After a successful ride in Napa and a 6:38 unsupported solo ride to Morgan Territory and back over Dublin Grade and Redwood, I proclaimed myself ready for a double century and signed up for Knoxville Double, which will be run on September 24. For the last few days I've ridden my Llewellyn and have really grown to appreciate its feather-light handling. But for Knoxville, I'll use Spectrum 1. It has a generator light, a computer (which I installed just this evening), and lower gears. The last factor is most important. I've gone as far as ordering a 12-29 cassette to give me even lower gears. I haven't decided whether to put it on the Llewellyn or the Spectrum. Putting it on the Llewellyn would give me the same gearing as on the Spectrum, which would make bike selection even harder (:-)), while putting it on the Spectrum would give that bike a preposterous low gear of 30x29 (not a typo), making it an ultimate climbing bike and allowing me to use the Llewellyn for slightly flatter rides. This is still pretty silly because the Llewellyn's low gear is a relatively tiny 32x27, in which I climbed Hiller Drive last Sunday. OK, so with aching arms, burning legs, and searing lungs that was not something I enjoyed and if I had a bigger low gear I would have been in real trouble, but it was still doable. Glumly, I say that I need more training on super-steeps to get better at them, though I'll add that I managed Reliez Station Road seated on Saturday. Reliez is almost as steep, though about two-thirds as long, as Hiller and is quite a test in its own right.
OK, I'll address the super-steep business after Knoxville. Stay tuned for more about the latter.