Monday, January 14, 2008

Singletrack Hound

Saturday morning Shade and I headed to Dupont to check out some of the more sustainable trails there and to ride a bunch of gravel. I always knew I was partial to singletrack but I never figured I would find a dog that felt the same way.

Shade and I took off on the following loop:

Reasonover -> Turkey Gap -> Pinnacle Mountain Road -> Johanna Road -> Grassy Meadow -> Johanna Road -> Grassy Creek -> Sandy Trail -> Tarklin Branch -> Thomas Cemetery -> Buck Forest -> Sheep Mountain -> Pine Tree -> Longside -> Corn Mill Shoals -> Shoals -> Laurel Ridge -> Mine Mountain

The pack was frozen even with a 9:00 start and I tried to hit roads and trails that would be un-effected by all the rain we have seen.

I wasn’t sure if taking Shade that far was a good idea but after a little discussion we decided to try it. Shade kept up pretty well in the woods but out on the gravel he has no desire to run fast. When we came off of Pinnacle Mountain Road (an actual state road) onto Johanna Road (a rocky beast of a trail) I stopped and waited for Shade to catch up. I was going to let him make the decision of whether we were turning. As soon as he saw that we were headed back into the woods he took off on a beeline in front of me. I took off after him and as I caught him he took off into the woods and was running parallel to the trail in the woods dodging trees. It was great to be back on the bike.

As far as the new bike goes, it rides exactly like the Drunken Monkey and that means it is perfect. You can see in the following picture that Surly beefed up the downtube steer tube connection. This is exactly where my old one broke.

I was slightly worried about the river crossing on Corn Mill Shoals as I knew the water would be higher than I had seen it recently and I wasn’t sure if Shade would be reluctant to cross. I took off my shoes and walked in the frigid waters. When I got to the other side I called Shade and he started a little swim against the current. I wondered if he was alright until I realized he was lapping the water as he ice skated his way across the slippery rocks. Drinking on the go like a true cyclist.

I heard the call of my bike again early Sunday morning and rallied with David George at Fawn Lake. We set out for a 3 ½ hour ride similar to Saturday’s ride. I won’t name all the trails since I have uploaded the profiles. However, now that David has been “running the numbers” for awhile with his GPS. We found that we average about 1,000 feet of ascending for every hour on the bike in Dupont. Numbers are fun aren’t they?

Jim Branch isn’t even in my vocabulary these days as I have a new unsurpassed love for Ridgeline! Once again we stayed on the more sustainable trails and gravel roads since it was still a little soggy. Can we get a frozen pack please. . .

We stopped at the Sky Valley parking area for a quick tour of the kids loop and to grab a bite. There was only one van in the lot when we started eating. A horse trailer and truck pulled up into the lot and drove over every piece of gravel in the lot before they started backing into position. I was about to comment on how much they were driving around when we heard BOOM! They backed up right into the 50 foot telephone pole that is behind them in this picture. I had to walk into the woods I was laughing so hard.

I have lots of thoughts on TMHTE and Hypothermia. I will see if I can put them on paper sometime in the next few weeks.



Anonymous said...

come on man, need to see the whole bike, what gives? no pix?

hey d'you try the Mary Bar?


ExtrmTao said...

Satuday I forgot the memory card and Sunday was dull light. You can't take pictures of your new bride in dull light. . . more pictures coming soon 8-)

Anonymous said...

Jonathan- if that's a ribshaking backbreaking KM fork on thar now, my El M fork will almost exactly match. Let me know if you wanna trade, the rigid is strictly in case the Reba breaks for me.