Saturday, May 30, 2009

A nice ride home, and big tires.

I had a great ride home on the Big Dummy the other day. The bike just plain rocks. With the Schwalbe tires installed, the bike feels like a freight train. Stable, solid-feeling combined with an upright seating position and wide ranging gearing, the bike begs to be ridden hard and loves to keep going through whatever is under the tires. I rode home on a mixed gravel and tarmac. The tires roll well on gravel, though lacking side knobs they roll when leaned. All around, they are a nice choice for mainly paved riding conditions.
Bike path flowers. These are blooming everywhere along ditches and the river bottoms around here. Certain paths in the Nature Center will be flanked on either side by 4' tall flowers. The smell is a bit of heaven, and it's a pretty stunning sight.

One of the four valleys along the route to work. The valleys make for some killer hills on either side. The Dummy rolled the hills really well. Spinning is really necessary to maintain speed, but works really well. On the ride into work the next morning, it only took me 55min instead of the usual 50! I weighed the bike when I got to work. It was 58.5lbs with my work clothes and some food. For a 55 min ride over 14.1 miles it breaks down to about a 15.5 mph average. Not bad on a 60lb bike!
Some shots of the back entrance to the Rice County Wilderness Park. This would be a ridiculously cool log ride! It's about 6' at its height, and about 30' long.
Ditch blooming wild flowers.
Nice woods shot. It was a really gorgeous afternoon.
Random bridge shot in Northfield. This will give me a route to avoid the busiest intersection of my route. I really can't wait. What a way to change the river scape of Northfield, it's awesome.
Big Dummy revisions #1. Like any MTB I ride for long periods of time, this one got a set of H Bars. I simply can't ride flat bars comfortably any more. Ever after only two rides totaling abut 30 miles, my whole upper back and neck are so much tighter. These should make for a huge comfort increase, while providing alternate hand positions on longer rides.
Here's a shot of the necessitated goofy shifter set up. This is temporary, as a set of Paul's Thumbies will be here next week. Odd as it looks, it works rather well.
I'm a tire whore. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Tires change a bike noticeably more than any other component. This bike will have two sets, the Schwalbes for tarmac, and these XDX 2.4" tires from Bontrager for dirt and long gravel. I love this tread pattern irregardless of wheel size. These tires weigh in at just over 700g, not bad at all considering how they roll. They casing size measures 61mm on these rims, with the side knobs measuring about 63mm! They just look right on this bike, and should expand its capabilities greatly. I'll be riding this on the group ride on Tuesday, and it'll be interesting to see how it all works out.
I saw this on the way back from taking pictures. I just love the looks of these. Red with tan interior would be one of my first choices as well. This was really well done, and was an easy 1' car. It's a good one.


frankenbiker said...

I haven't gotten my Big Dummy together yet,but I hope to soon.I have ridden a couple of them and they are an amazing bike.

I thought log ride before I read the caption on your pic.You should do it it would be awesome!

Ben said...

The log ride would be sweet, but it's on county land. It's not really an option to build anything there. On the contrary, it's guarded by a druid like group of nature folk. Not a bad thing really, but even mention a bike and you'll get a death stare. Plus I'm way to chicken to ride anything of that magnitude! I'll be tryin the Dummy offroad tomorrow, but the more I get accustomed to it, the farther I'm able to push it into corners. I've heard they two wheel drift rather well, we'll see about that.

Ben said...
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