29 June 2003: The first experience
We do not have any mountains in the Netherlands and for real hills you should go to the south part of Limburg
but in the Nijmegen area there are some nice hills. In between Plasmolen and Bisselt there is the
"Zevendalse weg", a dead end street that continues as cycle track.
The road surface is bad and there is a lot of sand and pebbles on the asphalt but this is cycling!
Last week I did this same hill (twice) with the same bike but then equipped with 2*9 derailleurs (forgot
to make a note of the ratio). At that time I was just able to get to the top but now it is a different story.
I lost grip twice due to the amount of power and at the top I discover I am stil in third gear, so it can even
go a lot steeper - or a bit slower on a longer track uphill.
After a detour in the direction of Groesbeek the road goes downhill after "jachtslot de Mookerhei". Up to 50 km/h I still apply power to my pedals and it is even going faster without doing anything, thanks to the Shimano XT disc brakes a controlled stop ends the fun in a controlled way.
A marvelous experience. I had my doubts for an hour selecting between a brand new recumbent with 2*9 LX or the same model, used, with Rohloff Speedhub for almost the same price. Looking back at my recent experience I do not understand why I seriously thought of the 2*9 LX. The whole set of chainrings and derailleurs is sensitive for dirt and need regular maintenance. The complete enclosed Speedhub is almost maintenance free and never looses its proper adjustment due to the fact that the clicks are defined within the hub and not in the lever.