Dirty Thursday (with Added Bike Lust for MY Pleasure!)
Managed to get out on the bike for the 3rd day in a row (woot! woot!). Tonight it was a quick 1:30 at Boyce. I had planned on my normal 2 hours, but my legs were a little cooked, and since I'm an idiot and forgot the Deuter's bladder at home, I had to rely on one bottle to get me through the 88 degree heat. I was able to come of the trails and hit some of the park water fountains for refills, but trying to take in a bottle on tight, twisty single track is not the easiest thing in the world. So I was content to just do a lap and a half of trails on the tennis court side of the park and then make for home. I mean 5.5 hours in 3 days. I don't want to get TOO crazy! HA! Seriously, for me, that's some good weekday hours. Considering in 3 days I also worked about 24 hours and slept for 24! Hope to get more dirt miles in on Saturday.
Took the Mamasita out tonight. I love the Mamasita. It's quick, light as hell (except when it's sporting the XT/Delgado wheels that it currently does) and looks killer. I do have to admit though, my 37 year old body is so used to the Dos Niner that the Mamasita seems harsh. Lots of folks dismiss the 1" travel of the Dos Niner, but I can tell you, it REALLY does help! I also find myself finding the Dos Niner's slightly more laid back geometry more forgiving for my less than stellar handling abilities over a long ride.
So I find myself in sort of a hard tail lust quandary. The Mamasita is an XC race machine. I am not. I've been really looking at steel and Ti frames to try to satiate my hard tail fix. Ti of course is UBER expensive, but fits the most with what I'm looking for out of a hard tail- simple, compliant, and worry free as far as rust. But steel is calling my name for some reason. A quality steel frame can be built for way less, and reportedly has the same (some may say better) ride characteristics. It would require a little more T.L.C. to keep it rust free and looking good, but I think I can handle it.
So I've been casually talking with one or two builders about frames. Both are top notch and can ertainly build the exact frame I want. This is where it gets tricky (beyond the fact I have no blessing for new bikes via Wifey and no real cash plan, but I can still research, right??). I want a steel (or Ti) hard tail bike built to pretty much mirror the geometry of the Dos Niner/El Mariachi (They share geometry). SO, why the hell am I not just getting an El Mariachi??
I'm not 100% why the hell not!! The main reason I was looking custom was to make the bike a bit more "personal" and "soulful". The second reason I was looking custom was to avoid the E.B.B. But I find myself drawn to the E.M. 1st- It's freaking SWEET looking with a killer paint job and classy decals. 2nd I KNOW the geometry and I know I like it! 3rd- It's a Salsa!! And Salsa is damn good to me as is Bikeman.com. SO an E.M. could be had for a pretty good price. 4th- It would cut down the "risk factor". What if I don't like the weight or feel of steel? With a custom frame I just might find myself up shit creek with a custom frame. But El Mariachi has a pretty strong following and if steel wasn't "real" for me or the E.B.B. gave me fits, I could surely find it a loving home. I think it MIGHT be worth risking life with an E.B.B. to get a taste of steel before I go custom. But who knows? 5th- I like that it comes with a rigid fork. NOT that I would be doing too much riding with a rigid, but with light wheels, a rigid fork, and some skinny tires, this would make a killer "ghetto cross" rig for me!
I love being a bike geek. I MIGHT think about riding, racing, bikes and components more than I think about sex. OK, that might be a stretch, but I KNOW I think about it more than I think about beer!! The only bike geek gene I lack is the "mechanic gene". Tomorrow's debate- Endurance Rig 2009, The Dos Niner vs. The Big Mama!! :)
I'm also a big enough Bike Geek to man up and admit that even with Tour Douche #3 and his "small pharmacy" in the news, I will STILL watch the Tour through to the end. Because I believe that SOMEONE in the peleton isn't doping, and you never know if the next stage might be THEIR stage. I might be a fool, but I don't care, I'm a fool who digs bikes.
P.S. If anyone has an opinion on the ride qualities of steel vs. Ti vs. aluminum, feel free to share. Thanks.