The New Guy
So, the other day I am talking to the missionaries for my church (It's my job to help them out) and one mentions he bought a new bike as he got hit by a car on his old one. Anyway, he brought it up as a result of me talking about my old paint of a mountain bike. Anyway, he offered me his old frame and seeing as I didn't have front suspension or a threadless stem setup I jumped at the chance. Last night I tinkered in the garage like a mad scientist, grabbing this part off my old mountain bike, exchanging it with that part on the new (to me) bike. I had some 8 speed deore brifters from a bit back that I got on ebay that I replaced his with (he had some crappy 7 speed Acera components on it). I managed to get it all together except for the brakes and the seatpost. He'd lost the top part of the seatpost that screws into the main seatpost piece. Well, I had an extra seatpost top but the bolt was too wide. Hmmm, what would Tim Allen do? You guessed, I got a drill bit out but couldn't find my drill, but on a shelf I see the industrial strength 1/2 inch shank drill, one of the workmen left behind when they added on to our house. I've heard tell of these things breaking bones when they get loose on ya. Anyway, flipped it on and the drill bit went through the seatpost hole like butter. Seat problem fixed! What about the brakes? Well, I know the pads on the old paint are for cantilever brakes and were probably used by Fred Flinstone at some point but I figured they only needed to last one ride until I could get to a bike shop. So, after some work, it was all together! Time? 10 past midnight. HOOooooo ha ha ha ha ha.
Well, since it's friday, and since I don't normally do a hard workout on friday, I figured it would be a good day to well, oh, take a nice easy mountain bike ride through rugged mountains. That wasn't what I thought but I figured I'd go easier than I'd want to anyway. I work about a half mile from one of the main mountain biking spots in the city of Pheonix. The Phoenix mountains are covered with singletrack, some trails harder than others. I'd determined I'd stay on Trail 100 since I was going to take it easy.
The new guy takes a break.
Starting out in the hills behind the Hilton (ha ha no pun intended) I still had some issues with the seat so I racked down on that bolt like there was no tomorrow and it held. I also would be plagued with a slipping seatpost which I think I am going to need to sand but that is all beside the point. I have never ridden with any kind of suspension before and I have to tell you I think I'm converted and have seen the light. It might be a crappy suspension fork but oh baby it is a lot better than no suspension fork. I found myself letting go on the descents and letting that shock do the work. The bike was much easier to steer as it bounced around on the rocks. I wandered up the perl charles memorial trail to Trail 100 and proceeded up the nice rock strewn trail.
Determined to follow 100 to it's end I meandered back into the mountains, I figure I held onto it for a few miles and then I started wandering off into forgotten paths. The paths were taking me in closer to the mountains, up towards the non-beginner trails on the side of the mountain. I don't really consider myself a beginner owing to the fact it may be my first ride on a hardtail but I have ridden a lot of miles in the backcountry (I did ride a fully suspended fsr around the 24 hours in the old pueblo course one beautiful day but that is like a dream now). The point being the mountain paths were probably going to work me a little harder than I had intended. Oh well.
Yours truly catching his breath on his "easy" workout day.
I made it all the way back in by the north side of Piestewa peak and then turned around. I took the perl charles trail back and at one point found myself dropping down a near vertical shoot and my back tire coming up off the ground over the back of my head. I was able to get a foot and hand out to catch myself but the rocky cliff cut my hand. Needless to say I had to walk/lower the bike the remaining 8-10 down to the other trail.
I think the bike handled well. It took all that I dished out and admittedly I was riding a bit conservatively but I think this is going to be a good bike. I need to get it out onto the hawes trails now.
The following are some pictures from my commutes over the last few days-
Parking lot up by Piestewa (Squaw) peak.
"Support our troops!" said the women falling out of the sky in the strange bathing suit!
Tunnel on the wonderful bike path.
The wonderful bike path.
Yours truly kickin back at a stop light waiting for the signal to turn.
The commuter on the canal bank.