Todays race team ride was a nice little loop from Sports Basement in San Francisco up over mount Tam taking in the Golden Gate bridge in both directions. Riding over the Golden Gate bridge is always an event for me as it is such an icon. Today was extra special as it wasn’t too windy and it was also very clear. I still find riding over the GG bridge quite a troubling proposition as the cycling lane is at times very narrow and you have two way traffic. Throw in a bunch of tourists on rental bikes and hard core racers determined to race across the thing and you have a recipe for disaster.
Todays ride was pretty cold for most of the day and the roads were wet at times (Much drier than last week though). It was a very enjoyable ride apart from the ridiculous number of stop signs and lights and traffic on the way back. We had a fair old pace going on the climbs and I felt like I had a good workout although the average speed reflects the amount of stops we had to make (at least there were no punctures this week)
There were 13 riders today including a guest. Andrea brought out an older endurance rider gentleman that was an absolute demon on the climbs and he was first up just about everything. According to his jerseys he was a RAAM qualifier and I think a 508 finisher. I was quite happy with my climbing today and although I am still not firing on all cylinders I was always near the front at the top. My descending however was appalling partly due to the strange handling of the Salsa, partly due to me being a wuss on the damp roads and mainly due some serious brake issues.
This ride has finally convinced me that the Salsa Chili Con Crosso cross bike is no good on the road. Despite their claims of manipulated tubing and the damping properties of Scandium I find the thing less comfortable than my Aluminium Klein Quantum Pro. The handling on fast descents is also a bit strange and it doesn’t inspire confidence. Cross bike brakes can also be tricky and today mine went completely off the boil on the descent of TAM leaving me with nasty judder that was so bad I ended up mainly braking with the back brake. I didnt have any problems with the brakes when I used it on the death ride so I was a bit puzzled why they suddenly went off today. Crappy brakes and wet corners gave me a few brown trouser moments on the descents. I later found that my headset had come loose. I also found my saddle had shifted up after hitting a huge pot hole that nearly banged one of my family jewels into my throat.
Bike : Salsa Chili Con Crosso
Time: 3H49m48s *
Speed: Av =13.4mph, Max =37.1mph
Pulse: Av= 136bpm, Max = 185bpm