Experimental music, photography, and adventures

New bike!

Monday, August 21st, 2006

Finally, I got a new bike! I bought a GT Avalanche 2.0 from Indy Cycle Specialist. It kind of sucks that I had to go to Indianapolis to find a GT, but it was definitely worth the trip, and I liked the shop a lot. Here’s the bike:

Here’s a cool shot of my GPS mounted on the handlebars:

I’ve gone on three rides with it so far, Saturday, yesterday and today.

Today’s ride was to Wapehani with Chris, Tyler, and Collin from work. When I got there, I had a bit of trouble getting the front wheel back on — I wasn’t entirely surprised, because I had some trouble with that when I got the bike home. I don’t know whether the disc for the front brake isn’t mounted quite right, or if the thing with the pads isn’t lined up right, or if I’m just incompetent, but it took me a while to get the wheel on in such a way that the front brake didn’t rub. I need to use the bike rack more in the future.

Anyway, as for the ride itself, here’s a map and elevation profile. I need to figure out a way to calibrate my GPS or something, it shows us riding onto the highway, and a bit into the lake — which we didn’t.

My bike handled the trails pretty damn well, better than I did, that’s for sure. It’s a pretty technical course, and there are lots of roots and other obstacles — the suspension absorbed a lot of the bumps, allowing me to concentrate more on, well, riding! I need to try to find the optimal stiffness for the suspension. I think I could set it a bit softer without having problems. I haven’t bottomed it out once yet.

I am really loving the brakes on this bike. I’m still getting used to them, but I already have pretty good control, and can slow down slightly or stop suddenly to whatever extent my traction allows. To a certain extent, when you’re flying around a bumpy trail with loose dirt and (increasingly) leaves on it, you just aren’t going to have terrific traction. I think better tires would help, but the ones I have don’t seem bad.

There are a few problems I’ve noticed; sometimes I have a bit of trouble shifting (the chain has gotten bunched up in the front derailleur a couple of times), there’s a really annoying noise coming from, I believe, either the crank or the rear wheel. Also, the pedals suck. Fortunately, I’ve got 1 year free service from the shop. Unfortunately, I have to go to Indy to take advantage of it.

Overall, though, the bike is working out great. I’m also getting better at going over logs and other obstacles. I still need work at that, but I feel more confident and usually can get over obstacles fairly well.

I didn’t think the path we took through Wapehani was as much fun as the ones we did last time, but it was more challenging. It seems each direction you can take at Wapehani (and there are many!) has its own advantages and drawbacks.

Yesterday and Saturday, I rode in the woods in my old neighborhood. I went further than I usually do. The short ride to the pond and back just isn’t enough anymore; Unfortunately, there’s no way to go just a bit further without going a much more exhausting route. So I think I need to pretty much keep at it and hopefully I’ll get in better shape.

There’s one part of the ride that’s a lot of fun, where you go downhill while curving around to the left, then go straight, through this dip, and then up and to the right. There are a lot of roots, and it used to be pretty harrowing for me at times, but I can pretty much just cruise through the whole thing on my new bike — it’s great!

Here’s the map and profile for this ride:

One Response to “New bike!”

  1. i, squub Says:

    Ah, come on. You know you were riding through the lake. Why not just admit it??

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