Yesterday was all about getting some longish Weekday Ride road miles in. Today was all about doing an easy ride out on the dirt roads for an hour and a half in the wind and seeing how the Clement X’Plor USH 700 x 35 tires I bought WAY back in January, and finally installed this week, rolled.
If I am going to be brutally honest (and I usually am–way too often–which makes me sound like a pussy and not someone who is just being honest), I had NO desire to ride my bike today. There was much to do as 2/3 of my unit readied for a trip home to Pittsburgh, I was tired (not sure what from since I am jobless), my back hurt (nothing new there) and I was riding a large wave of general “don’t fucking tell me I’m depressed” malaise.
After I got the boy off to school and ate breakfast, all I really wanted to do was lay in bed all day thinking all those coulda, shoulda, woulda things that make me want to take a bath in a vat of gin and Jet’s Pizza... eating and drinking until I puke up my lower intestine from out my nose and have to cut it off with a pair of meat scissors. Since I think that would be a lame way to spend a day and/or be a man, I did what needed done around the house and got out for quick 1.5 hour ride on the windy dirt roads.
According to WeatherDouches™ the north/west winds were blowing at a steady 15 to 18 miles per hour with occasional gusts over 20. This meant that my Better Than The Trainer™ dirt road ride would suck 50% of the time. I can live with that.
The Better Than The Trainer™ dirt road ride doesn’t offer much in way of climbing, just a few short little hills, but it does offer a lot of long uphill grades like the road above. Think power sucking false flat that never seems to end… and oh yeah, there’s a 20 mph wind coming at you. Grind your taint into that bitch! Luckily in the pic above, I was actually getting a tailwind (there’s that honesty thing again), but it happens.
This is NOT a review, just some first ride observations.
I wasn’t riding all that fast, I wasn’t feeling all that good and I wasn’t really digging the Clement tires. The tires seemed that they would be just fine for my riding and they mounted up SUPER easy (always a bonus in my book) but I just wasn’t feeling the love. I thought they would roll fast on pavement, but they felt sort of sluggish (despite the smooth center ridge). I thought they could handle the Mighiganderburgh dirt roads but I kept wanting more (or at least my old Ritchey Speedmax 700 x 40s (that never quite seemed to be 40s).
The tires had a minimum inflation of 60 PSI and that is where I set them, even for my hulking bodice. Sadly, even at 60 PSI they felt rock hard and had me bouncing out of the saddle on more than one occasion. I am pretty sure that at least part of all this is due to the fact that I haven’t been riding my cross bike all that much. I have grown to love riding my hard tail mountain bike on the dirt and gravel roads. The 2.1 tires suck up the deep sand, dirt, pot holes, and winter 2013/14 destroyed roads that Michiganderburgh has been offering me this season. Why use anything else?
These might be fine tires for “traditional gravel” if such a thing exists, but for now I am not that crazy about them. This could change as I play with PSIs and what not, but more and more I am leaning towards keeping my Superfly FS for singletrack, adding a rigid ford to the El Mariachi for dirt/gravel and relegating the Jake The Snake to urban commuting and bar bike duties. Or giving it away. Sigh.
You of course know that I could change my mind on all this tomorrow, so don’t listen to me. Like my high school principle often insinuated but never actually said “Mahokey, you’re fat, you eat too much, you’re a lazy fuck, I have no doubt every word out of your mouth is a half truth fed to your from the hands of demons and you will most likely spend most of your life in shit jobs or being unemployed.” Dig?
It is because of his wise
words insinuations that I continue to look for alternative living if/when Wifey kicks my ass out…
Yep, I got my eye on one of the all too many Walter White mobiles in and around Michiganderburgh.
To sum up this post: I did a short dirt road ride, I didn’t like my tires, I don’t rally like riding my cross bike anymore and I found a Walter White RV that I can hole up in if need be.