Day 2 - Looking For Dirt - CycleBlaze

Day 2

My favorite part of camping is making coffee in the morning.  I don't know why?

But assembling my little stove, waiting for the water to boil, dumping in my instant coffee (usually instant anyway) and taking my first sip while listening to a quiet campground, always feels good.

I didn't sleep well last night so I was up extra early.  But that's okay.  I am happy.  Because I know, now, that I DO still like bike touring, and camping, and being really tired from a hard days ride, and making coffee while the sun rises, while the rest of the campground is asleep and the birds chirp their morning greeting.

After breakfast I noodled back to the Sacramento train station for my train home, mostly retracing my steps from yesterday.  While riding I thought about the new bike...

What I like:

1.  I seem to have dialed in the saddle and handle bar position perfectly.  With the bars and the bar ends I have multiple hand positions.  I wasn't sure about the flat bars but the whole cockpit will be excellent on more demanding, off road, terrain. 

2.  I changed the stock tires to these tires.  They will be excellent for a trip with paved and unpaved surfaces such as those I have in mind in Spain.  The stock tires are knobby, 27.5"x2.4".  I have trip plans for those as well but that is for another time.

What I love:

The disc brakes!  I have never had disc brakes.  But, in the past, I have been on many descents that required me to stop to cool the rims.  Not having to do that will be great.

I still love the Long Haul Trucker for strictly paved roads.  But I admit, this will be the one area that will be hard to go back to.

Things to work on.

1.  Gearing.  I am using the stock gears that are a 1X up front and a giant pie-plate cluster in the back.  It's not terrible for now and I will ride it for a while but I think I will eventually change to a double up front and a more traditional cluster in the back.

I thought the issue would be in the lower gear range but it seems to be just the opposite.  I was close to the biggest gear the last 2 days, and that is on a flat trail when I am pretty out of shape and not pushing big gears.  The range between the top end might be irritating in the long run when I want to make gear changes at smaller increments?

It also seemed extra hard to get the rear wheel back in place after I changed the tire.  Maybe there is a trick to it that I need to learn?

2.  This isn't bike related, but I tried some new Ortlieb fork mount packs.  The size is great for a short trip like this.  But the clamp didn't seem very secure and partially un-hitched itself a couple of times.  Not ideal when the bag is inches from the front spokes.  I will see if I can do something about that.

Another beautiful day on the river
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Waiting for my train home. Here is the California Zephyr on its way to Chicago
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