Last week I was riding Mary Jane with a suspension fork. This week I've been back on BluSteel. I have a number of different loops that I ride at the Res. The loop I call the Sidewinder I rode last Thursday on Mary Jane, and the past two days on BluSteel. Yesterday I had Maxxis Aspens front and rear, today I had a Maxxis Ardent 2.4 up front and the Aspen in the back. Last week I also had the Aspens front and rear.
The fastest of all three rides was today with the Ardent / Aspen tire combo on a rigid bike.
Yesterday "felt" the fastest.
Here are the times:
Last Thurs: 1:30:18
Average HR and Max HR was similar, with the highest average on the fastest day. Highest max was on the day with the suspension fork.
Subjectively I enjoyed my set up yesterday the most, but do to a certain condition I've been whining about lately, if I run the front tire soft enough to be comfortable, I bang my rim too often.
I'm not crazy about how the Ardent feels, sort of like pushing my bike through molasses, but I was able to shave over 3 minutes off my time with Aspens front and back.
Now for the flaws in the ointment:
Regardless of what Garmin says, last Thursday's loop was actually shorter than yesterday or today. There were a couple guys heading up the fence line on Old Mountain Rd, I didn't want to get stuck behind them, so I went straight up the powerlines. Probably cut less than a 1/4 mile off the route.
On all three rides I stopped to make some sort of adjustment.
Last Thursday I stopped to adjust the pressure in my shock, which allowed the couple I was avoiding to catch and pass me, only to be passed shortly there after.
Yesterday, I got caught behind a guy with earbuds in walking with his mentally challenged son. I announced myself twice, but he couldn't hear me so I had to wait a bit to pass. I stopped 2 times to adjust tire pressure (first to take some out, then to put it back in).
Today, I had to stop 3 times to adjust tire pressure. Once to let some out of the front, then to put some back in then to add more to the rear. I had to slow once to pass a couple of very attractive women; I probably didn't need to slow down so much...
Weather-wise all three days were comparable, but today was about as perfect a day can get for riding a bike. Low 80's with dropping humidity. Yesterday and last Thursday weren't too shabby either, but today was how the weather is when you're dream ...unless it's a bad dream, or you dream in high humidity, or something.
So what does all this tell us? I was fastest today for what ever reason. But fastest compared to what? Fast enough? I think I'm ready to find out.