8.05.2007

A 1x9 nostalgia-inflected Saturday

[10/21 update: It appears that Google searches for "1x9 mountain bike" etc. can land users on this page, which doesn't really discuss the handling/performance of the Monocog. The real review of the bike on this site is here, "Velo Retro: The Monocog 1x9". Check it out.]

Saturday I arranged to pick up a new bike at a shop quite far from where I live (only Redline dealer remotely near me). I'll write more about the bike at some point, it isn't a single speed, but a rigid steel mountain bike with a 1x9 drivetrain setup, still a much simpler design than most modern mountain bikes.

Equipped with this new toy, I didn't want to drive all the way back to Waterbury to try it out, so I brought some gear (shoes, helmet, etc.) with me & set about revisiting many of the places where I hung out when I lived in Burlington.

After driving all the way up to Georgia the first order of business was to find some food: A Philly cheesesteak with a Coke at Brigante's in Colchester, just the ticket on a nice summer day. The folks who run this place almost retired and closed it for good a few years ago but then reconsidered; now the stand operates on a weekends only schedule (I also think that they stopped serving fries, because preparing & cooking fries was too aggravating.) After this healthy lunch I drove over to the northern terminus of the Burlington bikepath, quickly put the bike together and ditched my car for the day.

First I rode out the causeway which was quite spectacular with a good breeze blowing and the lake full of activity on a Saturday afternoon. Then I headed down the Burlington bikepath, I knew that there were some little stretches of trail behind the high school and in Ethan Allen park where I could test the bike's off-road capabilities. It's been several years since I've been on a mountain bike, and I'm not used to a rigid fork or 29 inch tires, the new setup sometimes gave me pause on drop offs and rocky rooty sections. I rode cautiously (like the middle-aged person I am) and managed to not wipe out hard and the new bike handled pretty well though the gearing does take some getting used to.

Setting out: The bike is quite a bit less pristine now after several hours of trail riding.

After abusing myself for several hours this way I rode down to the waterfront and spent some time at a concert in Battery Park, finally riding back in the fading twilight to drive home. Today my body is sore because I haven't spent that much time on a bike of late plus the new position means various muscles are being used in new and exciting ways, and don't respond too positively (I am getting old, no doubt about it).

Saturday afternoon was the first time I had really missed living in Burlington since I moved. When I lived in town I could ride through the Intervale and Ethan Allen park pretty much anytime I wanted to. I don't like feeling like a tourist there.

This feeling pretty much went away once I got home to my place in Waterbury, I am happy with the choices I have made and the way things are now for me, but there are still aspects of my past life that I miss.

1 comment:

bmike said...

wow... you were right in the neighborhood! i'm envious of your ss mtb. i've set up a crosscheck that i run as a FG... perhaps i'll flip that wheel and take it off road sometime.

i haven't eaten at your old haunt yet - but i ride or drive by it at least once a week. it looks good, and if the wind is right, it always smells good.