Change of Pace

A few weeks ago, I sold the trusty Cannondale and replaced it with a used Bianchi BuSS single speed. Road racing, and even to a certain extent, road riding, had become a bit stale for me, so I figured a mountain bike would be a fun replacement. The BuSS is an older model (pics coming, really), complete with bling-y gold components, including Paul hubs (which were a big selling point for me). The bike is fun to ride, and much more maneuverable than the Redline 29er I had last year. I’ve not noticed the drawbacks of the smaller wheels yet, either.

Last night, I did my first night ride in Frick Park with Robbie. I was woefully under-lit (Dan had loaned me a good LED, but wiring issues kept me from using it), so the bike was festooned with every low output commuter light I had, plus my climbing headlamp on my helmet. Robbie loaned me a high output LED flashlight, and that helped considerably. I was a bit hesitant on our first run down Iron Grate, but once I got used to the lighting (or, lack thereof), I didn’t have any problems. We rode back up the hill via the Fire Road trail and Rollercoaster, came down a switchback-y trail to the Nature Center trail, then came back down Bradema. We finished by riding back up Iron Grate, which went better than expected. It was certainly a hard effort, especially with the Bianchi’s steep 36×18 gearing, but I managed to make it to the tippy-top, only dabbing on the steep, rooted trail above the iron grate itself.

I really like the bike. It’s perfect for Frick, I think, perhaps even a bit better than the 29er, since the smaller wheels handle the tighter turns better. It climbs pretty well, too. I’d like to swap out the stock bars with the Titec H-bars on the commuter, but that will probably require longer brake cables, and I’m not ready for that much work.