529 plans growing, so such is life.

Earlier, I broke from my blog theme and drove the kids to a playground. Today, I broke from my theme in a different way: I biked to a park without the kids. In this case, it was #48 Thaddeus Kosciuszko Park, which is a relatively new park for Dublin. It's--boring!--playgroundless, so I knew the kids wouldn't be that excited by it. And, it gave me an excuse to ride my Rawland, which I can't do when pulling a trailer.

I got up to Shawnee Hills before the rain hit:

It was pouring! I took cover in a store front for a few minutes, but finally got impatient and headed out again. I was immediately soaked, but it was so warm out, it hardly bothered me. I stopped under cover by the dam for another picture:

By the time I was cruising down Riverside, it had almost stopped raining, though the roads were still soaked. Car drivers gave me a lot of room, perhaps because only crazy, unpredictable bikers ride in weather like this.

I next stopped at TK park:

And then hit the trails:

If you want a good time, combine a lively road bike, drop bars, skinny tires, and gravel. There aren't many gravel roads around Central Ohio (as an ex dual sport motorcycle owner, I know this only too well), so I am always happy to put a little distance on any off road excursion I can find. The low trail front end of the Rawland handles everything with grace, with or without the front bag.

Still, it wasn't all wine and roses: traditional pedals with toe straps suck most of the time, but suck even more when it's raining out and the pedals are slippery. Also, I was again having brake issues with my Nordavinden. This time, the front pad was rubbing on the rim. That takes some of the lively, energetic feel from the lightweight tubing.

I had earlier replaced the side pulls with center pulls:

Power on the front is now adequate, although not at the level of an indifferently set up cheap V brake, but it's hard to keep them in adjustment. Particularly when I find I'm not carrying old style 8-9-10mm wrenches in my tool kit, just Allen keys. The rear brake (in both setups) is virtually worthless, though I think this might have something to do with some cable routing issues coming out the brake lever.

Still, when I end up selling this Rawland, it will be because of the brakes.

One down, 19 to go.

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