Sunday, July 29, 2012

Its Raining, Its Raining, and I Don't Care !

It was early Sunday morning. Although I was on call for my medical practice, there was nobody to see in the hospital and all was quiet. It had rained heavily the night before, and when I went down the driveway to get the newspapers, there was a steady mist in the air. I had recently had new VO brakes shoes installed and had the wheels trued on my 2001 Jamis Nova, and sensed an excellent opportunity to try them out. Even though rain was forecast, the 70 degree temperature cried out for a wet riding opportunity.
I had purchased this 2001 cyclocross frame in as an Ebay NOS for $250, and built it up with a wide gear range and quality components. It was designed specifically for the muddy trails of Long Island's Caumsett Park. It also has had the unique honor of being lapped by Richard Sachs in a cyclocross race some years ago. It has become my go to all conditions bike.
When the pavement ends is where this bike really begins to shine. Not the lightest with Reynolds 631 TIG construction, it demonstrates solid stability on sand, gravel, and especially muddy conditions. Coupled with Mavic Open Pro front  and Open Sport rear rims, the Ritchey Speedmax tires are the right combination when the conditions turn tough. I run 55PSI front and 60PSI rear for these conditions. A 26-36-46 crankset amd 11-32 casette give wall climbing potential. I have been confident on 26% grades with this gearing.
I was fortunate that there was only a constant spritz most of the morning, which cleared later in the day. For those days where you don't want to expose your roadbike to Nature's worst, a bike like this can provide lots of exercise and can confirm the idea that Men Love Mud !

1 comment:

  1. I just picked up a Jamis Nova 2001. Despite being well used, this bike has plenty of life left in it. I am a large guy, and I keep breaking chains, axels, and bottom brackets on road bikes. This is my first cross bike, and I'm amazed at how beefy it is in the right places. I use it on the streets of Chicago, where there are a lot of potholes these days. I anticipate this will also be my winter bike.

    I'd love to get this thing out in the mud some day... but in Chicago there's more much more asphalt and gravel than mud and dirt. I plan on a bike trip in the UP soon, and I'll be using my Nova as a sort of touring / cross bike with a pannier in the back and more road-ish tires. Should be fun!