Monday, July 29, 2019

Riding the gravel

Since we bought gravel bikes it makes sense to ride some some gravel. Sunday we headed north on the White Pine Trail, something we do often. But our farthest north point has always been Sand Lake, because that's where the pavement ends. However, on our new bikes that doesn't matter. We kept riding north on the now cinder and gravel trail bed. The Topstones handled very well. It was slower on the gravel than on the pavement, and a little bumpier, but we were able to keep going with ease. Something we couldn't have done with our skinny tire bikes. We rode past the little burg of Pierson and turned around in Howard City. We then stopped at Cedar Springs Brewing Company for a pretzel and a pint (and a few chicken wings). When we arrived at home we'd put 50 miles under our tires, with 14 of those being on gravel. These bikes are really going to open up our cycling opportunities. We talked about several trails we've seen where these bikes would be perfect. Travel awaits.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

New bikes

After 14 years and thousands and thousands of miles it was time for us to get new bikes. My black Cannondale SR500 and Mary's pearl and blue Bianchi have been thru a lot. Fourteen JDRF rides, including seven in Death Valley. We've climbed small, medium, and large hills. Ridden thru rain and sand storms. Suffered thru 38 degree cold and 100 degree heat. We've both had serious crashes. (Only one of us ended up in the hospital.) Our trusty steads have taken us to a wonderful variety of places, but it's time for them to be retired.
So this week we picked up new bikes from our shop sponsor Alger Bikes (Thanks Mike Clark). They are Cannondale Topstone 105s. They are both dark gray. Mary's has pink accents because of the cake shop. Mine has blue accents because most of my riding clothes have blue in them. They are gravel bikes, which means they are road bike frames with wider forks to accommodate fatter tires. This comes in handy when hitting a piece of gravel road or on the unpaved portions of the White Pine Trail. We've taken them out a couple of times. The gearing is different than our previous bikes, so that will take some getting used to. Also, different saddles mean different pressure points on the posterior. All in all, we are very happy with the bikes and look forward to riding them for many years to come.

Seven weeks to Saratoga Springs.