Since moving to Birmingham I have come to the realization that I will no longer have daily rides that are flat. But, at this point I’m so excited in how that develops me into a better cyclist. My current daily ride is taking me up Red Mountain twice as well as some other back roads. Red Mountain overlooks the city and used to supply just the right materials used to make steel. Think of Birmingham as your small Pittsburgh.


Some stats: the daily ride is 1300 feet of total climbing and xx total descending. The first of two ascents is 170 feet for 1/3 of a mile and the latter is 262 feet for about a mile. Total ride is about 20 miles with some options as sections to take so I don’t grow tired of it. Compare this to my old work commute of doing 680 feet of climbing over 23 miles, all of that a very gradual (barely noticeable) slog.

(I mapped out a ride for weekends which is about 1700 feet climbing over 25 miles. I don’t really know how much that is on the average suffering scale but I assure you it will have to hurt! Looking forward to it!)

This weekend I ended up removing the rear VO constructeur rack. I no longer need this and it was adding weight as well as added weight moving side-to-side when I am out of the saddle. I love the look of the bike without it too. Recent #oregonoutback photos inspired me to ditch it, so there’s that. The frame was made for upfront weight so why not?

I continue to lean towards getting some wide 700c tires. Specifically the 45mm (measure 41mm) Resist Nomad tires. (Link goes to an Ocean Air Cycles review) For the price they are a steal and have a skin colored sidewall option as well not to mention solid reviews. This would require me not to have fenders so that is the sticking point. For the time being, I am staying with the older 33mm Michelins and put the Grand Bois on the shelf.

It’s not a permanent move however, smaller tires, fenders and the rear rack can easily be put back on. Plus, I’m thinking the Resist tires would be pretty rad on some gravel and other rough surfaces. Plus a fresh look and feel. Climb on!





  1. Congrats on your move. I guess I have no chance of running into you on the W&OD now. I have skinwall tires now and they are always dirty with brake dust. My two cents.

    Good luck with the hills!


    1. Thanks, Tom. Definitely ran into that into running the Grand Bois. Those got extremely dusty and ultimately lost their shine. The cotton sidewalls might help accumulate the dust however, they aren’t your standard gumwalls.

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