Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Variety in Riding

I have commented before - variety in riding is a key for my riding. Here in the Omaha/Council Bluffs metro we are fortunate. We have very good paved trails, 5 dirt trails, and the Wabash Trace.

Today's photo is on River Front Real Estate at Lake Manawa SP.

Because of the relatively wet summer we have had, I have ridden more on the Wabash Trace. I have been amassing a large collection of photos of the Wabash Trace.

Back to variety - another secret of my riding this year has been in the variety of bikes I ride and own. At this time, my bikes are a hybrid (Trek 7200FX), a hardtail mountain bike (Trek 4300), and a full suspension trail bike (Trek Fuel EX7).

For the Wabash Trace - the best bike is the hardtail. Its just awesome for climbing and soft trail conditions. I often use the hybrid on the trace when I ride as a photo shoot, That's because the hybrid has a rear rack and bag. The trail bike does not respond well on crushed limestone.

In the dirt - its really a toss-up. Lake Manawa, where I ride most, a full suspension bike is overkill. I can ride well there on either the hardtail or the Fuel EX7. I like the comfort of the full suspension. So far, the hardtail has better handling. Recently I have started experiencing riding with the suspension locked -- that gives me some rear suspension.

On pavement - any bike is good. The surprising thing is that the hardtail is the fastest bike for me. You would think that the hybrid, with thinner tires, would be faster. Recent test rides, on my hardtail, I average about 1 mph faster than the hybrid.

This year I have been doing longer rides. Right now averaging about 25 miles per ride. Starting to look at a "faster" bike. Cyclocross bike? Road bike? With my experience with the hybrid vs hardtail, will either increase my speed?

BTW - for those interested - yesterday I topped 2400 miles for the year. Over 200 miles over last year's total. Have been riding about 100 miles a week since July 4th.

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