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I'm hooked. First ride on new cross bike....(8 posts)

I'm hooked. First ride on new cross bike....shabadu
Mar 27, 2001 8:43 AM
Hey there, I usually post over in mtbr Passion, and thats where I first put this up...but I figured some people over here might enjoy it. The new bike: Jamis Nova

I took the new ride out for her maiden voyage on Saturday in 42F temps with a light mist-turning to heavy fog...perfect conditions, I felt like I was in Belgium or something.
Seeing as how I have no experience whatsoever riding drop bars and STI shifters, I figured the tame environs of the southern Open Space trails would would be a good place to figure it all out, with the climb up onto MArshall Mesa(and the ride back down) as the challenge round.
At first I felt the ride was wicked twitchy, and my hands hurt like hell. After a few tweaks to riding posture and weighting, I figured out that less weight on the hands was good and lots of steering and handling can be done with the hips. It took me a good chunk of the ride to program these thoughts into muscle memory, but it was a start.
Next, I started to "feel the trail". It felt wavy. With zero travel in the front I could feel every little nuance in the trail...every compression and roll was transmitted to my hands and was then I realized I must bring smooveness(and subsequently trail rythym) to another level. Note: this was before I got to the part with the hoove prints and embedded rocks.
After a short, humming section of road I was in for my first climb on the new steed, up the trail to the top of Marshall Mesa. Here I realized that I don't have a granny ring...and I like it. I also felt the power of getting down to that nice flat section in the curve of the drops and pulling on them, but not overdoing it. Again the hips and legs came into play, and the key to working the drops is relaxing and timing pulls with my cadence. Suweeet.
The first climb flattened out and I cruised alongside the ditch, getting aquainted with the shorter wheelbase and challenging the pinchflat tolerances of the speedmax tires as I danced inbetween(and sometimes over) the embedded rocks, and cattle tracks. Cue round two of the Smoove J epiphany, I'm stoked to translate the cross smoove groove onto the Kona. Awwww yeah....Barry White smoove bebbe.
A quick dismount and run up the steps after the bridge, and I was pumping it up to the crest of the mesa, on a short little bit of singletrack I deemed the Slice of Fruit(a). My plans for a loop down to Broomfield and back were squelched by a look over my shoulder at the thick mank that was dripping down over the Flatirons and enveloping the valley.
Inclement weather always gets my adrenaline pumping a bit, so I started hammering back the way I came. The rubber fingertips of my Fox gloves were slipping off the brake levers when I tried to use them from the hoods(A dicey few moments as I came to that realization), so down to the drops I went. I rolled over a few slippery off camber drainage logs (whew) and felt a burst of techinical confidence. So much so that my moderately brainfreezed brain had brief thoughts of becoming a full-time cross freak, and riding everything this summer on it. As I scoped what loomed ahead through my misting yellow lenses, the cocky thoughts ended and I felt like a rookie again. An 18" sandstone ledge in the middle of a downhill S turn would barely warrant thought on my other bikes, but here, hand trapped on the drops, grasping the wet brakes, zero suspension to suck up and spit out any pilot error on my part..I felt vulnerable as hell. Welp, nothing to do but get back and ride it, which I did. Woohoo. Awwww yeah, its on. From that point on, I felt like I had been on a cross bike for months rather than 60 minutes...full rally: Bunnyhops, minor little tweaks over jumps, railing corners in roadie mode....sooooo much fun.
Later on, standing in front of my oven waiting for day old pizza to warm up, I was going over everything I experienced on that ride, and started thinking about Narlus' post about bike technology last week.(Most underrate
re: I'm hooked. First ride on new cross bike....Erik W
Mar 27, 2001 9:05 PM
What shop did you but your ride at?
Mar 28, 2001 8:26 AM
I got it at the Sports Garage in Boulder.
Good people there.
Mar 28, 2001 1:25 PM
I think I will go vomit now
Mar 30, 2001 7:40 AM
Thanks for sharing that. Do you have the flu? A hangover? Food poisoning? Hope you feel better.
re: I'm hooked. First ride on new cross bike....Hardcore
Mar 30, 2001 5:38 PM
Wait until you try your first cyclocross race. It is a real thrill. Now that you have the bike, you do not have much of an excuse to race in your local cross series. Good Luck!!!!
Howdy, Shab! I've been lusting after a crosser myself ...Humma Hah
Apr 5, 2001 6:27 PM
I'm sure you've seen my rantings on Passion, occasionally.

I'm mostly riding a SS cruiser/MTB conversion, more on-road than off this last year. Even my 3x7 MTB has skinny tires on it at the moment. I've been doing distance rides and am about at my limit on the cruiser -- I could really use a roadbike but I'd want it to be capable of hitting the dirt on occasion, as well.

I'm an admirer of the early cyclists, 1890-1900, and their lightweight fixed-gear sport bikes. They rode centuries on them before we had paved roads. I'm looking for a vintage roadbike frame suitable for building a singlespeed/fixed cyclocrosser.
me too!goathead
Apr 8, 2001 8:45 AM
I just put mine together and took it on it's maden voyage. It rides fast and sweet.