The Junk (Miles and Parts)
Because of the colder temps and a later start, I pretty much knew that I would not be out for as long as I had the past 2 rides (3 and 3+ hours), but I still wanted to suffer a tad. So I sought out some new roads and some new climbs for the loop and they paid me back with some shnozz to stemp, lower back killing, ready to stroke out type climbing... and I was on a freaking mountain bike!! And no, I didn't use my granny. I refuse to take the granny bail out on the road, it's just not allowed. Yet. A few more pounds and a few more years and we'll talk.
Beacause cameras can be road distorting little pricks, the above shot does just NOT do this road justice. One of the smoother roads of the day, but freaking STEEEP. DAMN! I hostestly don't think I could ride it on my road bike, even with a compact. OK, I could, but it would hurt even worse.
The pic above illustrates perfectly why as of late, I prefer my Mamasita on my new road loops. The ride is broken up into the following (in no real order):
1. Rough pot holed filled WPA roads. 2. Mud covered farm roads (seen above) 3. Ash, salt, dirt, stone, pot holed, mud covered, supposed to be paved (I think!), back roads, and 4. Smooth roads that STILL manage to be a mess. If I had a cross bike I would most certainly use it on these loops, but I don't, so the Mamasita it is.
The ride clocked in at just 2:20, but there was still a bit of suffering, and CRAMPING! Who the f*ck cramps in 35 degree temps?? Frig.
Speaking of the Mamasita, I did some "experimenting" with grips and bar ends today. I am of course a HUGE fan bar ends, and of course Ergon grips... They are titz. BUT the one thing I'm not 100% crazy about is the shape and texture of the Ergon bar end. So I figured I'd jack around with some old grips and my fave bar ends. The bar ends are an OLD pair of (pre Stumpy) Controltechs (I think) cut down and capped. They are my faves.
Anyway, my winter gloves are just not loving the ultra smooth Ergon bar ends, and tend to slip a bit and as I mentioned I don't really dig the shape, so I swapped them out last night for the CTs. As I thought the Controltechs rocked for climbing and in overall performance. BUT, also as I expected, the grips were about 20% as good as my Ergons (shock!).
In a perfect world I could use my Ergon grips with these perfect stubby little bar ends. But try as I might I can't figure out how. I asked Ergon, why their bar ends have that funky curve. They said it was determined to be more ergonomic. Hmmm. Anyway, I am 89.2% sure that I will be putting the Ergons on before the next ride, and 99.999% that they will be on before the next mountain bike ride.
Oh well, if you can't experiment with junk this time of year, when can you?? What I may do is just add some grippy tape to the Ergons for the winter, then when the temps warm up, and I can feel the bar ends better, ditch it. Just a thought.
CHALLENGE: Ergon grips are HUGE, I mean folks just LOVE them. I challenge a company to come up with some aftermarket bar ends that fit the Ergon grip lock on set up. I promise that I will buy a pair if you do.
OK, this post is way too long, about way to little.