Monday, June 11, 2007

Testing your new cross bike at the golf course

The bicycle shopping is over. I just bought a 2006 Jamis Nova. And just in case that link gets archived soon here's the link to the 2007 model.
Pretty much as soon as I test rode the Nova I decided it was the bike for me. I never even bothered to try a Kona Jake the Snake because, despite the great price point ($1500.00 Canadian for Shimano 105, lightweight aluminum frame, carbon fork), I really didn't want to own a third Kona - especially a neon lime green one.

Having decided upon the Nova however I had to hunt around to find a good price, because the MSRP for the 2007 model is $1919.00 Canadian, which seems really out in left field, especially when it is about $420.00 more than the fairly similar Kona. I called a few shops that were listed as being Jamis dealers, but Jamis bikes really haven't hit the Canadian market at all, so nobody had one, and when I asked about ordering they just said they'd maybe bring one in at the $1919.00 price.

But Gino at the Cyclepath up in Willowdale (they're at 5330 Yonge Street - I'd link to their website but they don't have one) answered the phone and offered to check out the availability of 2006 models in Jamis warehouses in Canada, and if he could find one he'd sell it to me for $1600.00.
Lo and behold he did find one, and I've ridden the new bike three times now, including the ride home from the shop, which took me into the Don Valley Golf Course.

I didn't actually mean to be in the golf course. In the middle section of Toronto, when you're going north & south, your big problem is getting under or over the 401 highway without dealing with on and offramps and having cars merging with you at 50 to 80km / hour. I always used to just go up and down Yonge street to get across the 401, but the last couple of times I did it were fairly nerve-wracking, and so I was determined to find a better way this time.

In theory the better way meant going along Shepherd a bit, riding through Earl Bales park, and finding my way up onto the bike path that my map said would lead me safely across the 401 via Avenue Road.
But, I got lost in the park.
I was going south along a paved trail through the trees, and suddenly the pavement died and I'm in dirt and mud. I walk along a bit with the bike, hoping the trail will pick up, and to my left I notice that there's a high fence, and on the other side of the fence I see another paved trail.
I figure that I've taken a wrong turn and should have been on THAT paved trail the whole time, so coming to a gap in the fence I push the Jamis through and walk onto the trail to discover that I'm on the Don Valley Golf Course and the paved trail is just the one that golfers drive their carts on.

Anyway - long story short - I knew that the golf course actually stretched out underneath the 401, and that the course's parking lot led you out onto Yonge street, and from there I could just bike easily downtown on Yonge. So there was no way I was going back into Earl Bales park and spend half an hour fiddling around trying to find the trails that my bike map was talking about. So I hammered through the golf course (trying to keep to treelines when the cart paths vanished) and found my way up the 18th fairway to the clubhouse and the parking lot and then Yonge Street and then I rode home from there.


Jerome said...

Sweet ride man! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts after you've had a chance to log some miles (or kms to us). Cheers.

Timon said...

When you're in the east end of the city and you need to cross the 401, take Birchmount. It has no access to the 401. This also means fewer cars take it on that stretch of road. Very safe. Now that I'm in the east end, I'm rarely around Yonge and 401, but thanks for the heads up about the park. I'll see if I can figure out the route.

Darren J said...

Looks really nice. And fast. Now you can start commuting to Bowmanville!

By the way, there's a way to get under the 401 near Yonge. The path is just east of Yonge, and you access it either from the east sidewalk just north of the 401, or from between the condos just north-east of the interchange. It's not an official bike route, so you have to sort of just know about it.

Veg*Triathlete said...

Whoa!!! Nice lookin' bike!

Smudgemo said...

Darn, I completely forgot to suggest last-year's model of whatever suits you. I've purchased a number bikes like that, and they are always a way better deal unless there is some major upgrade. Good deal. Cross bikes rule.

Melissa said...

i'm so happy you got a new bike :)

Kirk said...

I myself bought an '06 Nova in May and have logged 1800 miles on it in the last 6 months. I have no real complaints. I've done a couple of centuries on it, tons of fast road rides (usually about 30 miles), commuted, some light cyclocross racing and lots of fire roads. The color scheme and decals kind of annoy me, but I'm considering stripping it down and repainting soon. These days it wears Panaracer 37s with inverted tread which are a bit heavy but smooth enough for longer road rides, rugged enough for mud and cushy enough for the decaying inner city pavement. This bike sometimes wears fenders, a rear rack and basket, and is the ultimate urban assualt vehicle!

Colby said...

I just got a Jamis Nova. Same model as yours. I love it. I am new to 'cross and hardcore riding and I think the bike is a great fit.