Frosthaven near Harriman

In a book we’re reading to Noah the characters get blown in a balloon to an arctic town called Frosthaven. It’s become a metaphor for my winter riding. The residents of Frosthaven are most proud of their ice sculptures. ‘Round here, where proud to not let the winter prevent us from enjoying the outdoors, though it takes some preparation. Long live the Frosthaven Winter’s Day rides.

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Above is not a graphic of my speed (sadly), but the wind speed. Ouch. But it was a bright sunny day to be enjoyed as much as possible. We were lucky and the snow storm that covered the mid atlantic states in 2 feet of snow stayed south of us and here it’s sunny and bright. So despite the 18 degree temps it was a day to ride. And because it’s been fairly dry around here, I thought heck, I’d take the carbon rocket out for its first spin with its new parts.

I picked a route with the maximum amount of uphill for the distance (climbing equals warmth) and pulled on a merino base layer, two mid layers, a winter jersey, and a jacket. On my head was a windblocking beanie, the hood from the top midlayer, and a winter collar that I could pull up. Long winter bibs were covered by winter tights. Not a bad mix considering the conditions.

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First new part was the Revl carbon brakes by theHive. They turned out to be really nice. They’re light but feel solid and produced well modulated stops. They look spiffy too. Look how nice and salted up I got them already! (Oy, where’s that rag…).

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And key here is that they fit nicely on the wide rims of the Hed Ardennes.

I predicted that wide rims would rule the minute I rode them. Now, besides the wide rims made for mountain bikes, and of course the four levels of wheel from Hed (Ardennes, Bastogne, Kermess, and the top of the line Flamme Rouge version of the Ardennes with ceramic bearings, titanium spokes etc.) Velocity is testing the A23 wide rim, and some new hubs to go with. Looking forward to trying those out. Zipp has widened a number of their rims as well. I tell you what, them wide rims sure ride purty right there. Truly they do.

Another change was the front fork to an Edge 1.0. It’s wonderfully smooth and plenty stiff enough, and of course more than light enough. I like the flat look and quiet graphics, something I wish the industry as a whole would embrace. Imagine if everyone drove around in cars that looked like they’re Nascar equivalents. Essentially, that’s what many of us are forced to do. (I know some do it by choice, that’s fine, but I’d rather not.)

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The hill pain was acceptable, the ride shorter than I had wanted because the wind was pushing me all over the road. On one laughingly sad uphill section the wind forced me out of the saddle because the road was already at 11 percent, it basically blew me to a stop, and had it lasted any longer would’ve forced me to dismount. That blast changed my mind about continuing, and took the first exit off the mountain and headed home glad I got out for over an hour.