Monday, 13 September 2010

Like Ya Stole It

Very high level executive meeting Saturday morning. Lots of critical decisions made. Long range planning. Lots of harumph-ing. If only all such meetings could take place on 2 wheels.

The afternoon was for getting dirty. We finally got to Patapsco. The last time we'd been there together, it was an unrideable mud bog in many places (it hadn't rained in a while - the place just holds mud like a champ and I hate riding in goop, and it's terrible for the trail obviously) and we got way lost trying to stay on dry trails. This time, after 3 weeks or so of no rain, it was dry all over and lightning fast. What a fun time.

You get really spoiled at Fountainhead with everyone going in the same direction. We seemed to be going the opposite way of a lot of people. What can you do. On the first real climb (starting from the Park and Ride) I broke my chain. That took a few moments to fix, then back at her. I have no idea what the names of the trails are for the most part, but I know we did the Ridge and took that all the way out past the Blair Witch house and almost to 95, and then took Red out by the second (western most) meadow and then came back to the swinging bridge from the northwest. Shortly thereafter I made my navigational boo boo.

We went up Vineyard Spring which is a fun little climb up to the powerline. Then we started todrop down to the spot where the climb where I broke my chain ends. I remembered this fun weird off camber connected back to that climb, saw the opening, and took it. Well, it was an awesome little section that actually started with a beyotch of a climb, but it wasn't my connector. I lost the scent and got us lost in Max Yazgur's field. We slogged around and were clueless for a while before we got the heads up from a hiker. Turns out there was an awesome drop down to the bottom of Bull Run, which we took back to the car.

Now we both have the fever, bad. My technique has officially progressed beyond robosuck. A couple of things have changed. First, I trust my tires a lot more than I used to. This is partially due to equipment and partially due to having learned a lot more about what tires are and aren't going to do for you. I used to freak out a lot thinking that stuff was going to happen, but as I've learned to keep the throttle more open and just go, I kind of just go with it now. A lot of times, speed is the best answer. Also, my weight placement on the bike is tons better, much more centered, not so much on the front. I find myself actually noticing this quite a bit.

Back to tires, tubeless is the absolute business. I am still a tiny bit high on pressure (a shade north of 25psi front and back) but I've found I like this pressure. The back tire got squirmy when it was a little lower. I don't like squirmy. The front tire feels fully engaged like this, and bottoming out happens what I'd call an appropriate amount. Not too often that it freaks me out, but enough, and maybe it's just compared to what I was used to, but I definitely don't feel like I'm bouncing around or being beaten to death. It's really pretty smooth out there.

As it turns out, my previous pressure loss wasn’t due to burping. There was a tiny ass little leak at the rim joint, which I discovered by pumping it up to about 70psi, whereupon I heard a slight whistling. A little shake and bake and out comes the bubbling goo and voila no more whistling. No more air leaking. Mint.

Sunday was just a mellow ride.

All of the observations and reports from EuroBike are coming out/have come out, and boy are we feeling pretty reassured in a bunch of our decisions. But that is a story for another site.


Jim said...

Nice. I love Patapsco. I think you just described going down Nun's Run. Was it mildly rocky (Nun's) or super rocky (Charcoal)?

As for Ridge... nice trail, eh? Can you say "several places where there is a significant penalty for failure"? Nothing horrifyingly bad, but every time I ride it, there are places where I look over the edge and think, "man... it'd take a long time to come to a stop." I think single red may be the Old Loop Trail. Not sure of all the names out there; wiht over 30 miles, some trails have names but nobody knows them.

Chuck Wagon said...

Definitely a few high pucker moments along the Ridge. Cruising along at pace no problem but if you had to like pick a booger or something and screwed up? No bueno.

Must have been Nun's that we took. One or two "holy cow, going way too fast for those rocks" moments, but not many.