Yesterday I made a few adjustments to the Vaya, including shedding those swampy Continental Touride 42 monstrosities for my current preferred craws setup, Ritchey Speed Max 32 rear, Kenda Small Block 8 32 front. Then it was test ride time.
I headed south to army post road, then west to Pine, popped on the GWT for a mile to hit the lean to for a 4square check in (fatbike would have been nice there), and on to Adams. The road conditions were nice and solid, and the Vaya was rolling like a champ on top of its new rubber. Then I noticed something odd. There seemed to be a lot of “free range dogs” out on Adams, and not at the best spots for your chubby narrator to sprint away safely.
Time for Incidental Intervals
Incidental Intervals – Unplanned intensity training due to circumstances happened upon during the course of a low intensity ride
Incidentals come in many form, the safest being succumbing to the urge to chase down and dust off slower riders on the bike trails, the most dangerous being trying to pace tractors manned by angry country folks with firearms on backroads. My favorite of all time is being chased by dogs on gravel roads. It used to be a thrill, with the dogs getting the element of surprise, but now that I have travelled most of my routes enough times to know where the “problem dogs” lie in wait, it is a simple fact of “Ok, here comes hill X, right over the top is an ankle-hungry canine. Make sure to have enough speed to pull away from the chase.” This day was a little different. There were four new problem houses within 5 miles. One of those dogs was on the bottom half of a very long and steep climb. fuck. The others were very little problem to drop, chasing me down the gravel with all the zeal of a nearly-retired government office worker (no offense to that group, but you know you don’t move with much purpose). This guy was different. It’s as if the little pooch knew he had me in a jam (and judging by the fresh looking, swerving cross-tire track in front of me, I wasn’t the first victim of the day) and was not about to stop without a little leg-lunch. I was in the big ring, hammering up the side of Mt. Mutt, hoping I didn’t get a mechanical during the sprint. Dog face gave up just before the crest, I gave up about half way up the next hill. Yeah, I was scared. So what?
The rest of the ride was a little faster paced due to that little fanged wake up. I ended up with 58.24 miles in just under 4 hours (half road, half dirt). I stopped for a recovery beer (Liter of Spaten Dunkel) and some Jambalaya and reflected on the difference in performance on my modified Salsa.
I think we are done discussing which bike is going to TIV8. In fact, It is most likely going to make an appearance at CIRREM next week. See you there.