Saturday, August 18, 2007

Seeking a worthy opponent...

Just another day at the office for the Fujin.

I managed to get out the door at the crack of 10 this morning and decided to ride out to Bragg Creek. On a nice Saturday morning in the summer there were bound to be loads of roadies out on the highway and I was in the mood for some rabbit hunting...=-) So far I've been able to out ride every roadie I've met, but I know there are bigger fish to fry and that the faster guys had to be out there today. I wasn't disappointed.

As I was getting my gear together in the parking lot a fit guy on a nice tri-bike headed out towards Bragg Creek. I left a few minutes behind him expecting to make an easy catch. By the time I was on the main road he had 800 metres on me. I still thought I'd reel him on the first descent. Trouble was the gap wasn't closing. All the climbing is in the first part of this ride so he actually increased the gap on me. This hadn't ever happened to me on the Fujin. I kept my speed up and figured I'd make up the distance between us once I crested the climb. The rest of the Hwy 8 stretch to Hwy 22 is slightly downhill or flat - ideal bent territory. I did manage to reel him in a bit and he grew from a faint red speck to the point where I could see his bike and legs spinning. By the time we turned south onto Hwy 22 we were only a 100 metres apart, but I was cooked from going full out to catch him for 20kms. I saw some construction flagging in the breeze and realized we had had a mild tailwind the whole time which would have helped him more than me.

I gave it some gas and caught his wheel - staying a polite full bike length behind him. He looked fit and was maintaining a 35-36kph speed. He noticed me behind him so I gave him a wave - which was met with a shake of the head. My guess was he wasn't thinking what a cool drafting for about 1km I decided I needed to make a move. To be honest I wasn't sure it would stick, but I didn't want to be a wheel suck. I pulled wide and accelerated past him at 40kph quickly opening up a gap of 200 metres. Then I settled down into a 37kph pace to rest.

He attacked several times and I was worried as he grew bigger in my mirrors, but the Fujin wasn't to be denied. I matched his accelerations and kicked it up to 40kph for a bit increasing the gap. Problem was I was cooked. I ended up drifting back to 33kph and knew I couldn't fight off another attack - luckily he blew up worse than I did and didn't accelerate again. After a rest I pushed the pace up and caught a few more Tri-bikers before reaching the gas station at Bragg Creek.

There was a group of 5 tri-bikers standing around outside. I parked the Fujin next to the last bike and said "Hi." No response. The fit Tri-biker I passed showed up and these were his buddies. I rested for 5mins finishing my bottle. I said "Hi." to a couple more riders as they walked past to use the bathrooms and was greeted with silence. They didn't even glance at the Fujin as they went by, which for a bike geek, must have taken a lot of effort.

I figured no one was going to invite me over for beer and nachos later so I hit the road. I love the ride back as it is usually fast. This time was no exception and I saw a pace line of 3 DF riders 200 metres down the road so the fun was on again. As I got closer they were cruising at 38-40kph and were pretty fit. I passed them at 43kph and when they realized I was there the first guy started to accelerate. I kicked it up to 50kph and got a decent gap on them and kept up a blistering pace back to Hwy 8. One thing I have learned from the bicycle performance calculator I found online - the faster I can drive the Fujin the bigger my advantage over a DF bike. You'd have to be a monster to beat a lowracer at 40-50kph on the flats if you are riding a DF bike.

The rest of the ride back was fast and uneventful. I love cruising along in the 40's on a pedal bike - it's pure poetry. I knew I was going to set a PR for this route today so I tried to limit my losses on the climbs at the end of the ride. I rolled into the parking lot happy with a great ride. Average speed 36.5kph - my best average speed for this ride on my Volae was 29.2kph - mind you I have more Kms in my legs now.

I am really glad I bought the Fujin from EBay - what a great bike. Fast, light and with awesome handling at high and slow speeds. I really couldn't ask for more from it.


Jerome said...

Very nicely done!

Paul said...

Hi Vik,

Sounds like a very exciting ride!

We're back from J2LL. Great weather and a fun ride, but just a bit pokier, maybe 15 KPH!


Greg said...

Vik, what kind of mirrors are using on the Fujin? I am about to install bar-end shifters on my Bacchetta and I'll lost my bar-end mirror. I notice yours aren't bar-ends. Looks like they mount higher up the handlebar.


Vik said...

Hi Greg, I'm using B&M short stalk mirrors on my Fujin. They'll attach anywhere on your bar. Great mirrors I have them on all my bents.

They are available from the Hostel Shoppe, Bent Up Cycles and Peter White.



Anonymous said...

Nice job Vik. Were the tri-geeks from some other country where a smile does not get a smile back? That is so sad especially the one who you battled with. You really want to get back at them, get a mojo bell or sound device that will anoy them when you pass them.


PS I hope you have as much fun next week as I will at the Port Hope Trike fest, Pre-Brol and BROL.

Greg said...

Great. Thanks for the info on the mirrors, Vik.