Resolutions can be contagious when it comes to cycle-blogging, but with the aid of an iPhone, I can’t help but try to put in my 2 cents while trying to utilize some new technology.
Having mostly completed the build of a Soma Double-Cross frame into a cyclocross bike, I have been dying to test ride for months, but time just isn’t always on my side these days. Today, however, was an exception, and the weather was begging me to come out and play.
The bike currently has no handlebar tape because I haven’t been able to commit to the brake cable routing yet. The road standard is to set the right brake to the rear, and the left to the front. Cyclocross setups are vice versa, which is supposed to facilitate dismounts and allow rear wheel skids while only holding the left brake and top tube. I figure the first couple of rides I can try this technique out, and see if I like it, or crash from squeezing the wrong brake too hard. Until then, there’s no point in taping the bars yet.
I took the bike out to Don Edwards park in Newark, which was my target training area for building the cross bike, with it’s wide gravel trails and rolling hills and view of the bay, it’s probably the best cycling Fremont has to offer, as long as your bike can handle it. I’ve ridden my road bike on these trails several times, and always felt guilty for cutting up the tires on the gravel and getting dust everywhere. Skinny road tires don’t do well on gravel, but slightly fatter, knobby, cross tires do just right.
This route map very conveniently recorded using the iPhone’s built in GPS feature, I just click “Start” and “Stop” and everything else gets uploaded. COOL!
The website also allows non-GPS users to manually enter ride information, which is still handy.
The bike handled the gravel trails wonderfully, and it was exactly what I had in mind. It was the perfect blend of road positioning, familiar gearing, and nimble response with the ability to handle some loose dirt, which has interested me about cyclocross enough to build a bike around it. I look forward to getting to know these trails better, going out on the levees, and perhaps practicing a few hurdles with the bike, once I get more confidence.