Cycling: Road vs. Mountain


Today, since I didn’t want to deal with the muck on the trails, I dragged the road bike out of the closet, dusted it off, and headed out for a ride.

It has been only a month or so since I last rode it, in the interim focusing on the mountain bike and offroad riding. Slinging a leg over the ol’ Lemond was a bit of a rude awakening.

First the good. 700C tyres and 120psi means that you have a lot less rolling resistance. You almost feel super human in the speeds you can attain, and cruise at with little extra effort. Of course the first 1/3 I had the wind at my back, and that of course adds to the superman effect.

While my road bike is well used (12 years old and ~6,000 miles on the odo), it still goes pretty good, and handles well. But it does need some service, and possibly a new chain, as the shifting was getting clunky.

The less good. Yep, the Lemond has a triple chainring in the front, so it does have a granny gear. But its granny gear is much much higher than the mountain bike. So while the climb at Bailey road wasn’t as steep or as long as the climb into the Santa Teresa park, it is much much more difficult to climb. Add in my fat ass that is approaching 120kg, and it is brutal. I made it, but I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. A new goal is to climb over without resting.

The bad. Once I got into the Almaden valley, I had a pretty steady headwind. 20ish MPH, and here is where you feel it much more on a road bike. On a mountain bike, you are fighting a lot of rolling resistance, so some wind is an annoyance, but not really a killer. On a road bike, with so much less rolling resistance, you can feel yourself fighting the wind. Get into a crouch, and muscle through it, but it isn’t pleasant. Alas, I will need to be accustomed to it as the south valley is like a wind tunnel.

Total time 1:34

Total distance 22.7 miles

Total calorie burn 1547

In all a good day

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By geoffand

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November 2014

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