It was hot in New England this last week. September has been more like June, and for me, that means I’m riding one of two drop bar bikes I own. One is a straight ahead road bike with 25mm tires and road pedals, that I use to go-fast-or-get-mildly-fatigued-trying. The other is a mixed-terrain bike with 32mm file treads and mountain pedals that I commute on and, when I can manage it, escape for rambles with my friends on the weekends. Very occasionally, I ride my mountain bike, but really only when a friend specifically suggests riding mountain bikes. My default on most single track would still be to ride the mixed-terrain bike.
This is no judgement on my mountain bike or mountain biking generally, a side of the sport I feel more and more drawn to as I get older. The stoke-to-effort ratio (S2E) for most mountain bike rides is better than the road riding I do, mainly because I don’t have the time to devote to long road rides, and anyway, I get tired of all the roadie rituals around body grooming, attire, creams, paceline etiquette, etc. I can do all those things, but I often don’t really want to. I don’t want to say that road riding is too pretentious, but I do want to say that it can be.
Still, it surprised me the other day when I descended to the basement and pulled the mountain bike out for my commute. Why would I commute on a fat tire bike, notwithstanding the fact that I can rope in about a mile of trail on my way to work? Pushing big rubber down paved roads is a bummer.
But something shifted in my mind. The path less traveled. West of Jesus. Bigfoot walks among us. Ya know? No. Me neither. But I’m just trying to follow my front wheel and see where it leads.
I went shopping for studded 27.5″ tires and mountain bike fenders, such as they are. I’m thinking the mountain bike is the bike of choice for a while.
This week’s Group Ride asks, do you switch primary bikes at a certain time of year? And what is the milestone or signal for you to switch over? Is it weather related? Event related? Friend related? Or is it completely random?