Monday, March 5, 2012

Big Wheels go Up and Little Wheels do Hucks

The weather has been “interesting” of late and so on Friday when it was merely overcast I decided it was time to see how the big wheels went up a hill. For some strange reason I decided that Huntsbury should be the climb I tested them on, not the gentler and less covered in tar seal Rapaki. I think I had delusions of Mt Vernon the fun way and then back up for the Traverse.
I may have spent extra time on the lower slopes taking photos for strategic reasons
The lower slopes of Huntsbury went well on the big wheels, but once the gradient pitched up on the section by the water reservoir on Huntsbury Ave I started to struggle. Now I have to admit I’m not sure if my difficulties were due to the bigger wheels or my new found lack of fitness, but by halfway up I had to find a convenient side road and do a couple of circles on the flat to get my heart rate under control and stop the little dancing dots in front of my eyes.
Nearly at the top, time for another photo
The uber steep pinch near the top of the seal nearly did me in and the subsequent three steep pinches on the 4wd track left me gasping and my legs shaking. It was not pretty. Finally I made it to the top and cruised across the road to take in the view, safe in the knowledge that with legs like damp noodles I would not be taking on Mt Vernon.
Awwww, she looks right at home up here.
After the obligatory photo stop it was back on the bike and onto the fun singletrack of the Traverse. This was the first time I’d ever ridden the Traverse on a hardtail, let alone with big wheels, so I took it fairly easy. I loved the way the Trek cleared the rocky section where I usually dab and where I’ve had more than a few offs. Through the fast flowy, twisty bits I didn’t feel at home yet. A combination of brakes I’m not used to - must adjust reach on levers - and the way the wheels ride the corners meant I was pretty tentative.

This didn’t stop me dropping down to Brake Free and then onto Sesame St. The big wheels loved the bermed goodness of Sesame St and although it was a little bit rougher than my Anthem it was still great fun. Thumbs up on the downhill.

So the first really good test of my Trek is done and I’ve learnt a couple of things. This bike is going to make me fitter going uphill. I really need to sort out the brakes. 29ers eat rocky sections for breakfast. It’s fair to say I’m in love.

Then today I went to the other extreme. I had to make a trip out to Hornby so I threw my tiny bike on the back of the car and headed to the BMX track. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Hornby track and I really loved it. 10 laps had me almost passing out and my legs completely destroyed, but man it was fun.

My pumping skills have definitely improved and slowly but surely I’m getting more air over the jumps at the start. Now I just need way more cardio. Must ride my BMX at least once a week. It is stupidly fun and great interval work. I recommend that everyone gets one.

Oh by the way, I've decided to reward you, my lucky loyal readers with the most precious treat available on the interwebs, cute cat photo's. They will all be of my black monster Bastian (known variously as Bastoolio, Bastaloon, Stoon, Stool and some hideous baby talk names that will not be mentioned here). Today I give you Zombie Paws

You're welcome

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