Thursday, 13 November 2014

Project: SubZero Update 3

Now I just need some ice and snow.
A few weeks ago I had an opportunity to put Project: SubZero through the paces.  I had heard about a mountain biking area nearby and went to check it out.  As I started packing for it, my wife expressed interest in coming along.  We'd have to take turns riding as we only had one mountain bike, and the trails here would have killed our hybrids.  But I'd rather spend time with my wife and share a bike than ride around solo.

The trails were pretty tough to navigate.  There was just so many fallen leaves from autumn covering the path, that sometimes the leaves were a foot or two deep.  You couldn't see rocks, roots or other obstacles.  But we found some areas that weren't too bad and had fun taking turns with Project: SubZero.  We did find there were some gearing issues so we tried to "single speed" it for the most part.

I tried messing with the derailleur when I got back.  I was able to get it shifting properly again but it just seemed off.  I'm not sure if it's an equipment problem or my inexperience with them.

I waited for an opportunity to test it properly.  Finally after several days of rain I was able to take it for a test drive on a back road.  At least, it was a dirt road last time I checked.  It ended up being thick gooey mud.  Normally the sight of a road like this would put me in a bad mood.  But I had a mountain bike equipped with fenders and big knobby tires; a thick gooey muddy road was ideal!

I didn't get in too far as it was starting to get dark.  I turned around and churned up the mud some more.  I found myself laughing as I watched my bike spray mud everywhere.  I felt my rear tire slip a few times as the mud started giving way into puddles.  I managed to stay stable and got out of the mud trap.

Riding a mountain bike is a completely different experience in comparison to road biking.  But I'm learning the one big thing they have in common is they're both fun as hell!

Next stop was another nearby dirt road.  This one didn't turn into gooey mud so I was able to pay more attention to how the shifts were going and other various noises coming from the bike.  While it was shifting there were obviously some problems going on.  I also noticed that my rear wheel was out of true.

The mud spray looks neat when lit up.
A few days later I rinsed off the bike as best I could, then packed it up in the car and headed down to the LBS.  They'll be going over both derailleurs to see what the problem is.  They'll also fix up my wheel so it is true again.  Last, but definitely not least, the studded tires are going on!

Still eagerly awaiting snow and ice.  For the first time since I made snow forts as a kid.

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