Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Labor Day

Weekend started off very slow. I hurt my hand/wrist sometime last week. Not sure how I did that, but it seemed like I was destined to ride the couch for my 3 day weekend. All my plans for bike riding/installing new toys would have to be put on hold till next weekend.

I started icing my hand wrist and taking NSAIDs on Friday, and by Sunday I started feeling a little better. I decided to try and install some tires on my new Rohloff wheel and see how I felt afterwards. My ARCH rims are very tight, and I got some serious wrist pump trying to stretch my new rampage tires over my rims. After I finished, I took a little break and watched some TV. In about 15 minutes, my wrist actually felt better than before I started installing my tires.

With this good news, I went into full on install mode. I made good progress until I got to the shifter cables. I had hard time threading my cables through my grip shifters. Then I screwed up and cut my cable too short. Oh well I will have to wait till next weekend to try my Rohloff.

I did manage to install my x2cycle on my old bike. I wasn't very impressed when I took my x2cycle out of the packaging. My first impression was that it was not very sturdy. Amy and I went for a ride with it yesterday though, and it held up very well. We had some problems with it disconnecting unintentionally in our cul-de-sac but once we got on the trail we didn't have any problems. Granted we stuck to the fire roads mostly and only did one short section of singletrack.

Amy seemed to really like it. She said it was much easier for her not to have pedal so hard up all the hills. I didn't think it was that much harder than pedaling by myself. My legs are really sore today and we only rode for an hour and a half so it must have been a little harder than usual. :)

I really enjoyed Amy's company. It was nice riding at the same pace. Usually I ride ahead and then stop and wait for her. I get nervous when she takes longer than I would expect to catch up. I worry that she has fallen and hurt herself. With the tandem link, she is always right there and I don't worry as much.

Other than the extra physical work on my part, climbing is actually easier with the tandem. If I screw up and lose a little momentum over an obstacle, Amy's bike will give me a little shove to get me going again.

Going downhill is another story though. Amy and I descend at different speeds which makes the tandem challenging. Sometimes I pull her too fast which is uncomfortable for her. Sometimes she swings left or right and pulls my rear tire to the left or right which is uncomfortable for me. Sometimes I see a rut or rock that she can't see so I brake and she doesn't. When this happens, I get a shove from her bike. It isn't terrible though. Kind of feels like someone kicking your chair at the movies.

All in all I am pretty happy with the x2cycle. At the end of the ride Amy said she still felt great and could do another lap. I was sweating pretty good and had a hard time climbing stairs later in the day. So I think it did a good job of equalizing our fitness levels.

Hopefully I will get to try the x2cycle this weekend with my nephew. Maybe I will get a better idea of how will it works on singletrack.

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