The virgin ride.It's nearing the end of February, the temperature is 3 degrees, and the snow is melting. Also, it's 5 months until the 8 hour Epic! Gotta get the bike out and start riding!
A couple of days ago, I got my wheels trued at Wild Rock in Peterborough. They guys there tell me that the wheels are in bad condition, and couldn't be fixed perfectly. They still have some hop. Oh well, I'll replace them eventually. They work right now, and I don't have the money to replace them.
After the usual morning routine, I carry my bike into the living room for some pre-ride check-ups. First, fill the tires, check the brakes, the normal stuff. I noticed one crappy thing: The rear-right brake mount is falling off!! Shitty deal *tear*. I decide not to deal with it now, as it's still stuck on fairly well. It's just flopping around a bit. I didn't have enough time then, and I'll be able to clean it better later.
Get the seat set up properly, and the 'rents show up with the shock pump. Woohoo! I get that sorted out on the road and it came set up perfectly!
Now, onto the ride! My first impression was how well this bike fit me. I'm a big guy, at 6', all arms and legs, and 190lbs. (currently). It didn't feel small like all other bikes I've ever ridden. However, I'm a little worried about when I get onto the trail, that it might be a little too big.
No matter, this thing rolls! The big wheels allowed to to fly down the hills, and even felt like it was easier to climb them too! My new cyclocomputer clocked my max. speed at 45.4kmph, and that was basically just coasting down the hill.
The other two BIG notes worth mentioning were the tractor tire ruts. I stuck to the shoulders of the county roads to avoid being run over, and I barely felt these things. Before on the Yukon, I avoided them like the plague. they just slowed me down so much, and were so uncomfortable to ride over. These bigger wheels allowed me to float over them without any speed loss.
Also, and this is awesome, I had to ride across two ice patches that were at least 20 feet long each, as well as a few other shorter ones. As long as I kept my pedal strokes smooth, and my wheels straight, it's as if they weren't there, even when riding over the ridges. They only time I took notice was when going up a rather steep hill, the rear tire spun out a couple of times, but I never lost composure. It was an amazing feeling of confidence you could never get in a 26" bike.
My only complaint was the cold: It went down to -2 after the sun had set. Next time I'll make sure to get out earlier so I don't get caught in the cold.