Day 27: Austin, Texas

These is the second part of my post from yesterday.

Mechanical

Bike: I could not be happier with the Bruce Gordon Rock n’ Road. Not a single problem. The gearing has been exactly what I’ve needed for both flats and challenging climbs. Entering Austin, I had a climb with a 20% grade (thankfully, it was short). I had no problem getting up it and with a few gears to spare. I even like the rooster decal on the headset. It gives me something on which to focus when riding into a nasty headwind. Bottom line: worth every dollar.

Saddle: Once broken in, the B-17 has become the most comfortable saddle I’ve every used. After more than a 1,000 miles it fits me well. Any issues I have had are the result of a lack of riding lube, not the seat.

Tires: If Schwable made automobile tires, I’d buy a set for every car. They ride well and are almost impervious to the debris found on southern roadways. They are also very easy to get on and off. I thought the white walls looked a bit strange when I first saw them; however, it turns out that they are highly reflective providing additional visibility at night.

Panniers: Again, no complaints, only praise. The Arkels are easy to get on and off the bike, but are secure enough that they don’t rattle despite the most abusive roads. The pockets provide ample room for stowing gear with easy access for frequently needed items (sunscreen, glasses, wallet, etc.). In hindsight, I should have also purchased the waterproof covers, but trash bags have worked fine as a substitute.

Stove: Here’s the biggest issue with the Jet Boil. It heats too quickly. I’ve been using a Whisperlight for more than a decade and am mentally programmed to how long it takes to boil water. The Jet Boil is so much more efficient, that I am constantly over boiling things. It’s a nice problem to have. Additionally, the lesser weight and smaller size make it ideal for touring.

Cycling pants: I brought three sets, but have been riding most often in my wool knickers from Swobo. The wool is more comfortable than the synthetic fabric of most shorts. I also like protection of the having my knees covered. When you are kneeling on the pavement to change a tire, the padding is welcome.

Back on the road tomorrow. Unless, I can convince WCC to move to Austin.

2 Comments

Filed under Biking U.S.

2 responses to “Day 27: Austin, Texas

  1. gary kissiah

    Glad you enjoyed your time in Austin. I dont know your route, but Fredricksburg is a great Hill County town to visit, with Half Moon Dome as a must see attraction. The town was founded by German immigrants so lots of good beer!
    Keep em rollin’,
    Gary

  2. Polish Super Hero

    Mike,
    Thanks for the equipment review…I almost made me forget your first blog about riding over the bridge with the Mavic eating steel plates, as cars buzzed and sprayed you with mud. Vore Modka prease!
    As to your route…call me when you get within a 100 miles…the rest don’t matter
    PSH

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