81 Days: I Know What I Did Last Summer

In 2010 I started riding Salsa bikes.  Not FOR Salsa, but just riding their bikes and enjoying their “Adventure By Bike” ethos along the way.  My first was a 2009 Chili Con Crosso frame, which I built up with SRAM Rival and some Ultegra wheels, a Van Dessel carbon fork, and some other parts which make it into a complete bike.  It has served me well, and it was my go-to bike for all of my long distance gravel riding since it was first built up (except for CIRREM last year which I had to borrow a bike for after roaching my BB on a B-road before the race)  Then I got a brand new Vaya.  I wanted one of these since they came out.  I hated it almost immediately.  Evidently going from the Chili to the Vaya was too big of a jump for me.

I switched to riding the Vaya almost exclusively, determined to make myself like this bike or die trying.  I rode a lot of gravel…and broke some spokes.  I rode an overnight from Cumming to Breda, fully bagged and using my amazing dyno light system.  It beat my ass.  Heavy and meant for a little more relaxed riding, the Vaya just wasn’t what I was looking for.  Then I officially forsake all other bikes and only have been riding the Vaya exclusively, almost out of spite.

Today I decided to dust off the Chili.  I know they are completely different bikes, for totally different purposes, but the Vaya was my first choice for the Trans Iowa.  I am rethinking this decision.  The Vaya does have the bitchin light system and the usb charger that runs off the dyno to charge my electronics.  BUT the Chili is just fast.  Like I can’t believe how hard I have been working to keep a pace when the Chili just rolls that fast.  I may need the extra help in the speed.  I suppose it is time to order some more battery packs for the DiNotte light.  Or maybe another light.  It’s just time to start re-planning this whole thing.


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