Well, I managed it, as of the 26th November I passed my 6 month goal and cycled over 1500 miles in less than 6 months. I must admit the last 2-300 miles did not go as quick as I had hoped, or at least as fast as my summer miles, things have got a little on top of me, between the new job and evening classes cycling has had to take a bit of a back seat for a while. But come the new year I will treat myself to a nice new Garmin Edge500 unit and maybe a new HRM belt and then start putting the miles into the bank for next years goal, 4000 miles in 12 months.
The miles have been quite tough on the bike and it is in dire need of a service, the bar tape is hanging off I am almost through my second set of disc pads, the transmission itself feels pretty good and it shifts well still but you can tell it is worn and is going to need some attention real soon. So with that in mind the bike is going to undergo some changes.
The drop bars and cable discs are heading into the spares bin and I am putting strait bars and some bar ends on, why? Well, I am more comfortable with strait bars, I have more control and it is much better when I have a full load on the bike come touring rides and being comfortable is the most important thing, a comfortable rider is quicker and more in control of the bike. In addition to the bars I am putting the SLX 10 speed MTB transmission, although I have become accustom to the road gears I sometimes feel I could do with some slightly lower gears when loaded or the weather is bad, I think I miss the ability to spin most of all.
My ride to work has had to change with the advent of my new job, I am still at the same company but I have moved into the office now, so I am wearing a shirt and tie and loving it. The change in hours has meant that I have had to alter my riding, I have less time to get the miles in and my later start time means that I have to wade through the insanity of rush hour traffic, this fact alone has made me re think my route of a morning.
I have now settled into the habit of two routes, the first is a traffic free version of my old ride into work, a little longer but so much more peaceful, the second is a nice 10 mile ride in. I am really enjoying both routes but I still miss the longer rides I used to do, fingers crossed come easter I can start some longer rides once again.
I have been doing a little thinking recently, my riding this year has been wonderful, I have been enjoying the mixed trail capability of the Trek but I sometimes feel it is not quite tough enough for the variety of riding I enjoy.
I have taken quite a liking for the Surly Troll, a 26" wheeled touring /trail mountain bike, it is not the lightest thing in the world but then again neither am I, it all stems back to the utility part of my cycling, it would provide me with an almost perfect platform for touring and trail riding, I have seen builds known as "apocalypse builds" normally based around a hub geared set up that literally can keep riding through an apocalypse.
For mine I have an idea, 2.0 off road touring tires, full racks and mudguards for the winter miles.
Don't get me wrong the Trek has been incredibly good fun and I will still keep it albeit in a cyclocross/winter bike format, I will ill it over, I have 6 months to finalise it in my head.