After a brief ride to the bike shop on Friday I knew it was as smooth as silk on the road but I finally managed to get the Muru out on the dirt to see what I had got myself in for.
The woodchipper bars will take a little getting used to as the hand position is very different to your standard mountain bike. This makes for a little more strength required to grip the hoods in the rougher sections of trail but I was surprised just how compliant the carbon fork and the baggy 2.2 tyres are in damping out the rough stuff.
The bike is silent, which makes it feel even smoother. Well, silent apart from my creaking seat. For some reason the Selle Italia Turbomatic Flow seat that I bought back in October has started creaking like a wooden bed in a cheap motel. I have lubricated the rails but it just won't quieten down. My next plan of attack here is to put the other(quiet) Turbomatic seat that I have currently fitted to my Lynskey onto the Muru and see how long it stays quiet(insert fingers crossed emoticon here).
I did have a heart in mouth moment while attacking some single track in Bayview. After I lifted the front wheel over a small log on the trail and the back was coming over, the 'bars twisted forward in the stem, nearly launching me over the front! Pulling out my trusty multi-tool I quickly had those stem bolts nice and tight, as my heart rate slowly returned to normal. Bike-build-glitch found! There is always one. ;)
The single track proved to be quite challenging with the overall length of the bike and the bar configuration not really suited to single track. So, I popped out onto the fire roads and this is where this bike shines. It ate up the fire roads. Loose gravel, climbs and descents were easy work. I guess I was starting to get used to the 'bars too by this stage.
Putting in a few kilometres(metric miles) on the blacktop and I soon noticed that the gearing is decidedly on the low side with me topping out at about 43km/h or so. That is fine for I plan to rest on the downhill sections and will need the little gears for all the climbing that is ahead.
Immediately ahead today was the Eastern Escarpment of Mt Cotton. There are some loose, sketchy, steep climbs here and I was surprised how well the bike handles the loose stuff in particular. The 2.2 tyres definitely add to traction levels in the loose stuff.
I had to remind myself to get off and push the bike some. Yes, I need to practice pushing up hills so that the little muscles and tendons in the lesser used portions of my legs are hardened up somewhat for when I am required to push through the snow pack that will undoubtedly be lying in wait in the first few days of the race. I have been practicing a mantra for this bit, thanks to Brandy, of "ride in the snow they said, it'll be fun they said...." I can work out the appropriate curse words to go in at the end on the fly..... ;-)
All in all, it proved to be a very pleasant late afternoon roll that took me just under 3 hours with stops to smell the roses and admire my new bike.
My Strava log is here.
My Strava log is here.
This is a decidedly dedicated type of bike. It is made to eat up dirt road miles(imperial kilometres) with ease and I think it may just do that, even with me at the helm. I can't wait to get my dynamo hub built up, get this bike loaded and head out onto some deserted roads.