Well, I lied about getting out to the east mtns this weekend. I ended up going to Santa Fe instead for a little time at my vacation home that I keep up there. It's really nice having a vacation home in Santa Fe. I'm really generous, so I let my parents live there, and keep all their stuff there, and even decorate it, and pay the mortgage, but it is still my vacation home.
Anyway, I rode for a couple hours at the Dale Ball trails, which were perfect on Sunday. The muddy spots had just completely dried, and the dirt had enough moisture in it still to provide superhero traction like we don't often get in NM.
Of course we woke up to snow covering everything Monday morning, so the trail conditions might not be good for a while again.
Papa Lucero and I were both riding our Spot Singlespeeds. While Pops has been running the belt drive for several months now, this was my first ride with the belt drive. I had swapped it out for a traditional chain drivetrain when I first got the bike, as I was using it specifically for racing Old Pueblo and wanted more gear ratio options than are currently available. But with the race over, I happily got the belt back on there, and enjoyed the slightly easier gear ratio that it provides.
I was amazed with the difference I felt riding the bike with a belt vs. a chain, with all other parts staying the same. I was very surprised with how much smoother the drivetrain ran. I knew it was smooth, but I had only ridden one around our parking lot before. When I was out on the trail actually cranking on the pedals, I could really tell a difference.
The other thing that I noticed, which surprised me, was that I was suddenly aware of how much free play my rear hub has in between engagement points. (It's an American Classic hub, I knew that it didn't have the fastest engagement when I bought it, but I didn't care because of its incredibly low weight.) My theory is that with the super efficient and snappy feeling belt in place, the engagement of the hub is more noticeable. Very fun stuff.
I haven't had any Spot Longboards with the belt drive in the shop for a little while now, but I have another on the way, being shipped with Charlie's next new bike, a Ti US Made Spot 29er, with a custom Spot steel rigid fork, and canti bosses, that Charlie has some obscure plan to make a commuter of some sort out of. Not exactly sure what his detailed plans for the bike are, but I'm sure it's going to be cool. I'll post pics.
I also finally signed up for Dawn 'til Dusk on Sunday. I'm going to be racing the Mens Duo Masters 80+ with Old Man Lucero. The category stipulates that the combined age of the two racers must be 80 or higher. Papa Bear is 54, I'm 26, and it's on! There will be a large number of Bikeworks friends and family out there for the event, and I strongly encourage anybody who is considering the race to come join us. The course is a great one, and the event is exactly what bike racing should be all about. The entry fee even includes a post race dinner served at the post race party. Good stuff.