One of my favorite road rides is the Clear Fork Loop. Last year I documented this interesting route on the recumbent bike here.
This year to start the summer out proper I decided to sleep in and didn't hit the road until around noon. While I ate a late breakfast and readied my kit the clouds broke up and it looked like it would be a great day. Sunny skies and summer like conditions have finally arrived in Ohio. Up until this point all of my rides on the Motobecane have been on relatively flat roads and rail trail. I like to ride a hundred miles or so on a new frame at slower speeds to allow myself some time to become accustomed to the handling characteristics of a new bike. Another important consideration to keep in mind during the break in period is structural integrity. Regardless of frame material it is much better to learn of a hidden defect at 15 MPH than 35.
Resting assured that my new titanium frame was sound the day I have been waiting for had arrived. The urge to see how the Motobecane plays in the hills was too great to resist any longer. The familiar grades of the Clear Fork Loop would be the ideal testing ground for my new road bike.
Coming down this hill from the east I have clocked 53 MPH on a bicycle. But today riding from the west I climbed this short but steep hillside. As a long time mountain biker I love having a triple crank on my road bike. The 30 tooth granny gear allows me to easily spin my way up hills without running my heart rate up to the maximum.
The Motobecane's light weight and my smart gearing choices make climbing a breeze. On the downhills the bike feels very stable and sure. Certainly the best handling road bike at speed that I have ever ridden. At the bottom of this hill past the farm in the distance is a downhill S turn and a recently constructed sweeping banked left hand curve. The bottom of the hill used to terminate in a much tighter curve that I never had the guts to negotiate without judicious feathering of the brakes. The new road bed follows a much larger radius that I confidently carved at 27 mph without the slightest inclination to touch the brake levers.
To top off the last third of the ride I was treated with a steady tailwind that allowed me to cruise at up to 24 mph on the flat run westward back to my home.
Clear Fork Loop
Ride Time: 2:00
Distance: 29.7 Miles
Avg Speed: 14.7 MPH
Max Speed: 32.5 MPH
Motobecane Odometer: 146 Miles