Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gunnar Roadie - Project Bike - 2nd ride on a windy day

Click on the photos to enlarge them
Gunnar Roadie

With a cool front blowing in from the west and a major storm brewing off of the North Carolina coast these combined to  make today a windy day to ride a bicycle. I headed out to try and make the group ride that was leaving from Lewisville. I was running a little late and when I got on the road and started battling into a head wind, I thought I probably wasn't going to make it there in time. Sure enough when I arrived at the Lewisville Town Square the group of riders had already left. 

I was feeling good and enjoying riding the Gunnar Roadie, so I didn't even slow down at the town square, and just headed on for the community of East Bend, NC. I'm still making adjustment to the fit of the Gunnar Roadie and as I rolled through East Bend I was deciding on where and what adjustments to make to the Roadie. I knew I wanted to roll the handlebar down some and was looking for a good spot to make the adjustment. I pulled off to the side of Smithtown Road and got out my multi-tool to make the adjustment. Just as I was loosening the stem bolts to roll the bar down a bit, a lone rider passed by hunched low over his handlebars and pedaling hard straight into the head wind. I rolled my bars down some and tighten the handlebars in a hurry. I wanted to catch up to the rider who had just passed so we could work together and make our progress easier into the headwind. Once I reeled him in I sat in his draft. He pulled for a while and then pulled off. I haven't gotten around to putting a computer on the Gunnar Roadie and didn't know how fast we were going. I was trying to hold a steady pace on the front while he was drafting and wanted to do my share of the work. As the road turned we really were headed directly into a headwind. I clicked to an easier gear on the back of the Gunnar and picked my cadence up a bit. After I felt I had pulled for a fair distance I pulled off of to the left. The other rider pulled along side and said "I don't mind pulling, but I'm not going to be holding a steady 24 mph the way you have been doing. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the Gunnar Roadie had been performing. I didn't feel like I was working very hard or going very fast. The Roadie is just such a smooth and stable riding bike that it surprises me. I had been enjoying the bike's great ride and handling from the first pedal stroke of today's ride. At this point I introduced myself to my riding partner and asked his name and destination. He told me his name is Joe and that he was turning left at the bottom of Richmond Hill and heading to his home in Booneville, NC. We chatted awhile and then he turned left just before we reached the Rockford Bridge. I turned right onto an unpaved road to try the Gunnar Roadie out on a surface other than pavement. 
This is what the dirt road looks like that runs along the river as seen from the Gunnar Roadie.
The Gunnar Roadie performed as well as I could hope for on the dirt road. I always enjoy a little bit of adventure like this one. As I was riding back up towards the paved road and the Rockford Bridge when I saw three riders crossing the bridge. They were headed the way I was planning on going. Towards Rockford and the Rockford General Store. I picked up my pace to see if I could catch up with them at the store. I knew the rest of my ride would be much more enjoyable with company. 
The bikes on the porch of the Rockford General Store.

When I arrived at the store I was glad to see three bikes parked along the store's front porch. I found a place where the Gunnar Roadie would not be likely to be knocked over and headed for a restroom break. The Rockford General Store has been a favorite cycling destination for me for over 20 years. Not to many years ago the owners did a fabulous job of renovating the restrooms. The store offers great food, a wonderful atmosphere and a perfect front porch to take a break on. What more could one look for while on a bike ride?
The Gunnar Roadie in good company on the front porch of the Rockford General Store.

This is the sink in the men's restroom. I know this is a strange thing to take a photo of but  I always get a kick out of this sink. When you push down a button behind the wash tub, that serves as the sink, water flows out of the red pump into the wash tub. There is a drain in the bottom of the old wash tub.

Anytime I go into a store and they have an antique Coca-Cola drink box like this one I have to have a small bottle of coke like the ones picture on the front of the drink box.

My ice cold Coca-Cola. Just like the good ole days!
I visited with the three other riders that were already at the store when I arrived. I already knew Brian and he intoduced me to Chris and Chuck. They invited me to join them on the rest of their ride. I gladly accepted and we left on our way to Siloam, NC and on towards East Bend, NC. We chatted and they were interested in finding out more about the Gunnar Roadie and the polished Velocity A23 rims. I have to admit, in my opinon the Gunnar is an eye turner. 

Half way between Rockford and Siloam was this view of Pilot Mountain. I stopped to take this photo then hurried to catch back up to the other three.

My three new riding partners: Chris, Brian and Chuck.
We rode well together and had a great time. We stopped very briefly at the store in East Bend and then rolled on towards the Flint Hill Road and Old Highway 421 intersection. At the 421 intersection we shook hands and I headed left and the other three went right. It was another 10 or so miles before I was done with my ride. I don't have a computer on my bike (next ride I hope to) but I have ridden this route numerous times over the years and know it to be approximately 65 miles round trip. This was the second ride on the Gunnar Roadie and both of them have been a pure delight. I look forward to my next cycling adventure on this wonderful bicycle!

Today was a day full of winds from all directions. Thankfully the temperature was right around 60 degrees for most of the ride. In the video below Lynyrd Skynyrd performs a song titled "Call Me The Breeze" in 1976.

Once my ride was over Poor ole' Joe kept me company while I cleaned up the Gunnar Roadie. I will have to use some soap and water on it next time to clean it up if I take it on any more off road adventures.

Click here to learn more about Gunnar Cycles.
Click here to learn more about Velocity Rims and Hubs.
Click here to learn more about The Rockford General Store.

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