Yesterday I rode Stompy to work, with the new fatter tires I plan to try out next Monday at the track. (I know, you shouldn't ride knobbies -- even little knobbies -- on pavement. That said, I'm not such a big rider that a couple of trips on pavement will wear them down between now and Monday.) The bigger tires actually made the bike feel more stable. A little. Standing up to pedal is still a somewhat wobbly experience, but overall I think I've dialed in the fit.
The first night of Portland Short-Track is a "course trial" on the 15th. This is an opportunity for racers to try out the course, make final adjustments to their bikes, meet each other, pick up their number plates and -- most importantly for me -- get tips from more experienced racers who will be conducting a new riders' clinic. (The real racing begins Monday the 22nd.) In short, it's not officially "racing" but it IS just about everything else and I plan to be there.
I am feeling more and more comfortable about racing on flat pedals, though I wish I had some newer, heavy-duty BMX shoes to ride in (I've got a pair of leather Vans but the soles are quite worn and I'd feel better on some thicker soles). I hope that the course isn't totally impossible and completely grueling at the outset, and I hope I'll meet some other racers who are relatively new at this stuff so I don't feel like the only one. (I appreciate the benefits of affiliating with Velo Bella -- the tips and discounts on gear and stuff -- but it has been difficult being the only Bella in town and I really don't have time to try and organize a "chapter" in Portland. I've barely been able to establish anything resembling a regular "training" routine. If I try this and find that I really like it, that last part will HAVE to change.)
Meanwhile, Stompy is just the coolest damn bike! Riding it makes me giggly and happy. I've NEVER owned a bike this light before and it feels like there's almost nothing under me, which is by turns unsettling and liberating when I fly down hills and bunny-hop over little potholes. I let a few co-workers try it yesterday and they agree with me about how light and fun it is. Nate especially likes the Crank Bros. flat pedals ("they're really confidence-inspiring!") and Lionel really liked the swept-back FU2 handlebar. (There is talk of forming a little Citybikes "team" for 'cross season, to race the Cross Crusade events; but that would require a whole lot of schedule-juggling to allow everyone to have a month of Sundays off in October and that just may not be possible.)