Let's hear about your last ride of the year. (hey that rhymes, I'm a poet and don't know it!)
My new bad weather commuter bike was finished last night, so I took her out to put her through her paces today. It was barely drizzling and about 36F when I left. I rode down to the Summit County bike trail and used it to avoid the mad rush of goofy drivers around the shopping center, then went down into the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreational area. On the paved path and roads, this bike felt like I was riding a tank compared to my Fuji World. It's a 2006 Mohave 4.0 that I picked up from my friends at Century Cycle in Peninsula, OH. I had them swap out the suspension fork with a Surly Instigator rigid fork, as well as swap out the knobbie tires for some Serfas Drifters. Without those two changes this thing really would ride like a tank!
I noticed that the rear disk brake was doing some dragging, so when I got down into the valley I stopped back at Century to have them adjust them a bit. There was another feller in there with his studded tired MTB - both he and the bike were pretty speckled with mud. As I was leaving, he warned me that the O&E towpath was pretty soft in spots, if I was planning on riding it...which I was. He was right, I rode about 8 miles south on Riverview Rd, just to make sure everything was ok with the brakes, then dropped over to the towpath. By now the rain was coming down much harder and starting to become a snow/sleet/rain mix. The towpath was really soft in spots, sometimes draining all of my forward energy in a matter of seconds. I was impressed with the Drifters tires though, they handled everything just fine.
When I got back home I was still nice and dry from head to toe. My J&G wind jacket was beaded with water, but nothing really penetrated. Note this is NOT a rain jacket, I have a rain cape for heavy rain, but I like how water resistant it is. I was also clean, despite the rain and muck of both the roads and the towpath, the fenders really made a difference...as did the mudflap my LBS made for the front from a Century Cycles water bottle.
Not a bad ride to end the year...I'll be back out tomorrow to begin the year with a nice ride with my GF. It will be her first ride with clipless shoes and pedals...she's been practicing clipping and unclipping on the trainer though. Not sure which bike I'll use...guess I'll wait to see what the weather is.
I hope everyone here in BF has a safe and happy New Year, and that 2006 gives you tons of riding enjoyment and zero 'whoopsies'.