twentynine inches • one gear • zero travel

Les Gorges Du Pichoux

It’s starting to become a traditional thing that I ride this loop during the spring. It’s decently long and at the end of the day one has almost climbed 3000 meters without even realizing it. A lot probably has to do with the ever changing scenery along the route. First the climb to the Croix du Ciel with an ever present companion standing tall to the south, the Chasseral. A little later one whizzes past the tall firs of the Franches-Montagnes on the way to Lajoux. After a fast descent into Glovelier one quickly finds itself climbing along the Sorne river into the Gorges du Pichoux. Breathtakingly stunning place. A wonderful road then turns left to Moutier. To avoid the busy shortcut to Court, I take a small mountain road to Champoz. Before tackling the tough climb to the Montoz, there’s a little time to spin the legs along the Birse river, again away from the main road on a paved trail that gently follows the calm river. Once I launch into the climb, the legs usually start showing signs of fatigue. Shifting a gear or two lower, I just make my way up one pedal stroke at a time. At the Obergrenchenberg the legs finally get to pause. Now it’s just a matter of keeping excellent concentration and a sharp eye on the road descending to Grenchen from where Biel isn’t far.

Distance:126.4 km (78.5 miles)
Elevation:2’971 m (9’747 feet)
Time:05:10:18
Speed (avg/max):24.4/79.2 kph (15.2/49.2 mph)
Banana Passa Do Brasil
One strip of banana passa for every hour ridden. Zoom

Banana Passa Do Brasil

One strip of banana passa for every hour ridden.

The Stuff That Grows Along The Side Of The Road
Lots of daffodils, a bit of snow and this evening’s riding stats right below.
Distance:50.5 km (31.4 miles)Elevation:1’370 m (4’495 feet)Time:02:19:03Speed (avg/max):21.8/74.2 kph (13.5/46.1 mph) Zoom

The Stuff That Grows Along The Side Of The Road

Lots of daffodils, a bit of snow and this evening’s riding stats right below.

Distance:50.5 km (31.4 miles)
Elevation:1’370 m (4’495 feet)
Time:02:19:03
Speed (avg/max):21.8/74.2 kph (13.5/46.1 mph)

Gate Hopping

After dropping my wife off at the train station, I left for a ride with one goal in mind; blow my weekly elevation stats through the roof. I took off for a loop I’ve done in the past, slightly changing the route to be off main streets and add a bit of extra climbing. I got ten hours of sleep, but wasn’t sure if my legs would be ready after quite a bit of climbing throughout the week. Fortunately, they felt amazing each time the road started to point upwards. There were some real leg killers on the way, such as the pitch through Lordel and the steep Rue Ami-Girard. Another big unknown was the northern ascent across the Chasseral. Bus service is supposed to resume on April 19th, so I figured it couldn’t be all that bad and hiking a few miles was no big deal. The southern road is free of snow. As it turned out, the road is still closed and still under an awful lot of snow. They’ll have to run up the road with a snowblower and clean the road from snow as well as winter debris if it’s going to open in two weeks. With the 8’000 feet climbed today, I pushed my weekly total to over 24’000 feet and the legs feel super good. Stoked to start spring like this.

Distance:91.9 km (57.1 miles)
Elevation:2’452 m (8’045 feet)
Time:04:30:57
Speed (avg/max):20.3/73.1 kph (12.6/45.4 mph)
Keeping It Close To Home
After three rides this week and the idea to do something longer Sunday, I kept Saturday’s ride short. A look at the sky and the forecast had me opt to keep it also close to home. A quick spin up to the Montagne de Romont seemed like a good thing to do to give the legs a nice little workout and to bump up my weekly elevation total. As it stands now, I passed the 16’000 foot marker. While I’m not going to set myself any particular goals, this year is all about elevation. The more the better. I’ve got some rides on my to-ride list that will include 16’000 feet of climbing in just one ride. So I better get the legs used to go up mountains. The weather’s supposed to be great tomorrow. Maybe I can get up some currently still closed roads. We shall see.
Distance:37.7 km (23.4 miles)Elevation:1’030 m (3’379 feet)Time:01:39:48Speed (avg/max):22.7/88.2 kph (14.1/54.8 mph) Zoom

Keeping It Close To Home

After three rides this week and the idea to do something longer Sunday, I kept Saturday’s ride short. A look at the sky and the forecast had me opt to keep it also close to home. A quick spin up to the Montagne de Romont seemed like a good thing to do to give the legs a nice little workout and to bump up my weekly elevation total. As it stands now, I passed the 16’000 foot marker. While I’m not going to set myself any particular goals, this year is all about elevation. The more the better. I’ve got some rides on my to-ride list that will include 16’000 feet of climbing in just one ride. So I better get the legs used to go up mountains. The weather’s supposed to be great tomorrow. Maybe I can get up some currently still closed roads. We shall see.

Distance:37.7 km (23.4 miles)
Elevation:1’030 m (3’379 feet)
Time:01:39:48
Speed (avg/max):22.7/88.2 kph (14.1/54.8 mph)
Thursday’s After Work Loop
Distance:45.1 km (28.0 miles)Elevation:1’245 m (4’085 feet)Time:01:56:33Speed (avg/max):23.2/76.7 kph (14.4/47.7 mph) Zoom

Thursday’s After Work Loop

Distance:45.1 km (28.0 miles)
Elevation:1’245 m (4’085 feet)
Time:01:56:33
Speed (avg/max):23.2/76.7 kph (14.4/47.7 mph)

Too Much Weight Put On Weight

A + B = C or in numbers 4.13 + 4.45 = 8.58

I’ve done it. Yeah, I’ve really done it. I put my bike on a frigging scale. Any cyclists who spends a minuscule time on any type of cycling forum knows that’s what you do. You gotta know who much or rather how little your bicycle weighs. If it’s heavy and you get dropped on a climb you can then always blame your boat-anchor. When your friend pulls away in a tough climb, he’s only doing so because his bike’s a pound lighter than yours. Oh, pardon that horrible mistake, the official weight-weenie unit, as every serious (translation: obsessed) cyclist knows, is a metric gram. Anyway, any cycling blog worth its salt needs a few pictures of bike parts on a scale. So there, here are mine.

Maiden Ride On The Viaje
After a late night session Friday, my new Volagi Viaje was ready for a first loop into my nearby hills. I had planned to meet a friend for a ride, but unfortunately he had to cancel. Early in the morning I left for a short test loop just to check if my drivetrain adjustments in the work-stand would actually hold up on the road an continue to shift crisply. A few hundred feet down the road I tightened the rear shifter cable a tiny bit and that was it. Everything behaved the way it should. After I came back home I had to run an errand, then I was off for a longer road loop on the new bike.
A couple of impressions. After I had ridden my Neilpryde Alize yesterday, my body had to adjust to the higher and closer handlebar. Rather than being race-stretched I have a more relaxed, all-day kind of seating position. That’s a good thing. The carbon road bike is for the days I want to go hard and fast, the Viaje's for the relaxed days or the very long touring days on the bike. Due to the position, the heavier frame and the voluminous 28C tires the bike has a more gentle manner on the flats and uphill. It can be moved fast, but it takes a little more time to get it up to speed. It's a great climber, but in comparison to my 6.8kg lightweight street racer it takes a bit more effort. On the descents the little extra weight turns into an advantage. The bike is fast and with disc brakes I have already found myself to drop into hairpin turns too fast. Funny how disc brakes somehow make you think you can cancel the laws of physics.
Overall, I’m totally stoked to have the Viaje in my bike stable. It complements the other bikes well and will most often be ridden when I want to take it a little easier, when I want to toss in some gravel miles or leave for adventure rides where I don’t know the roads ahead.
Distance:64.7 km (40.2 miles)Elevation:1’342 m (4’403 feet)Time:02:50:12Speed (avg/max):22.8/69.8 kph (14.2/43.4 mph) Zoom

Maiden Ride On The Viaje

After a late night session Friday, my new Volagi Viaje was ready for a first loop into my nearby hills. I had planned to meet a friend for a ride, but unfortunately he had to cancel. Early in the morning I left for a short test loop just to check if my drivetrain adjustments in the work-stand would actually hold up on the road an continue to shift crisply. A few hundred feet down the road I tightened the rear shifter cable a tiny bit and that was it. Everything behaved the way it should. After I came back home I had to run an errand, then I was off for a longer road loop on the new bike.

A couple of impressions. After I had ridden my Neilpryde Alize yesterday, my body had to adjust to the higher and closer handlebar. Rather than being race-stretched I have a more relaxed, all-day kind of seating position. That’s a good thing. The carbon road bike is for the days I want to go hard and fast, the Viaje's for the relaxed days or the very long touring days on the bike. Due to the position, the heavier frame and the voluminous 28C tires the bike has a more gentle manner on the flats and uphill. It can be moved fast, but it takes a little more time to get it up to speed. It's a great climber, but in comparison to my 6.8kg lightweight street racer it takes a bit more effort. On the descents the little extra weight turns into an advantage. The bike is fast and with disc brakes I have already found myself to drop into hairpin turns too fast. Funny how disc brakes somehow make you think you can cancel the laws of physics.

Overall, I’m totally stoked to have the Viaje in my bike stable. It complements the other bikes well and will most often be ridden when I want to take it a little easier, when I want to toss in some gravel miles or leave for adventure rides where I don’t know the roads ahead.

Distance:64.7 km (40.2 miles)
Elevation:1’342 m (4’403 feet)
Time:02:50:12
Speed (avg/max):22.8/69.8 kph (14.2/43.4 mph)