Just a reminder, Oct. 24th (next Sunday) is the first fall Patapsco trail work day at Avalon. Come on out and play in the dirt and earn some good karma by helping out on the trails you know and love. Details can be had here.
Crisp Day for a Scorching //
Wednesday - October 13, 2004
Y'know when you get burnt out on riding because you're riding too dang much? I know I'm going to have that feeling at the end of the week. The wifey's out of town until Friday night so I plan to hit the trails as much as possible. Finished a sweet ride tonight with Pop-z and Bunky at good ol' "not illegal, but not quite legal, to ride at night" Wake-a-Stink.
I expected to ride with a casual group so I brought out the fixie, but I hooked up with these two instead. That usually means spirited competition with an order of trash talking on the side. Bunky shot off fast from the line and I wanted to keep that momentum going. Since I don't whip out the scorcher much, it took some getting used to on the downhills. I sketched out on one steep drop into a ravine, but I handled the rest of the southern pointing trails fine. Uphills are always easy on this thing; it's kinda nice to have the pedals push your legs back up on every revolution. Plus the non-weight of almost having nothing on your bike makes it feathery and easy to throw up the hill. Then of course there's the logs. I didn't smash my toes but I had all sorts of wood and junk stuck in the bottoms of my pedals. I don't know if I could do the fix all the time because I miss getting over taller stuff at speed. Not knowing whether or not you'll lose a toe on the next obstacle is a little scary.
Pop-z and I swapped bikes on the Wake creek trails because he wanted to get a taste of the dark2 side. (Last I heard, SSing was dark to the first power, so I figure fixie is squared.) It was his first time riding direct-drive and he was doing ok on the first half of the creek trail...until he got to a sweeping curve. I forgot to tell him to not lock his legs without leaning back (or at least to expect the "push"). He entered the curve, locked his legs - expecting to cruise right through - and catapulted right over the bars. I didn't see it, but Bunk said he saw the bottoms of his shoes as he superman-ed into the mud. Funny, funny stuff since nobody got an eye out.
Anyways, we wrapped it up at K-roy's with suds and a righteous Reuben. Fall's back and I'm loving every minute of it.
Battle of the styles: Rigid Monkey VS Squishy Cow //
Monday - October 11, 2004
On Saturday I was a pawn to a game of “what bike is best?” The ride organizer is a devout full-squishy guy and has never really ridden on a good long ride with us rigid SSers, or in his words, “masochistic freaks on the path to self destruction.” Was his 6” in the front and 4” in the back better than my 6mm and 4mm? It was a good ol' throw down, and I wanted to prove that we could stick with the best of them.
Three rigid SSers, three full-squishy Mavericks, and two front-sussy gearies took off from the Park and Ride and ducked into the woods. We took the far right trailhead, which led us on an extremely thorny and unkempt path. Since we thought we were lost, and the trail demanded that we got off our bikes, the organizer, who we'll call Mav, was not pleased. Cursing out loud, we could already tell that he was not used to the occasional hoofing some us SSers are accustomed to. Round 1 (tough skin): SSers.
Up, over, and around the park for the next four hours, it turned out to be a blast. Too many details to describe here, but a couple of things that I should mention: Stonie (rigid Monkeyman) tried to ride a very tall log, and had to bail halfway through. He didn't lift his front wheel enough and had it tweaked a little to the side so when he came down it was a full force taco. I also had a clusterfock when I tried my best to keep up with Mav on a high-speed, loose and rocky downhill. All I know is that everything became a blur as my brain rattled in my skull and I crashed. I slowed myself down by dragging my face on some rocks. Surprisingly, no cuts or blood on my mug, but my palm smacked into a rock and it still smarts.
So who won the day? In Mav's words, “I think the 'drunken, rock-stacking, wheel-bending, fully-rigid, single-speed' riders were truly victorious!” We beat them on all the uphills, most of the flat, most of the rocky and loggy stuff, and occasionally on the downhills. I know that some of you use squish up front, and that could have made a difference and swept them. Yup, it would have, but I like the rigid for the rest of the ride.
Anyways, rigid SS is the best bike…for me.
Quick update //
Monday - October 11, 2004
Just a quick update from the road. Spent the last 4 days in Belgium where great beer is available at every turn. Stayed in a little town called Bouillon for a couple of days and discovered they were having a downhill MTB race - unfortunately the day after we left. We stumbled on some of the course during a couple of our hikes. Looked like some fun bomber stuff in a XC type setting. Going through serious bike withdraw seeing stuff like this and not having my ride. Off to London this morning to search out the English beers.