Saturday, February 16, 2008

Only 1 speed!

So as life is sometimes, it's too easy to get caught up going a million miles an hour. At times, I need to just go 1 speed. When I woke up this morning I checked the weather on Mt. Washington. The outside temperature was -18 below zero and the winds were blowing at 80 mph! Yup, it's a good day to crawl back into bed with Steph and the felines. That mountain will be there another day!

After some French Pressed Java, I was ready to do something. What is all this about going 1 speed you ask? Well, I built myself a fancy new mountain bicycle last fall for winter riding.
First in early December it snowed a ton and the trails were buried, then I had some medical issues, well finally after staring at the bike at work for 3 months, I decided to take her for a spin. My Cannondale 1 FG! I'll leave it to you to figure out what the "FG" means. This is a slick ride. I haven't ridden or owned a hard tail since Steph and I were in Moab, Utah in 2001. This one is special though, it only has 1 gear! (Just gave you a hint at "FG") I figured with all the rain we had on top of the snow the other day that the snowmobile trails would be pretty sweet for some winter mountain biking.

WOW! What a blast! I drove up to Mt. Agamenticus here in Southern Maine where we normally will go Mountain Biking and thankfully the trails had been packed out pretty well by the ATV's and Snowmobiles. It's called riding the spine of the beast! You know that ridge that the snowmobile track makes in the center of the two ATV tire tracks. The beast's spine was firm and fast! One bummer this time of year is that you're at the mercy of the machines...I ran into a lot of dead ends. My studded tires were nice and grippy for passing over the occasional frozen stream crossing or water hole. I was tempted to head onto the ponds for some pure ice riding but, it looked a bit sketchy and I was alone, so I played it safe! I managed a fairly long ride combining a couple of cool trails. I did get a nice cardio work out too! My lungs were a bit painful though from the cold air.

I thought about wanting to be in the mountains today, though I am glad I saved it for another time. While making my way out of the woods, I planned to ride to the top of Aggie on the paved road. It's a steep mountain road with a 13% grade in spots, but it is short only 3/4's of a mile to the top. I thought I could at least get to 690 feet above sea level today! While I was rounding one of the hair pin turns on the road, I spotted a deer on the side of the road just a ways ahead. A truck was coming up the road behind me and I waved them to slow down then I stopped and watched her make her way into the woods. After the truck passed, I went to the spot where she went into the woods and watched her for a few minutes. She was curious, but not enough to stick around. So I continued my climb up. This bike is cool! I'll be anxious to ride with it this spring and summer. Not only is it a single speed but, it has the Lefty fork also. No frozen derailleur cables or frozen derailleur! With the lack of gears it is a bit more of a work out, especially climbing up this road!
I could see Mt. Washington from the top of Aggie as well as the Ocean as far north as Kennebunk. The water was crystal blue, and Washington was pure white and full of snow!

1FG!

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