The new radness

Lynx trail (the hard way, from the pond) on a singlespeed is a goddamn pain in the ass.  The trail is a pain in the ass anyway, but having only one gear to work with ups the ante.  In spite of having to walk a number of the second-half sections and largely giving up after the trail turned right, I was still 19/82 on the Strava World Championship Measuring Stick of Who Is Awesome At Bikes.  It was part of a loop I’d love to come back and ride more than one lap of.

Even in the daytime, it is creepy to be all alone deep in the woods on Lynx.  You have to ride a lot safer when you’re by yourself, and you’re more aware than usual – like how far away from your car you are.  And you hear things, and think you see things, and wonder what you would do if you encountered a huge crazy animal.  Fortunately the only craziness I came upon was a pair of fighting turkeys.

For the first time in over four years, I actually checked the air in this fork.  I bought the bike used in 2009 and never touched the suspension, because I am highly ignorant when it comes to these things.  As it turns out, the (+) pressure was off by 75psi, and the (-) was off 100psi.  That sort of explains why I always locked it out and occasionally swapped in a carbon rigid fork.  Now it’s much better.  Combined with this new Ardent 2.4, I’m a maniac.

This tire up front inspires so much confidence that it’s outright depressing.  Now I actually drive this bike through turns, instead of slowing up and hoping the front end doesn’t wash out.  There’s really no fear of it not being able to eat anything in its way.  The only weirdness I have to better understand is that it feels like it pulls to the side during a slow climb.  It may be a function of the mass of the tire.  But it’s really insignificant in context.

I’m not sure the Ralph is a great match.  As is usually the case when you put a high traction tire on the front of a bike, the inadequacies of the rear tire become pronounced.  The RR is not awful, it’s definitely a light tire, but it’s all over the place by comparison.  I have an old Ignitor I will throw on, just to see.

I really like the weight savings of my rigid carbon fork, but even with a 2.4 up front I sincerely doubt I will ride as free and fast.  I will still try it anyway to satisfy my curiosity.

I pulled a pair of ticks off my legs.  One was pretty big (not of concern) and I don’t think had bitten yet; the other was definitely a female deer tick, the size of a sesame seed.  I coaxed that one off with a pair of tweezers; it was biting pretty good but ultimately gave up.

It sounds like I’m getting preventative antibiotics.  The issue is that it takes time to have the tick tested for Lyme, and the test is reasonably accurate but not 100%.  And it doesn’t make sense to wait and see if symptoms develop, because people present differently; not everyone gets a rash, some people never demonstrate outward signs of infection.  But if you do get Lyme, your life could suck for a while.  So prudence here is to just take the pill and not have to think about it.  I really need to be better about bug spray.  It’s still early season, but it’s not that early anymore.

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2 thoughts on “The new radness

  1. Uh…. you didn't check the fork air pressure for 3+ YEARS??

    Forks/shocks are like tires…. check 'em regularly. They lose air, and don't work as well when not set up. Just imagine riding that bike with a flat front tire for 3 years – yeah, it would handle funny.

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  2. Not long after I checked those pressures and corrected them, that same analogy crossed my mind. I felt like someone who rolled into a shop with 40PSI in their road tires.

    I have no excuse or explanation. Suspension was just this one thing I had never decided to learn anything about. I didn't have it growing up, and my Super V did not have tunable suspension like this, so it just never became part of my repertoire.

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