Regular readers of this blog (and now you, especially if you go and click on the link in the next few words) know that I built a bike that I've named the Krakow Monster. Today was the first day I took it out on a group ride.
Snakehead Ed ad a ride planned in the hills, but Laura OLPH contacted me about a bike parts question, and it was easier to show than to tell (and I wanted to take the Krakow Monster out anyway), so I went out to Winter Larry's ride today. Eight of us started, but Chris C had a tire problem that just would not let up, so he went back, and the rest of us did this route. We stopped at the Battlefield Orchard and did a quick roll around the battlefield park (nothing officially opens until May). That put the stop in the first third of the ride, which is not ideal... but Mark H had a flat on the way back, which gave us a breather.
I have flat pedals (not clips or clipless) on the Krakow Monster, and the saddle height had slipped to about 15mm lower than I like it, but I was still riding on it very well, keeping up with the group and pulling sometimes (there was enough wind that we traded pulls). The Monster has friction shifting, to which I'm still getting accustomed, and, despite the long wheelbase, it feels "twitchy", as responsive to steering inputs as the much-shorter-wheelbase Yellow Maserati, my titanium bike. I had two pedal strikes on turns, until I learned I needed to lean off the bike to keep it more upright if I want to pedal through turns. I've adjusted the saddle (and headset; there was a bit of cockpit weirdness that needed some attention), and I'll be grateful when I can steal the M424 pedals off The Excellent Wife (TEW)'s bike and put 'em on the Monster.
But I really like this bike. (Now, I'm not claiming that this bike is so hot based on my riding today - before you make any assumptions, go back to the route link and check out the average speed for this ride; NOT exactly stellar. But I like this bike anyway.)
Don't you love Chris's tights in the pictures below?
Below, Chris has tire trouble:
Below, Mark changes a tube: