For the second weekend in a row it has been absolutely gorgeous here in Mpls. Today it got up to 79 degrees (officially at the airport)... it felt more like summer than spring. The warm, dry weather has helped motivate me to get in some good rides, and I'm finally starting to feel my legs get stronger. Today I rode a 25 mile variation of my Big Rivers Loop.
Up until this week I had 47mm Conti Travel Contact tires (front and rear) on my Fargo "road" bike, but I decided to switch the front to a 2.1" Maxxis Cross Mark. The skinny Conti tire made the front end feel a bit too twitchy for my liking. The bike handles much better with the fatter tire, not to mention the added comfort and traction it provides.
The Cross Mark is an off-road tire with closely spaced knobs running down the center that help it roll well on hard surfaces. I toyed with the idea of putting a Big Apple on the front, but they are just so heavy. The Cross Mark might not roll as well as the Big Apple, but it weighs 300 grams less.
On a ride last weekend I had a beer bust open in the rack trunk, presumably from bouncing around and hitting the rack. Before today's ride I added another layer of foam to the bottom of the rack. It seemed to do the trick because the Surly Bender arrived at my pit stop in perfect condition. It was a great day to sit in the sun on the sandy banks of the Mississippi...
After crossing to the other side of the river I headed upstream to Mendota so I could check on the MN Valley trail. I figured it'd still be too muddy and icy, but to my surprise it was rideable... so I headed down to highway 494 via the dirt trail.
It was good to be back on this trail, albeit I wasn't on the ideal bike. The trail still had a lot of soft spots and the 47mm rear tire sunk in and felt sluggish for much of the trail. But it was good to be back nonetheless. The early spring is helping make up for the fact that I didn't ride this trail in the snow at all this winter. I hope to get back later in the week on the fat front Fargo.
Lastly, here's a frame building update... I received flux and bronze brazing rod this week. With a busy work week ahead I probably won't be able to braze my first project (a stand for my jig) until next weekend... it'll be a good motivator for me to finish all my work before the end of the week.
Stopping is half the fun...