Sunday, March 8, 2015

Spring is (Almost) Here (Cross Check, Bulls Eye Monster, Trek 620)

I'm going to make up a fact right here and say that February was the coldest month on record. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but it sure felt like it. Which made this weekends temps in the 40s feel positively spring like. I still had to wear most of my cold weather gear, but not quite all of it, and that was good enough.

Saturday I took the Cross Check on a quick library run on hopefully one of my last rides with snow in the background:

I'm still enjoying the Soma low trail fork. It would be nice to cut down some of the steerer tube, but after struggling at the limit of the stock fork's 300mm steerer for so long, this fork is getting nowhere near the miter box saw. Actually, it would be really nice if the CC came with a ~220mm head tube and a top tube with some slope, but I'm not a road bike purist that needs a level top tube.

As I rolled into the driveway coming home, the mailman was there with a box for me. New tires for the Bullseye Monster:

I was feeling good enough about the whole fat bike thing after my last ride that I wanted to invest in some better rubber for it. The stock Vee Missions might be good... somewhere... but not anywhere you need traction. Since the BEM is currently my only mountain bike, I wanted something with some more bite. I was happy to pick up these On One Floater NIB from an mtbr forum member, since On One recently changed their shipping policy--it now would have cost me $65 to get these shipped these days.

They mounted up quickly and easily, nothing special about changing fat bike tires:

(I tossed the stock inner tube liner that came with the wheels at the same time, saving a few precious grams on my ~35 pound bike). I quickly headed out to the Avery woodlot trail:

It's not overstating things to say that these tires transformed the bike. No self steer on the pavement, traction was much better through the corners (although still sketchy, it is snow after all), and when I did leave the packed part of the trail, I was able to keep churning forward.

Three cheers for the Floaters!

Today (Sunday), though the weather was predicted to be nice in the afternoon, the only time I had for riding was early in the morning. Full winter gear back on, I headed out on ye Olde Trek 650B in the sub freezing weather. I headed through the Metro Park, stopping to admire the frozen pond created by this beaver dam:

There were warning signs about ice on the trail--yesterday's snow melt now frozen across the bike path. I negotiated these slick spots carefully and successfully... until I didn't. A patch of ice on a (very slight) downhill corner caught me, throwing me to the pavement and slamming the back of my helmet into the ground. I feel fine, but the hit was hard enough that I tossed my old Bell helmet into the trash and picked up a new Specialized model at Bike Source this afternoon. I only looked briefly at the AWOL while there...

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