Spring Snow

In which red turns out to be camouflage in a snowy and tan grassed meadow hill, and I dial in riding with a freewheel.

Climbing in comfort with plenty of traction.

Beorn with a beefy rear rack and panniers. Note the large amount of deck open behind the saddlebag: perfect for strapping sleeping bag, pad, and tent while still having full access to the saddlebag.

Through the as yet bleary eyed, groggy aspen.

I had to look at these tracks twice and in so doing realized two things: those are only the tracks of one bike, mine, so, wow, wide tires! and; the long wheelbase has the rear wheel often in a different track than the front in turns. So far, the long wheelbase is a stunning asset with no discernible downside. The bike is as agile as my Hunqapillar yet more stable, smooth, a better climber and descender. Will having two wheel tracks matter as more technical singletrack opens up as the snow melts? Time will tell.

Snowing and sunning. This is spring in the Colorado highlands. Grin. Comment of the day: “You were camouflaged all dressed in red!” I hope that's less true for people in cars. Sardonic grin.

These are matching bags. Some day, with judicious application of mud, they will look to match as much on the outside as they do on the inside. Grin.

Getting used to having a freewheel and applying lessons from eighteen months of fixed riding, as well as shifting back and forth between them now, has taught me a number of things: 1. by default I pedal now and this costs less in brain energy, the exceptions being spinning out on descents, and technical or jouncy descents; 2. doing the first requires shifting gears more often so I don't “skip” into the freewheel; 3. spinning much more smoothly than I used to. All these combined seem to have my regular 20 mile route so it costs only 5% more brain energy than fixed gear ... an amount I expect to swing the other way on longer day rides and bikepacking trips. Thus, so far, the fixed/free back and forth experiment is a resounding success!

What a delight Beorn is to ride. Wow.


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