Fall Direction-Future Primitive

Sep 05 2017

Five years ago I wrote about changing directions from NYC fixed gear bike messenger to Philadelphia road cyclist.

This season I’m going to be writing about getting off the road and into the woods.

Don’t worry I’m not abandoning the road, I love it to much, but I need to add a new skill to my cycling repertoire.

This will be a journey through out the fall and winter.

Geographically our hood is connected to a series of maintained and unmaintained MTB trails running around either side of the Wissahickon Valley.

In West Philly there’s another set up of trails.

I don’t want to give you the impression that I’ve never ridden MTB. I pushed that heavy Viner all over the Wiss over the last couple of years but never in a concentrated way. I borrowed Nate G’s Kona hardtail 26er for a while but never really got into it.

No real deliberate practice. I’m going to change that now.

I’m putting together some gear for the mission now, Harry S is looking out…

But as of today I’m rolling modern clunker style.

I am going to need to get a contemporary FS MTB to complete the quest but I’m starting out on the steel lugged rossin above.

Vans on XT platforms with no toe clips. No suspension. 8 Speed XT shifters.

The frame was a donation of GS GUCCILIFE to our permanent collection.

The rigid bike has been good for me to learn on. Carving berms, finding paths, jumping small things-But I have to admit it is hard on my back!

I get fatigue in my lower back after 3 hour + road rides. On the rigid MTB a lot of the pressure is happening higher up in the area of my shoulder blades.

There’s a balance I’m trying to find on the rocky descents-Somewhere between walking and crashing.

Climbing isn’t so bad.Easier to maintain momentum with no travel, but I get stopped by bigger obstacles on super steep grades and then and I’m walking again.

Somewhere in the middle of this I’m riding fast (for me), getting a little rad and having a lot of fun.

I’m enjoying being a toy on the trails. Sometimes I just have to laugh at myself out there.

So Far:

Thanks to Teo for getting the Rossin to the states. Teo can get you real Italian Steel and related ciclismo. Contact us and I’ll contact him.

Thanks to Danlord and everyone at Transport cycles for getting me rolling on the Rossin. Dan got this thing clicking man. Wheeew. Old XT shifters are like click click click.

No problems.