To begin with, I was astride a new bike that I just had assembled, a 2011 Raleigh XXIX singlespeed with the Gates Carbon Drive set-up. I am a willing skeptic in that I have been watching belt drives go through all kinds of teething issues and wondering if it will ever meet all the hype. I hope so, cuz it is kinda cool. More on that as time goes by. Another thing that is new to me is a rigid fork. OOOffff. How do folks do that as a full time ride? You really do have to adjust the way you ride. I always lock out my fork when climbing and just cruising along on my SS, but will open the squoosh valve when things get fast and rough. No way to do that here. Lots of elbows and knees getting used here.
The frame sure feels stout and yet has a nice steel feel, but it ain't light, not at the price it sells for. Not sure if I can live with the fork beat down, though. I may have to run a squishy fork on there at some point.
At the high point of my ride, since I am still a bit iffy on an SS ride post-surgery, I let JeffJ top out a bit beyond me and I sat and ate some of my wife's killer oat bars. In the northeast, there was a storm a' brewin'. On the way home, I had seen huge anvil head clouds rising off the high desert and over the distant peaks of the backcountry. man, I wish I was up there all bivvied up and in the middle of it. I sat and watched lightning strike after strike, often with multiple fingers out of the clouds, dance in the darkest part of the clouds just 5 or so miles away. Hurry up, big Jeff. Not a place to be in a lightning storm astride a steel bike.
Later down the trail and out of the storm's path, we paused to watch the day wind down. Yeah, it could have been a lot worse. JeffJ contemplates below.
Later that night and into the morning, the gods that dwell under the mountains were up late into the wee hours, bowling and drinking and gaming. Thunder. Oh yes, thunder...and lightning and rain. Sweetness. Now THAT rocks you to sleep.