Monday, July 02, 2007

Slippery When Wet

Saturday morning I met up with Trip at Issaqueena for a quick spin through hell, oops I mean Doyle Bottom. It was hot and I was flashing back to riding in the Cowbell. My legs were crushed from running on Thursday and Friday. It is amazing how 8 miles of running can crush me into a pulp.

My legs haven’t been that sore in a long time. They are just now starting to feel normal again. However, it was still a great day out at Issaqueena and we managed 15 miles of pure single-track goodness. We moved what trees we could off the trail and we both had some nice encounters with super-sticky face engulfing spider webs. They make nice grip tack but I wouldn’t recommend them as a facial moisturizer.

Kristin was with me hiking and the three of us sat around chatting it up afterwards when Kristin said “look” as she pealed back one of the knobs on my Nevegal. Great, the tire was running great tubeless and now I have to change it. This seems to be the number one failure point on the Nevegal. The big knobs start ripping off showing the casing prematurely.

Sunday morning I met up with David George, Net and Jody for a nice easy ride through Dupont.

On the way up 276, I noticed that it had rained pretty hard on Saturday night. I figured the trails might actually be a little soggy instead of dusty for once. Dupont had definitely seen its fair share of rain. That’s good, the forest needed it.

I inspected my tire again in the parking lot and decided to go ahead and try to change it up. I took off the old tire and preserved as much of the Stans juice as I could, mounted the new tire and just then David George showed up. David helped me hold the wheel/tire while I loaded it up with Stans. Then the 4,000 and one pump strokes began with my floor pump. Eventually I was able to get the bead to set and the tire seemed to be holding pressure with minimal leaking.

Jody was letting Net borrow his newly acquired full squish Ellsworth as Net is a “roadie.” If you have someone who is afflicted by this disease, I can offer up help at $250/hour, Tomato rides can help cure this “roadie” disease.

Well Net thought Jody was being a nice guy until the drive train stopped working 3 miles into our ride. Never trust a single-speeder to lend you a bike with gears. After some “click click, cable pull, click click, maybe they think I know what I am doing” by Jody, Net would have to suffer through with 6 gears. Jody wondered aloud “Maybe it was that tree I hit that caused the shifter to stop working…” Luckily the granny still worked and I said “ya got six times the gears I got.” So no biggie, we were ready to roll on.

I have not ridden in wet conditions this year and apparently I have almost forgotten how to ride in these conditions. Coming down Reasonover I was all over the place having a really good time. I pulled a nice little “OH $#%& moment” in the mud around a corner and then started having so much fun that I forgot to shut my mouth and received a nice mouthful off my front tire.

Our route for the day:

Reasonover, Lake Julia Road, Airstrip, Shelter Rock, Corn Mill Shoals to Bridal Veil, Back up Corn Mill Shoals, cross river, Little River Trail, Cedar Rock, Big Rock, Corn Mill Shoals, cross river, Shoals, Laurel Ridge, Mine Mountain

Another typical yet fun route and Kristin was out hiking so we got to see her out and about as well. About halfway through the ride I noticed that I had mounted my Nevegal on backwards DOH! I was very happy that I could Stans the tire (without an air compressor) and have it hold air for the day.

Jody led coming down airstrip with me following suit. Jody was flying and I was doing my best to hold on when all of the sudden I heard an awful noise and Jody disappeared from my view around a corner. I came around the corner expecting to find carnage but he was still upright and laughing.

You see despite Jody’s youthful appearance and mannerisms, he is actually quite the experienced biker. He often pulls moves that I dream about replicating. This apparently was no exception. As he came around the corner on Airstrip, he lost traction and his front tire burped air/Stans and tried to roll off the rim. I could see his tread pattern and he must have really pulled a move to stay upright.

Jody whipped out his mini-pump and six strokes later he said he was good to go. His mini-pump must work better than mine.

At the bottom of Airstrip we saw Kristin. So I told her to come watch us fools ride the log at the bottom. Well, I get nervous when these things are slick but after watching Jody execute the ride flawlessly, I just knew I had to nail it a couple times.

I did nail it one time and then my other attempts were futile but not very valiant. Kristin caught my best log-fall on film. I am sure it will be loaded for your viewing pleasure soon.

The rest of the ride was fun and as normal as biking in the woods can be. I don’t have all of my hand strength back from the Cowbell yet and it showed coming down Big Rock. It is kind of nice to just take it easy for once.

Ice cold beverages and a lake swim afterwards, I LOVE DUPONT!

If you love Dupont too, come out for the work party on Saturday July 14th. I will post more details here next week.

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