11A: enter 29. easier and harder.

Oct 16 2017

Picked up the Salsa from Dan on Friday night and rode it home.

Initial impression:This bike is big. Disc brakes are different. They don’t taper the same way as canti’s, but they work better. Have to learn how to use them. Big wheels feel soft like suspension, but I’m still going rigid.


It’s been drizzly and damp for a couple of days now. Typically have been avoiding riding in these conditions but I had to get in there.

Started out slow as a photo stroll with a planned pilgrimage to Kelpius Cave.

New bus parked on Pulaski. Don’t know the owner. Looking good.

View over Lincoln Drive from Henry Bridge. I meant to take a picture of this view down as well but got distracted by the call of the trail. Wiss trails below. Spaghetti in the distance.

Hermit Lane Halloween I’d live on hermit lane but I doubt these houses are ever for sale.

Kelpius Pilgrimage – Lots of hikers and tourists in this area. Had to take alternate routes a couple of times so I didn’t bust into anyone. Once I got to the cave I really wanted to ride. Have been avoiding slick days, but the spiritual power of the area pushed me forward.

General trail conditions in the flat and dirt. The dirt was tacky, the rocks were slippery.

View across Lincoln from the top of the ridge.

Salsa in effect!

Initial feel:

I was a little nervy and sketchy. Sitting higher up. The bars are wider. Different angle with sloping top tube. Much more stable and solid feeling. I had to adjust to the single speed and the wheelsize. Each crank revolution takes the bike further obviously, but it’s not like it was easier I just went faster and was able to roll over rocks I would have avoided.

The bike has much more thrust than the Rossin but it needs more of an explosive burst of pedaling before the obstacle or climb than the carry over in momentum the Rossin was giving me. Once I put in the work it flew. Acceleration was so much quicker, just needed to learn how to do it.

I was able to stop and start on climbs as well. With the Rossin once i lost it that was it I was running up the hill. With the gearing on the Salsa could start from a track stand and push the crank around with one foot before re-clicking in with the other.

The bike is much lighter but still feels like a tank in the trails. A fast tank. Ripped through the long berm sections like never before, I could understand the lines more. They’re made for wheels bigger than a 26er.

Popped out of the pedals a couple times. Didn’t expect that.

No half stepping on the Salsa. Commitment is the word. If you commit and put in the work the bike works for you, if you half step and expect it to do all of the work you’re walking.

Crowded in the trails with riders and hikers. Had to stop a few times for leashless dogs and dudes taking selfies and other phone related activities.

“cool phone bro, totally sick”


On the descent towards Walnut Lane I misjudged my bar clearance and hit the side of tree with my right grip. Bars went sideways and I went down. Had a lot of time to think about falling on rocks on the way and was really hoping I didn’t rip my shorts.

(I did put a hole in my LL legwarmers! Shit dude WTF. I need to get some new ones!)

The real pain didn’t come from the side I fell on. My right knee took a blow from the top tube and instantly hurt.

Got up and got back on as fast as I could and handled it up to Wise Mill.

By this time I was tired. Didn’t bring any gel blocks and really wanted a couple. Remember I was just going to go out and take some pictures? Energy levels were tanking. Made my way back down.

Found heaven in the berms. So much faster. This is what I was looking for! Roots and bumpier rocks were easier to ride over. Made it through technical stuff that would have stopped me before.

Hot shower followed this ride. Was tired! No problem falling asleep after that.

This morning.

Woke up sore and achey but feeling good. Left knee/leg/shoulder sore today. Right knee that took the top tube hit was stiff but not swollen.