After a kick a$$ Saturday consisting of moving 2 yards of Mulch, Mowing for 2 hours, cleaning my house, my Sons birthday BBQ and the aforementioned SMP ride; I got to do a few laps out at Swope with a horde of Kansas City locals during the BikeSource Sponsored, Specialized Demo Day.
My plan was to meet Andre out for a few laps and to test ride some million dollar bikes. Instead I got a mega-late start and ended up missing Andre all together, only to arrive and all the bikes my size were already spoken for. Thankfully I had brought two bikes along with me – just in case. As I pulled into the parking lot I said hello to Speeding Jesus and Mike Tate, two stand-up locals. Tate is a great guy, and that jerk runs 34/18 on his 29er singlespeed. That is a tall gear, even for the big dogs. I too am running the same gearing but only because it’s all I have right now; and sometimes you just gotta ride whatcha got! I knew I was in for a a$$-whoopin’ good time at Swope, where most SS’ers run a pussy gear to succeed on the difficult and technical terrain. Time will tell.
I get suited up in my technical wear consisting of a pair of Dickies work shorts and my Ethos Jersey and hit the trail. I felt like I was flying, until I hit a few of the harder climbs and rock gardens and the tall gear started to get to me. I was able to push through everything but I was getting worked; burning way too much energy to stay on top of my gear. I know I’ll have to gear down a bit if I want to race this bike at Clinton next weekend. New Surly cogs are headed my way! I nearly flatted again (damn Sugaro’s) and rode the last 100 yards on 10lbs of air so I’d not waste my last co2 on these crap tires. I’m so ready to get new rubber!
One lap down and I met up with Pyro for a second. This time I unleash the Fixed Gear and prepared to get my a$$ handed to me once again. A fully rigid bike on these trail just hurts; bad. Pyro is a maniac, super-fast. He had put in four hot- laps already so I’m sure he was happy to get in a rest lap with me on the death machine. I chased him around the loop and successfully did a lap with only a half dozen or so good whacks on various rocks with my pedals, ejecting me from my eggbeaters each thwap. I am a bit rusty on the fixed gear, no doubt.
Afterwards I tossed back a PBR with a small crew who had also enjoyed the perfect weather and day of riding. Have I ever mentioned that I heart Swope? Pure Awesomeness.