Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm gonna miss Hybridzilla

Approaching 87th street on Quivira this morning, the traffic signals were ALMOST working in my favor. Cars were stopped there. The lights turned green and I was seemingly close enough to sprint and make it, so I tried. I hopped out of the saddle, using my clipless pedals to push and pull at the same time. My feet became a cyclone as I spun out the midrange of my middle chainring. I kicked over to the large ring and kept hammering, clicking through the final 3 gears or so. 25... 30 miles per hour as the stale signal turned to amber. 35 miles per hour as I entered the intersection. About 3/4 through 87th street, the signal turned red.

I eased up a bit and sat back down. The spokes were whistling as they severed the air. The chain whirred away. I clicked down to the middle ring again to blitz the viaduct's apogee with a solid, quick pace to the top. Once I cleared the peak, I had the most peculiar and seemingly ironic sensation: my lungs were burning as they inhaled sub-freezing air. Imagine Habanero-flavored ice cream.

The back-side of the crest greeted me with the opportunity to wring my legs of their remaining cadence juice. 35... 40 miles per hour down the hill with what I'd estimate at about 80% perceived effort while remaining in the saddle. All the while, little Christmas lights were innocently twinkling away, gently wrapped around the main triangle of Hybridzilla's cold steel frame.

As the tarmac came to the level, I stayed in a high gear and kept my speed in the 30s all the way to Burger King, where I acquired loads of gooey carbs. Okay, I actually ate pretty light this morning, but it still wasn't good, wholesome food.

Once I'd scored my breakfast and strapped it to the rack, the hammerfest came back from intermission to make the final jaunt to the bus stop. Panting and sweating, I snarfed my sustenance as baffled motorists looked onward. I chased it with the entire contents of my water bottle, then stood and waited.

The Sorrento is fun in it's own right, but it will never, ever be capable of a ride like I had this morning. Her knobby tires, heavy frame and front suspension fork, and low gearing will serve me well this winter, but the past few days have given me the taste of speed that I'm not going to see much of for the next few months. I'll still break out Hybridzilla or the Trek for recreational rides this winter when the conditions are right. I've resolved that my main winter commuter -- regardless of conditions -- will be the Sorrento. I learned my lesson last winter, and I need to stay prepared for bad conditions.

Random Tunage:
Jimmy Eat World - The Middle
Ben Folds Five - Brick

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damn you are a looser. Why post on the internet about your every daily move. NO ONE CARES!!

Noah said...

Damn you are a loser, anonymous. You're more than welcome to go read something else.

Note that loser is spelled with only one "o". You'd better get back to English class before the hall monitor finds you goofing off and sends you to the principal.

BadgerLand said...

It seems ironic that someone will take the time post such a negative comment about something that "NO ONE CARES" about, as an anonymous poster. Simple solution...don't read it "looser"!

Sefauna said...

I care! :D

Eric in Santa Clara, California said...

Hi Noah,

Ignore the uneducated and cowardly troll. Real comments are dignified with pride of ownership and a name, not cloaked in misspelled drive-by anonymity.

Your blogs are informative and interesting slices of life, and inspire us to "keep on keepin' on".

With interest in all things green and bicycle commuting picking up, and your eye for the urban landscape you roll across, ever think about parlaying this into an interview on NPR's "This American Life" or similar? Just a thought...

Roll on..

lowrydr said...

OK, I've got to know just what kind of gearing you're running to hit 40 on a comfort bike without coasting down a huge hill. And still only putting out 80%, you should have thrown your hips out of socket on most comforts the way their geared.

Noah said...

48x11 at 120 RPM.

Cadence and effort (torque) are not the same thing. I haven't actually tried, even with clipless, I don't think I could spin 20% faster (140 RPM). So I wasn't insinuating that I was running at 80% of my max cadence, but I certainly wasn't putting 100% of my available effort into the pedals. That would require getting out of the saddle. To do so would have been stupid.

Noah said...

To clarify, hybridzilla was not a comfort bike when she rolled off the assembly line, nor is she a comfort bike now. She was a rigid-frame, suspensionless mountain bike from the get-go, and I put a different cassette on, lowered the stem, raised the seat, and installed slick tires to make it a ghetto-rigged hybrid bike that fits my needs.

Sirrus Rider said...

Gee Anonymous, if it isn't worth reading they why are you even here complaining?? Don't read it if you don't like it. I myself happen to like reading Noah's commuting blog.. Why?? He's a good writer and he tells a good narrative even if it's such as mundane subject as his life. Secondly, he lives in a colder climate than myself and I glean little bits of insight and knowledge on beating the cold from his writings

Noah said...

mundane subject as MY LIFE? It's ON, buddy! :p

Just kidding. You get to learm from my mistakes a few weeks or months before you have to deal with the same crap. You won't likely get the pleasure of below-zero cycling, though. That's one I wish I didn't have to take for the team.

The Historian said...

Congratulations on your first troll! Let's hope it's the last of 'em.

cDude said...

Trolls suck. Nice job hiding behind the "anonymous" tag. Get a logon, "looser". Your mom's loose. Grow up.

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