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HooKooDooKu 05-04-13 01:34 PM

New Member from Birmingham, AL area
 
New member to the forum, but I've been riding bikes for over 30 years.

Started as a teenager with cheap road bikes (from the likes of Kmart and toy stores). At my Apex as a collage student, I used to ride one of those "cheap" road bikes along Rocky Ridge road to Highway 280, down 280 past the Water Works, back roads behind the Water Works to Shades Crest, Shades Crest to Bluff Park, and then Tyler Road down into Hoover. I'm slow but steady, so I can go the distance.

When I moved to Gadsden area for a time, I bought a Black Diamond Hard Tail mountain bike. I used it to ride around the roads of Gadsden/Rainbow City. I liked how the knobby tires allowed me to pull off the road as cars went by.

Once I moved back to Birmingham, I started riding the Black Diamond in the woods of Oak Mountain State Park. When a major bike accident broke my collar bone (thank God for helmets), I upgraded to a Gary Fisher HooKooEKoo that I still use today.

My greatest bicycling achievement to date was riding the Black Diamond from Gatlinburg, TN to the Clingman's Dome Parking Lot in the Smoky Mountains National park. The distance was about 44 mile round trip (22 one way) with a net elevation change of about 5,300'

My longest ride in a single day was riding the Black Diamond for the entire length of the Chief Ladiga Trail (out and back) for a total distance of about 66 miles (Rails-to-Trials from Anniston, AL to the GA state line connecting with the Silver Comet Trail).

My next long-term goal is to ride a Century in a day. I hope to try later this year by once again riding the Chief Ladiga Trail, picking up the additional 34 miles by riding a part of the Silver Comet trail.

I'd love to have a modern road bike. It would make completing a Century much easier than using the Black Diamond. But other priorities keep me from dropping a grand on a new bike when I still have the ability to ride the Gary Fisher at Oak Mountain.

10 Wheels 05-04-13 01:43 PM

Welcome to Bike Forums.

Have you considered putting on smooth tires for road riding?

RonH 05-04-13 02:19 PM

Welcome to Bike Forums.

Quote:

Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu (Post 15587534)
I'd love to have a modern road bike. It would make completing a Century much easier than using the Black Diamond. But other priorities keep me from dropping a grand on a new bike when I still have the ability to ride the Gary Fisher at Oak Mountain.

Have you checked craigslist (http://bham.craigslist.org/bia/? Lots of good deals in road bikes if you know your size. If not a road cycling friend or bike shop can help you determine your size.

qcpmsame 05-04-13 05:19 PM

Hi, welcome to BF, the rides sound different from the run of the mill road bike outings. Check in the Southeast Regional Forum to find others in the Birmingham area for rides on those trails that you enjoy. Don't give the idea of a road bike up, as said there are ways to save money while getting a good, serviceable road bike.

Bill

HooKooDooKu 05-04-13 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10 Wheels (Post 15587550)
Have you considered putting on smooth tires for road riding?

The knobbie on the Diamond Back have a solid tread down the center. Not quite as smooth as a true slick... but where I'd like to get the road bike is for the higher gears. I'm experienced enough that even on the steep hills at Oak Mountain, I don't ever need the granny gear (1-3 or 2-1 is the lowest I ever need).

I wonder if it would be possible to find some larger chainrings (go from say a 24/34/42 to a 32/42/52) and simply raise the front deraer (without spending $$$... after all I purchased the whole bike for about $300 some 18 years ago).

qcpmsame 05-05-13 10:18 AM

Post the questions about changing the chain rings and possibly the cassette in the Mechanics Forum, the members there can tell you the ins and outs of such a swap. They will need to know the crank manufacturer, the level/model crankset and your frameset make, to start with. They will be able to tell you if just the larger chain rings are available in the sizes you are looking for or if that is not advisable. best of luck on the gearing changes. Do be ready for some to say that a road bike will be a better choice money wise, do what you feel is best for you though.

Bill


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