Friday, May 7, 2010

Mountain Biking

Mountain biking today for the first time this year.

Picked a bad day though. The temperature was about 17°C when I started at around 4:30 pm at 700m altitude . The climb was a local one of 600m and giving that temperature drops by 6.5°C per 1000m that means a 4°C drop in temperature by the top of the climb. During the hour I took to climb there was also unknown to me at the time a 4°C drop in temperature at the bottom – due to a rapid change in weather. So when the rain started at the top – as it did – it was only about +9°C and I was in shorts and thin cycling top with fingerless gloves – not ideal. The rain caused me to bail out of the off-road descent that I’d been looking forward to – it would have been too slippy and dangerous.

(The video clip is just the on road descent through the villages - nothing exciting but shows what the scenery is like a bit.)
Took it easy as I was trying to conserve energy for a possible race on Sunday which has a lot of climbing – thus didn’t want to tire the legs too much. The mountain bike feels incredibly heavy since getting used to the 6.7kg Canyon racer. It’s at least three times that weight, but it’s still fun to climb with and brilliantly stable on the descent. Just replaced the back tyre with a 2.3in tubeless freeride tyre. I have a 2.5 heavy duty downhill tyre on the front but the frame on the back won’t take such a big tyre. The extra weight of the downhill tyre makes it fantastic on the rough and steep descents and the big knobbles on the surface of the back tyre make it great for off-road climbing where traction in the shale and grit are more important issues than weight. The mountain bike has the UK set up of back brake on the left and front brake on the right – opposite from the racing bike – it’s easy to get confused! Was disappointed at having to descend on the road to get out of the cold and wet, but was glad to have contact with the old mountain bike again.

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