It finally came this weekend, real spring weather that I was in town to enjoy. And by "enjoy" I mean work in my shop noticing that it was real nice out.
Well, not totally true, I managed to get out for a great ride yesterday late afternoon. I thought I'd just go for a nice spin out around Cottage grove and hit some hills (Fruita is only 7 days away and I'm still about 2 months away fitness-wise). It was time to test out the 953 bike, and it was beggin for hills. I made a few adjustments to the bike, and headed out. I hit the hills in Cottage Grove first and it felt great. The handlebars on it are a touch too narrow, need to change those out, but the frame was great. Really stiff, really light. Felt like a good steel bike, but lighter.
I was having fun, so I headed east, towards Afton figuring I'd turn around before I made it all the way to town. Well, I spotted a group of about 5-6 riders turn onto my route ahead of me, so I decided to catch up and see if I could sit with them a little. I eventually caught them heading into Afton, oddly enough on a long downhill (Usually I catch people on climbs and get dropped on decents, part of being light, but tall and not aerodynamic). I was easily pedaling past them, so I took the front of the line figuring they'd just in my draft, but a mile down the road they were nowhere to be seen. Oh well, back to riding on my own. I head out of Afton up Stagecoach Rd to Indian Trail. One of my favorites, but in reverse. By this time the hills are really starting to catch up to me. My training regimen of riding once every 2 weeks doesn't seem to be helping me much. Both quads are on the verge of cramping, so I take a GU and manage to struggle home. Didn't feel so hot the rest of the night, but I felt like I really hit it hard and better to feel bad now than out west (as if this one hard ride will get me fully in shape!).
The bike was great. The rear end is very stiff, it's definetly a bit more firm than my other road bike, but hte biggest difference I noticed was actually switching from the Alpha Q sub3 fork to the Reynolds Ouzo pro on this bike. This fork feels way stiffer than my Alpha Q. It was quite surprizing, and I'll be curious to see how i like it as the roads improve (things are pretty bad in MN in the spring). The frame actually felt quite reminicent of my RB-1 when climbing, quick and stiff. I actually think I could get away with standard oversize tubes in a 60cm frame for someone of my weight and still have a very good riding bike.
The bulk of my weekend went into trying to finish up the tandem. I managed to get all the base paint on it on Saturday, but my plans were thrown off a bit when I discovered my paint supplier changed their hours and were no longer open on weekends. I need some green basecoat. So I did soem checking around and managed to find a place carrying House of Kolor stuff and got the materails I needed. I tried somethign new, their dry pearls to develop the color. This stuff is amazing, I applied it over a black basecoat and got the most beautiful dark green I've seen. Here's a quick shot of it curing. Note: I love painting S & S tandems compared to regular tandems. Spraying in three sections is far easier than trying to get the clear to lay down smooth on one large item. I've got a few hours of lug lining and detail work ahead of me, then a couple more coats of finish clear and this will officially be a bike! Can't wait to see this one all built up. I have all the parts in now and it will be a head turner!