A love hate relationship with Fullerton

I racked my SRAM Rival equipped Scott ‘cross bike to the top of my Scion and headed to Orange County to ride the Fullerton Loop. My previous trip out to the Loop resulted in three flat tires. I don’t mind getting an occasional flat, but THREE in one ride! That was too much for me to stand. Because the 12-mile Fullerton Loop is great for ‘cross training and testing, I need to return. The Loop is comprised of dirt and street paths, short steep ascents, and not too technical descents. I need to go out there for two reasons; I’m still testing the Rival group and I also changed the front ring to a more reasonable 46 tooth from the 50 I was pushing. I raced last Sunday in Palos Verde and the 50 front ring was leaving me way too over geared. But for whatever reason I puncture every time I ride the Loop! And true to form, I puncture the front wheel about 20 minutes into the ride. God, I hate this Loop!! This time I’m a little more prepared and I’m carrying several spare inner-tubes. A quick change and I’m on the dirt again. The Rival group still takes a beating with shifts under pressure as well as riding some of the climbs with the chain in the big rear cassette and big front ring. On my BMC I honestly have never missed the ability to trim the front derailleur in the big ring, however on my ‘cross rig I have noticed some rubbing when I’m riding in the forbidden big/big gear ratio. The 46 front ring is working like a charm and I wish I’d been using it earlier in the season. The other piece of equipment I keep waffling on is my choice in tires. Do I ride with the knobby Hutchinsons I’ve been using these past few weeks, or with the Ritchey Tom Slicks, which has chevrons in the middle and knobbies positioned on the side? The course runs through a considerable amount of grass, a bit of concrete, hard packed dirt, and a sand pit. Maybe I’ll do a knobby up front and slick in the back?

I’m racing this Sunday in Glendale, so if you see me out there, please yell encouragement – I’ll need it!

I’ve had some bad riding days on the Fullerton Loop, but not as bad as this guy

Location: Palos Verde
Style of turning: Tripod – put most of your weight on the front tire, unclip a leg and let the back slide


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