Tuesday, October 02, 2007

That was a fun workout

Photo: The current state of my foul-weather commute. Minus the rest of the bike.

Aside from riding it 18 miles to my parents' place for Thanksgiving last year, this is the longest transportation trip I've ever made on my Sorrento. Even on Thanksgiving, I was using the slicks on the Sorrento. I've taken plenty of recreational rides that were further, but that's a different kind of riding and a different state of mind. For instance, last Monday, I rode the Sorrento to the Trek Store, on the ride, and back home pretty much all in one run of things for a total of 20 miles. I logged a similar distance on it during the Lenexa Midnight ride.

While I knew it would handle the distance and my body would be able to handle riding it the distance, it's no secret that mountain bikes are not the ideal machine for getting around on paved roads. Regardless I wanted to give it a shot, especially with the forecast for this evening: Lots of rain, but it may end up spawning severe thunderstorms or even tornadoes. I know, what the hell? Tornadoes in October? It was exceptionally balmy this morning, with humidity on the rise, winds picking up, and temperatures ascending even before the sun came up. Yes, something is brewing, and tornadic activity wouldn't take me by surprise. If it gets violent, I'll retreat to the bus. Otherwise, I'm ready to get soaked this evening!

Interesting things? Nothing really. I bombed through the rough terrain with reckless abandon instead of carving it with precision like I do on my road bike. Storm drains, rough RR tracks, sunken manhole covers, potholes, and curbs all become flat and smooth as far as my Sorrento is concerned. I'm running the tires close to their max recommended PSI, but the 1.9" knobbies and suspension fork gave me a cushy ride all the way in. Near Mission road, I was stopped in traffic by a slow train and didn't once put my feet on the ground. I had a long but twitchy track stand going. I almost lost it a few times. The Sorrento's smallish frame (theoretically too small for me), wide tires, and platform pedals make it a very stable and fun bike. I kept the stand going by lifting the front wheel off the ground a few times to get the bike back under me when I was about to lose it. Simple pleasures for simple minds, eh?

What a blast, this bike makes me feel like a kid on a BMX. I can't wait to play in the snow again! I am definitely noticing that my hip flexors and glutes got a better workout today than usual. They are aching just a little bit, and probably got used a little differently, as I don't usually hammer on this bike.

After slogging up Baltimore and bouncing through the construction zones, I pulled up to the coffee shop where Bob's bike was sitting outside. Lorin's Schwinn is in the shop, so his Trek 2300 was there in its place. It's a nice bike but without any braze-ons, it's not terribly practical for dedicated commute duty. It's meant only to be ridden fast. That's it. It has no other purpose by design, but any bike is a usable commuter bike if it gets you and your gear around.

Oh yes, and Jeff told me last night (and I noticed it this morning) about the new bicycle parking along 12th street. They've been re-doing the curbside along 12th street to make it look nicer and to be more accessible. The revamped section of 12th now has nice "A" racks for bicycles. They look like an upside-down rounded "V" sticking out of the ground, like a U rack with an angle. There seem to be racks aplenty along this corridor, so be sure to check them out if you're in downtown KC. They go nicely with the less-desirable wave racks along Baltimore, but any bike parking is good.

Random Tunage:
Lange featuring Morrighan - Follow Me (Club Mix)
Junkie XL - Mushroom

1 comment:

Jon said...

I commute on a fixed-gear mountain bike, but it is set up pretty much as a heavy-duty roadish bike. Check it out, here http://www.grinderswheels.blogspot.com/ if you want.

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