Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cyclocross Sunday!

Wow, 2 posts in 2 days! Aren't you lucky. I guess I'm starting to really get into this whole blog thing. I'm sure it will be a lot more fun once I get some more readers; right now I think Tim "Masi Guy" Jackson is my only reader. And I'm not real sure if he reads because he's actually amused by my writing or if he simply just feels obligated to do so since he's been bugging me to start a blog for at least 102 years.

I really can't call today an R & D day because today's ride was a cyclocross ride at Lake Hodges on my Masi CXR. I have nothing to do with Masi other than just giving Tim grief on a regular basis. Much like singlespeeding, up until about 6 months ago, I thought cyclocross bikes were pretty damn silly. I mean, who would want to ride what's essentially a road bike on dirt? Well, my feelings changed pretty quick when curiosity got the best of me and I decided to kidnap one of Tim's demo CXR's and take it on a lunchtime ride at a nearby park that used to host some 'cross races. I had a complete blast. Much like a road bike on the pavement, the offroad speed is addictive. The CXR is light, nimble, and so much fun. Needless to say, I have added yet another bike to the stable by acquiring a CXR.

Masi CXR with flowers...yes, it's a chick thing.

Now I don't claim to be an expert on cyclocross bikes by any means. Hell, I have never been to a cyclocross race (that may change now that I have this bike). But I'd like to think I know a thing or two about having fun...and this bike is just plain fun. Sure, there are certain sections of rocky trail where it beats living snot out of me, but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Lake Hodges is pretty flat and non-technical with lots of fireroad sections, so this bike is perfect out there. In fact, I had so much fun ripping around the fireroads, I even took the longer spur out through the San Pasqual Valley making the whole ride about 20 miles.

One of the reason why I was feeling so energetic may have been because my butt wasn't killing me for once. You would think 10 years of cycling would cure that, but it hasn't. I have the worst time finding saddles I like. Anyhow, I decided to try one of the Axiom H-Spec Race DLX saddles that my good friends up at Norco Bikes gave me (Norco distributes Haro in Canada and also distributes Axiom components).

Axiom H-Spec Race DLX

I was I am everytime I try a new saddle...but ended up being pleasantly surprised. This saddle is pretty sweet. Axiom has engineered their line of saddle to be use specific rather than gender specific. After examining different riding styles, they found that different riding styles and positions often creates different pressure points. For this particular saddle, the H-Spec Race DLX, this is a road performance saddle designed to be used on that type of bicycle where the rider tends to sit in more of an "aggressive" position, rather than a relaxed "upright" position. After 20 offroad miles on this saddle, I didn't have any chafing or other indications of pressure points.

For things that go bump on the trail/road.

The H-Spec Race DLX also has these unique elastomer bumpers that the rails slide into. It really seems to help soften the blows a bit. And this saddle weighs in at a respectable 280 grams. Good stuff.

I also met up with some cool folks on the trail; a group of guys, 2 of which were on Haro bikes. I think it may have been a father and son with Dad on a Shift R5 and son on an Extreme X6. They commented on my Haro jersey and started raving about thier bikes. Nice! I love stuff like that. Had I actually been using the grey matter between my ears, I should have taken their picture and put it on our website and here on the blog. I think I will make a point to carry my digital camera with me on all my rides just for stuff like that...doing a "fan sightings" section on the Haro website might be pretty cool.

Allrighty ya'll. Enjoy what's left of your weekend before the workweek starts all over again.

Happy trails!


Tim Jackson- Masi Guy said...

Wow, that Masi CXR sure is cool. I hear that they make the very best bikes on the planet. I've hear stories about their brand manager being some sort of cycling demi-god. I hear he's pretty darned cool. Wow.

Ok, I know... I'm a dork.

Yes, take your camera. That's a great idea for capturing those fan sightings. Great idea.

Howard said...

Well, you now have two readers. I found the blog while looking for reviews of the Shift R5, which I just bought. Well, it was ordered today. Now I get to call the bike shop once a day to see if it's arrived. "Hey, it's Howard. Is it here yet?" Yeah, they love that. I haven't had a mountain bike in over 10 years so I'm excited about getting it.

Anyway, I'm glad I ran across the blog. Look forward to more posts.


jill hamilton said...

Wow!!! I have a second reader!!! Tim actually doesn't count. I think he just reads it because he knows I'll heckle him if he doesn't.

Glad to hear you like the blog, Howard. I'll be posting again very soon. I am in Washington DC at the national Bike Summit right now, so I'll have some pics and stuff to share.