Roadie vs. Mountie

Now that I’ve had the chance to ride both bikes fairly a lot… some comparisons (and whining).

Roadie Pros:1. Stupidly light
2. Very fast
3. Fits extremely well, and is honestly a comfortable bike.
4. I like how I can move into different positions and work other muscle groups and relieve sore butt areas with relative ease
5. Look Keo pedals kick ass, definitely like this pedal/cleat system way more than SPD

Roadie Cons:
1.  Have to be careful of branches, gravel, huge ass potholes, massive cracks…
2. Lack of suspension.  Body says ouch.
3. I just can’t get into standing on climbs.  It feels very foreign to me, since I’m use to sit and spin on the MTB
4. I am scared to death of crashing on asphalt.  The mere thought of road rash makes me shudder.
5. Cars and the idiot humans that operate them.

Mountie Pros:
1. It rolls over anything.  I don’t have to be scared of rocks and sticks and holes and whatever else
2. Front suspension is nice on the hands, arms, and the rest of me
3. Mr. Penguin
4. No cars to worry about in the terrain its used on
5. Falling on dirt doesn’t really scare me lots, especially with my OTB fall during my last race.  Dirt has a certain “give” to it

Mountie Cons:
1.  Heavy as hell!!!  UGH
2.  Just feels sluggish.  I know this is a terrain thing, but I notice the bike’s weight on hills
3. Fit doesn’t feel right since getting a road bike.  I notice how my legs don’t extend as much, I feel too far forward… probably because my mountain bike was never fitted to me.
4. The hybrid pedals can drive me bonkers, but I still don’t feel ready to fully commit to clipless full time.  On this subject, my left pedal is way too loose, and the slightest bump will jostle my foot loose.  On the to do list…

Not really a comprehensive list, just what comes off the top of my head.  I really do enjoy both, there’s just pros and cons to each, which is why I have each kind of bike to begin with!

Last Saturday was my first day on my mountain bike in almost two weeks.  Matt and I hit up Happy Jack for a 9.5 mile ride, deciding to finally do Death Crotch from the “proper” side.  First half of the ride wasn’t enjoyable.  I wasn’t use to how squishy my mountain bike is, how heavy it is, and how climbs seem to crawl by.  Mentally, I felt apprehensive with my crash from the race still fresh in my head.  I felt like I bailed off the bike way more than I really needed to.  Just couldn’t find my rhythm… even managed to ride straight into a small aspen tree on Pole Creek, landing in a thistle plant.  I made up for it with some good improvement on Strava segments, including knocking 3 minutes off of my Pole Creek Climb time, even with the fall!  Glad to see continual improvement on my fitness, even if the bike was feeling alien to me.

Sunday was a short, 13 mile day on the road bike, battling stupid Wyoming wind.  Yesterday I hit up Happy Jack again with a high school classmate and her boyfriend, who are both avid mountain bikers.  We did 8.7 miles, pretty much mimicking my ride from Saturday, minus Ridge/Rollercoaster.  Talking about being off my rhythm… my feet just didn’t seem to want to cooperate.  Couldn’t stay clipped in, couldn’t stay clipped out, couldn’t even stay on the pedals.  Not to mention I kept riding into everything… even an open gate I managed to crash into.  Odd to say the least.  However, it was definitely a different experience to ride with someone besides Matt.  Rebecca and Jonah are both experienced riders and quickly left me in their dust, especially on downhills, where I was still fighting mental demons.  Still tons of fun, and I know I was subconsciously being pushed to ride faster the whole ride.  I’ve noticed that on climbs I lean forward a lot more, mimicking what I do on the road bike.  I can feel this helping.  To highlight the day, I broke my Pole Creek Climb time by another 3 minutes, even though we stopped, I stopped, and even hiked up one hill, along with knocking 3 minutes off my Death Crotch descent time.  We finished off the day with a great meal at Corona Village Andale Rapido and Mexican beer.

Summit of the Death Crotch Trail, looking east… nearly 9000 feet in elevation!

Today I think I will head out on the road bike after dinner.  Not sure how far I will go, as I’m bad with pushing myself when riding solo.  It will also depend on my knee.  I am pretty sure I am dealing with a nasty case of iliotibial (IT) band syndrome.  Sunday night I ordered a foam roller from Amazon, and also an IT compression band, hoping they’ll help me get on top of it.  I want to avoid doctors as much as possible.  I also picked up some Arnica gel to rub on my knees.  Right now it is my right one that aches constantly (sitting and standing pretty much kill me to do), and my left only mildly hurts after a long mountain bike ride.  I don’t want to back off from riding so much, which is totally due to the gymnast in me that says “work through the pain, cry baby!”  So I am sure I am compounding the problem.  I also have a hard time with getting motivated to start doing the IT stretches.  Matt and I are planning on doing a 50 mile charity ride in August, so I know I need to get on top of my problems before then… sigh.

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