Lifes full of little disappointments and I received one of those yesterday. I’ve not mentioned this a lot but a few times but I received a small commission to write an article for Bicycle magazine a few months ago. Based on the fat bike winter riding and how we have been doing it for 15 years here already with MTB’s. I got the opportunity thru a friend of a friend.
Anyway, I sent it in two weeks ago and got a thanks but no thanks letter yesterday and I cant say Im not a little disappointed. I had visions of me writing and taking pics for spending money in my retirement someday. And while that dream isn’t completely trashed it sure took a major blow with that letter.
Just like the pics I take. Couple years ago I framed a bunch and hung them for sale in the store. Selling just one before I pulled the plug on that. They still hang in the store, and I still get a lot of compliments on them. And they might be good but not THAT good.
With my writing I also get some compliments. And it might be good but also not THAT good.
So as I sat on my bench this morn I was feeling a little sorry for myself. Its just a thing I really wanted and put many hours into. I have another piece started and not sure if I will take the time to finish. At least not in the immediate future. I can hang on to it tho, and maybe pick it up at a later date. As far as the article I sent in, they own it and said they will keep it on file and call me if anything changes. So that is that. I guess I’ll have to keep my day job. Which isn’t a bad day job.
Tonite is the stores Tuesday nite ride. Weather looks iffy. Its a busy week here heading into a Holiday weekend. And now I can replace my writing time with ride time.
I guess summer is here for real. Just some great weather the last few days. Summertime in Sheboygan means you only need a light jacket to go out and that’s fine by me.
On my walk this morn I stumbled onto this branch\tree sticking out of the sand, hanging over the water and recognized it right away. It was the same branch\tree that I always hung my fat bike off of this winter. It made for cool pics.
Now its a seagull hangout and that’s fine. They need something to do.
The weekend was fine for riding. Saturday I was on the MTB (the one that I need to ride more) and rode it home Friday nite and then back to the store on Saturday morn. Stopping by our local city park to watch the Xterra tri going on there. Seems interesting enough but I would pass. It was interesting watching some of the people on Huffys and hybrids tho… My hats off to them for trying. A big E for effort.
After that I just tooled slowing around the lakefront and headed into work. My help backed out on me and I was alone for most of the day. Selling 6 bikes on my own that day. Very busy.
Like I mentioned Friday I then got to head to Milwaukee to catch one of the last Dairyland Tour races. It was great weather and a good race, sitting down to a nice restaurant right on the course with good food. All in all a great race too. Glad I went.
Sunday after 4 hours of work I grabbed the Maboone and headed out for my long ride home. Less than 3 miles in I picked up a huge metal staple in my rear tire and had to do a roadside tube change. After, I just did not feel like riding a long way without a tube so I stayed closer to home and cut the ride short. I had to finish cutting my grass anyway.
So I didn’t get my 10 hours last week but that’s fine. I’ll try to better the 10 mark this week and make up for it.
Between Tuesday and Thursday I have 5 hours in and I gatta be happy with that. Im feeling better on the bike on the longer (for me) rides and that a good thing. Yesterday ride was at 2 hours 45 minutes. Just a 14.5mph average but that’s fine as I did not push the pace at all. Thats why Im happy to do the group rides as I have to push to stay in and I just cant replicate that alone. So I’ll call it a successful week on the bike.
The weather has been great for riding. The woods is a little wet still but the sun has been out enough to make the road riding good. Still cooler by the lake as I always need warmers in the morning still. But that’s just part of living here I guess. Does not pay to complain about it. It will warm up in August.
I know Ive said Im done talking about the Maboone but as I look back all I talked about was that driveline on a road bike. When critiquing the bike I seem to leave out one important thing. Those disc brakes.
While my last 3 cross bikes have been disc, starting with cable then moving to hydro, I never really had disc on a full out road version. I know the 150 pound racy guys are never going to go to disc due to the weight penalty. And at that weight might not even notice a disc. But let me tell you as a guy who is a little bit bigger than the other guys, the disc brakes are a must have from now on. Ive been on them on my cross bike for 3 years now.
No longer a crapshoot if Im going to stop at a stop sign on the bottom of a hill. I remember with carbon brake surface pretty much just crossing my fingers many times. In the past I even went to the Dura Ace carbon wheel with aluminum brake surface and that helped a ton, but nothing like the hydro brakes.
I have ran both Shimano Di2 hydro and now Sram CX1 hydro. I even had Sram Red hydro back when they recalled then all. All brakes worked great. Today Im descending with just one finger on the lever with confidence. I will never, and I mean never go back to caliper. So that is another reason (reason # 7) that will most likely use a cross bike on the road.
I know there are some road bikes disc today. Just some. Some of them are dubbed “gravel bikes”. Trek’s Domane has a couple models that are disc.
I guess I still do not under stand the “gravel bike”. Its a road bike that accepts wider tires. They claim road bike geometry, not cross. But really when you look at the entire picture you are just splitting hairs. Cross, gravel and endurance bikes are just so close. Really just small changes in the top tube height and wheelbase. Head tubes are up.
To me they are close enough to do the same thing. But the one thing in common is the disc brake.
Just a couple years ago the wheel choices were minimum. In the last year that has changes. Today the choices for road or cross disc has doubled from two years ago. Many manufacturers like Bontrager and Zipp now making rims specific to disc brakes and not just throwing a disc hub on a existing rim. All good stuff.
I dont know what I’ll ride on the road next year but one thing is for sure, it will have disc brakes, and if that makes it another cross bike so be it.
There. Now Im done with the Maboone.
This weekend Ive got plans to ride both days but tomorrow is a Xterra event in town that I have not been to yet so I might just grab my MTB and ride over there in the morning to watch it before the store opens instead of a road ride.
Another great store ride last nite. Ended up very tired (a good thing) and feeling a little better on the bike. This morning was to be my long ride Wednesday but this week its tomorrow and that fine by me. I’ll be much fresher then. I have not looked at the weather but I hope its just like today. Perfect riding weather for me anyway.
Once again the Maboone performed as expected. Sometimes I think Im a little too critical of things, I really like the bike and when I say something negative about it Im splitting hairs. But really I have to if I want to keep it honest and not sound like a commercial. But then again, the Maboone is a custom deal and not by any means a production bike.
So there endith the lesson. Ive talked quite a bit about that experiment. And now I am done.
Lets talk about another product review.
I usually don’t get too excited about stuff like this. But these Oakley Jawbreakers are the best cycling sunglass I have ever used. Designed specifically for cycling. They are big. They look almost like goggles but do not feel like goggles. When you wear them and look straight ahead you do not see any frame. With 100% lens coverage. Ive had the same pair of Radars for three years and I thought I would keep those forever. But the Jawbreakers are the first real cycling specific glasses they made. That sounds wrong but its true. Ive seen a ton of people golfing or playing softball with Radars.
Mark Cavendish himself has put in time developing this piece (so they say).
For cycling, this frame rocks. Comptable. Dont even know you are wearing them. Now about the lenes. Really as far as super expensive Oakley stuff go’s its the optics that separate them from the others. And that’s been going on for years. I must have had four or five lenses for my Radars. Using the photochomatic the most. Oakley has this new lens called Prizm. Its not super dark but blocks the UV stuff well. But the difference is the clarity. It seems to give way more clarity on things. Stuff just pops out. Awesome lens for MTBing.
But, these things come at a price and you have decide for yourself if a $200+ dollar sunglass is for you. Im glad I switched from my Radars.
Again, not trying to sound like a advertisement. This is something I personally use. And really like it.
Thats it for the product reviews for awhile. Tomorrow Im out on a bike ride all morning, not sure what to do. Mountain or road. Or both? Will see. Hope to get in 4 hours, will settle for 3+. No post tomorrow. And I will be riding my Maboone, wearing my Oakleys. And I wont say a word about them Friday.