The Saturday ride had a smaller than usual turnout. A few guys were off riding the Sandhills Century in Aberdeen, so about 10 of us showed to ride from the corner of Hwys 150 and 68 in Oak Ridge, up to Belews Creek and back. It’s a route we frequently ride; for the most part it’s flat until you reach the dam at Belews Creek then it climbs sharply for about 3/4 of a mile. You’re then about halfway finished. From there it’s rolling with a couple of sharp climbs along the way. Pumpkin Ridge Rd is particularly vile.
This was my first ride on the Landshark. The adjustment from the Burley (sitting back, stretched way out) to the ‘shark (forward, more relaxed) was less abrupt than I expected. Forty miles wasn’t enough to allow me to make many judgments, but I could tell that having my hip angle more open made it easier to spin. The (two centimeter) narrower bars felt right, and I loved riding in the drops. That classic bend is oh-so comfortable.
Adjusting to the compact crank was no problem. It was odd to be in the big ring most of the ride, and I had to hunt a bit to find the right gear on the dam climb, but otherwise it wasn’t a factor.