Sunday, November 16, 2014

Bring on the Snow

I sold my Fatback snow bike last spring, I wasn't loving the first generation Speedway Cycles wheels (non-welded seam that made it tough to set up tubeless) and it just wasn't easy to justify owning a bike that you may or may not ride more than a dozen times each winter. That all changed when I had the opportunity to try out a friend's 9:Zero:7. I really like the geometry of these frames, they ride more like a regular mountain bike in my opinion, and it just so happened that my LBS had a couple of last year's frames that they were looking to unload. I had read quite a bit about the Bontrager Jackalope wheels, they are really lightweight and fairly inexpensive. I like the fact that they are easy to set up tubeless, especially when paired with the Bontrager Hodag tires. I had it built up with SRAM 1x11, Avid mechanical discs, plus some nice Truvativ carbon bars and seatpost which should soften the ride some. I did a quick shakedown ride on our local trails this morning and I have to say it rides much better than my old Fatback. Hopefully we will get more snow than the past couple of years, we are planning on spending quite a bit of time skiing up in New Hampshire this winter, and  I plan on bringing along this bike to ride the numerous snowmobile and XC trails in the area.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Bikes and Beer

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So something cool happened tonight. A couple weeks ago I posted my Stevens cross bike on Craigslist. I've only had the bike a couple of years but in that time it has become quite clear that a cross bike is rad for cyclocross racing (I entered a race back in 2012), for riding on dirt roads (of which there are not that many in my neck of the woods), and for doing rides like the D2R2 (which I've done the past 3 years), but for the type of riding that I do on a regular basis (commuting to work) a cross bike has its limitations. I really need a bike where I can mount racks and I am thinking disc brakes might be cool also. Hence the decision to try and sell the Stevens. Anyhow, this guy from Burlington, Vermont emails me and says he would like to buy the bike. We exchange a couple of texts and then a phone call, where we agree that he will come down in a week or so and pick up the bike. A couple of nights ago he texts me and says he wants to come down on Friday. I figure since he is driving from Vermont (at least a 5 1/2 hour drive) he has his mind set on buying the bike, so I agree to meet him in Wrentham (a little over an hour from my house) after work today. After the usual "Hey, nice to meet ya", he takes the bike for a short spin and we make the exchange, no hassle. Just as I am getting ready to pull out he tells me to wait and hands me a 4-pack of Alchemist Heady Topper IPA, thanking me for meeting him. Shouldn't I be the one thanking him for giving me a handful of cash? For you beer geeks out there you know that the illusive Heady Topper is only available in Vermont and back in 2013 it was claimed to be "the greatest beer in the world". I think I will wait for a special occasion (tomorrow sounds pretty special to me) to try the greatest beer in the world, and I am sure as soon as I turn on the TV my soul will be crushed, but for now my faith in humanity has been restored. My buddy Keith always says that 80% of the people you meet are a$$h0les, but if you meet a guy named Joe from Vermont riding a red Stevens cross bike, give him a high-five and know he is part of the 20%.