Well, maybe not quite dying…but totally sucking wind. Last night we had our weekly night ride around Lake Chabot and since I’m tearing apart the SS I rode the geared bike.
It SUCKED! The whole sit and spin thing just killed me and I don’t think I ever really got into my groove.
Now, part of the issue I’m sure is that my bike, while it was pretty state of the art when I bought it 5 or so years ago, is not the lightest thing around. And the front fork has no lockout feature which makes the standing and pedaling that I’m used to on the SS ridiculously bouncy and ineffective.
Actually, it’s not fair to say the whole ride sucked because having full suspension instead of the rigid frame and fork sure made the downhill fast and fun. Where I normally pick my line and try to avoid the most rocky and bumpy sections of the trail, last night I pretty much just pointed the bike downhill and hung on. There’s one really bumpy section that when on the SS I have to ride the very edge of the trail for fear of losing my fillings. Well last night I just ripped right down the middle using a couple of the bigger rocks as launch pads. It was a totally different experience.
The flats too were kinda nice since I was able to shift gears and keep up instead of spinning like crazy and falling behind.
Ok, so the only part that really sucked was the climbing. I started off on the first hill downshifting and spinning my way up and it just totally blew me out. I’m sure it’s a combination of different muscles and different pace, but I just couldn’t hang on the climbs like I do on the SS. The standing and climbing is so much better now that I’m used to it on the SS, yet when I did it last night the bike would get all bouncy and I’d end up red-lining my heart rate really quickly. Then I’d be forced to sit down and spin and my legs would start screaming.
I used to think riding SS made me a stronger rider and when I started I was convinced that it did. Now though, I think it just made me a stronger SS rider. I do think the SS makes me a better rider though. I’m better about picking my lines, I’m better at controlling the bike and I’m better at climbing when standing up.
I don’t know about stronger though….. I think that the best idea is probably to mix it up a bit and keep the body guessing. That way I get a better all around workout.