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Sunday, April 27, 2008

Skinny tires make skinny tracks

Sometimes I just don't understand myself. I used to love road riding. I liked the fact that I could roll out my door and ride a few hours, then roll right back in. Being mostly a mountain biker, I was tired of always having to load the bike on the car, pack all my gear, drive to the trail, unpack the gear, blah blah blah...

Road biking was easy. In and out quickly. The road has always been a great way to train because of the ease in which you can accumulate miles and hours.

But, all that changed last year when I sold my road bike in favor of a shiny new cyclocross machine. It's the best of both worlds - I can still roll right out my door, but the CX provides variety that the road bike just wasn't capable of.

But with all of that said, for some reason I still opted recently to swap my 'cross tires for 23c road slicks. I guess that I was thinking "summer training = road bike". I was excited about heading out on the pavement again (it was November that I last rode really skinny tires) to get some tempo training. What I found surprised me. Every time I saw a gravel or dirt road I wanted to go explore it , but the lack of tread and fear of flats deterred me. I saw many unknown (to me at least) dirt roads and gravel paths and alleys. I wanted to ride them all!

Yes, the slicks are faster on the road. Yes, I have thought about buying another road bike. But, since I have no plans of road racing anytime in the foreseeable future, buying a dedicated road bike would pretty much a waste of money for me. I will be racing the Ironcross in October. The perfect reason to continue training on the CX. The skinnies are coming off this week, and the new Ritchey cx tires will take their place.

So why did I lose my desire to be a roadie? Maybe it was the group rides that turned into races. Maybe it was the fact that I don't like blowing through stop signs and red lights like the majority of hard core roadies do. Maybe it's just not fun to ride with other roadies. To me, It's more fun to ride 20 miles on the road, then turn off onto some singletrack for a few miles, climb a fire road across a ridge, then roll back onto the pavement covered in mud. I especially like riding up behind mountain bikers on a tough, technical trail with my drop bars and 35c cx tires. I've had more than a few comments about how crazy I must be. Nah, just having fun.


1 comment:

Jen said...

Yea it was muddy, but sure a lot of fun! Sorry I peeled off and went my own way, but I had a plan and wanted to stick to it. Thanks for turning back to say hi! =)