This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hunqapillar off Road; one Hunqa 29er

 As I mentioned, I went out in the woods to play orienteering with a Boy Scout Troop for the weekend and, as luck would have it, they chose a spot with some great MTB trails.  Now I am a career roadie, of the subspecies commuter/tourist, which means I understand asphalt if it doesn't go too fast under me, but this weekend I got to use the Hunqapillar for it's secondary purpose, an ATV.   It was a pretty easy conversion, I went to an LBS, asked for some 29er tires, they had Swalbe Alberts in stock so, being ignorant and having no preference, I bought them because Swalbe is a reliable brand.  Other than that, the knobbies all look alike to me.  The Hunq went from this

to this

in less than 30 minutes. All I had to do was remove and change the tires, and, while they were off, remove the fenders and the lights, a total of 11 bolts to loosen.  It was that simple.  Going out on the trails was a different thing,

It's easy to see how comfortable I was the first time around the 2 mile warmup loop (one foot on the ground, dead giveaway), but by the next time I had actually worked up a sweat
and was beginning to accept abject fear.  In the final analysis, the Hunq works fine as a basic solid fork 29er, better than the rider.  I wasn't doing, and will not do, it or the trails justice by riding with drop bars and bar end shifters. I would have been a lot more aggressive with a straight bar and thumbies.  On the other hand I don't intend to do this more than a few times a year for fun, so I'm willing to give up a little performance for convenience and the hooded levers provide a good reach for me to control the bike in the woods. Reaching for the shifters is not a real problem, I just don't shift unless I have time.  Yeah, life can be simple.
Fortunately there was a big race scheduled by the Michigan Mountain Bike Association for Sunday morning, and I figured I was all ready.

While the Scouts slept, the rec area filled up like a carnival.  Only 700 riders and a thousand or so spouses, friends, children and significant others.  Cruising through the concourse, the Hunq got a lot of attention being "old school" with several people seeing their firstintheflesh Brooks saddle ever.  (Spandex hamsters, whatchagonnado?)

 Encouraged by my success from the previous morning I tried to register but the "Dead Women" category had been cancelled, so I graciously withdrew accepting the fact that I had no competition.  Now all those "vitamin shots" I'd taken would go to waste.   Damn, I was ready to "throw down" on their dusty asses.
But these were the real deal MTBers out being chip timed in different categories.
  In the end it as great fun watching people who had conquered their fear of dirt and embraced it.
I saw a couple ride by ready to tackle the course on a tandem and thought," how lame, why not make it challenging: single speed fixed gear tandem at night.  Now that would be a rush!  Maybe next year.
I think I'll do this a few more times now that I have the Hunq.
The MTB trails are great if it weren't for all the MTB riders in whose way I am always getting.

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