This was the first weekend I had to give the Volagi a good test, so I decided to ride up Hicks and Mt. Umunhum on Saturday, and OLH and the chipsealed Skyline on Sunday.
I was actually quite worried about Hicks and Mt. Umunhum, because it is really steep (stupid steep) and before, I did this on a triple. I’m riding a compact double on my Volagi. On the low end, I’m losing 3 teeth, so it will be harder.
Riding a compact double, I almost had to re-learn how to ride, or how to shift. I didn’t have the luxury of going into my middle chaining, so I guess it’s either all or nothing. Getting to the base of the steep climb of Hicks, I was riding incredibly well, and I figured it’s just a matter of time before everyone starts passing me, but that didn’t happen. I was in my lowest 34-28 gearing, and I seemed to be passing almost everyone in the group. Wow, am I really that strong, or is the novelty of the new bike giving me extra adrenaline to go up the hill.
We re-grouped at the base of Mt. Umunhum, giving us a little time to catch our breath. That one stretch of Hicks was brutally tough and steep, and although the beginning of Umunhum looked tough, it wasn’t as bad as the tough part of Hicks. After the first few switchbacks, it seemed to either level off, or the legs just got used to the pain and torture.
We all kept going up to the no trespassing sign. I had forgotten how tough the last part after the gate was, and I ended up having to tack it. I still think I would have done the same thing if I had my triple.
Now the true test … the descent … the road is about as chopped up as you can possibly imagine. When we got to the bottom, we were all wincing from the jarring our hands, backs and legs felt. So this is what it’s like to ride cobbles? This Volagi performed well, and I could really appreciate the design after going through this ride. I’ve done this before on my Seven, but I think I felt better after riding this on my Volagi.
The next day, I took a ride up Old La Honda, and was able to put in a decent time, 28 minutes. I was impressed by that, since the last few times on it, I mustered 30 minutes. It still is 4 minutes off my PR, but it’s a time I feel good about. I then took this on Skyline, which has rough chipseal. Again, I didn’t feel as much suffrage on this, so I’ve gotta say kudos to the engineering and design of this bike. I think this will be less fatiguing for me on long rides.