Im so out of sync with the four day week and need to catch up. I have not rode since Monday, not that that’s bad, but it always seems that when I get 4 or 5 days in a row and it looks like I have some balance between riding and work Im off the bike for a week or more. I hope not. I plan on tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday again. I really should get the road bike out. Im pretty sure I have not been that bike all of May. Maybe once early.
But when you have a Fuel EX to ride and a Checkpoint there does not seem to be a reason to ride strictly road.
The pelicans are back. They stop here for a few weeks early summer, then leave. The turkeys were guarding the park entrance. I’ve made the executive decision to not open until 9am. The bike store never opened until 10, and I was currently opening the coffee shop at 7, but its just too long of day. I looked at my coffee sales from 7 to 9 and decided its not worth the two hours, and my sanity for the sales I was getting. So I compromised at 9am. Still gives me a little time in the morning. Not enough to ride but I’ll still try and get out around noon some days.
My extended weekend went quickly as they always do. But I can proudly say I rode a bike the last 5 days in a row.
After my shakedown ride on the EX on Thursday I went back to the park on Friday. And that ride was much better. Smoother. Its crazy how bad I can get on the MTB and then how fast it comes back. It was another short nooner ride but a ride nonetheless. My timing was so much better and flowed a lot better too. I am starting to feel comfortable on the bike. But I need quite a bit more time to get back to where I once was, or maybe at my age and weight I won’t ever get all my skills back. Who knows. Im just glad to be in the woods.
Saturday I was going to hit the road bike and at least ride out to the group ride to say hi. But I could not find another soul to join me so I ditched that idea for the Checkpoint.
So Saturday morn I headed out to our local city park for the third time in three days. Except with a different bike. If Im in a group Im on the road bike, but if Im alone, which is most of the time, Im on this bike. Its go anywhere capabilities is second to none. So much fun. Besides the woods I can lay down 20 miles of road averaging maybe 13 to 14mph with a ton of air in the tires.
I had a great tour of the area. Just going wherever. Those rides are the best. I like this bike.
After that ride I worked the store all day Saturday and was pumped to get two days off so I took the Checkpoint and the EX home with me. I had big plans.
And that sorta played out. Sunday I grabbed the EX and made the 30 minute drive out to our closest State trails. It was hot Sunday. 92 degrees. Not only a record for that day but a record for all of May. Once I got there I decided to not push things. Out of 4 loops I just did 1 and 2 and called it a day. Maybe 40 minutes of ride time. A long way to drive to just get in less than an hour but was the smart thing to do with the heat. The bike felt good. Actually, I climbed a hill I could never before. Or just had trouble with. It seems that with the 29+ bikes the tire diameter was so much bigger that my lowest gear was not that low. Even with the 2.4’s Im riding now the wheel is a bit smaller and my low is a bit lower. I cleaned a few spots easier than before. I was pretty happy with that. Just staying on the bike more is a win for me.
Monday was my bonus day and I had big plans. Drive to some trail system somewhere. Somewhere I normally could not get too. Well, between the heat and me wanting to sleep in any long range trail was out. So what the heck, I went right back out to the State trails. It was a bit cooler, but not by much. It was close to 90 out there. But I was so confident I wanted to get out there and do 3 loops.
Go back in time a few years. These trails are not the best. In fact, the few years I rode a rigid fatike all summer I didn’t even ride here. Even when thing evolved and I had a Bluto I still didnt. This place is just one big rock garden. The loops I did the day before, 1 and 2, are not that bad but loops 3 and 4 are nuts. Anyway… it wasn’t until I got my first Farley EX that I headed back to these trails. Gobs of suspension helped me a ton. At least they were ridiable to me now.
Fast forward to yesterday. I head out and nail loops 1 and 2, then headed out on 3. It wasn’t long before I was bouncing left and right off the rocks. The bike was sliding left and right off all the slippery rocks. If the front tire slide left or right twice in a row it was a issue for me. I struggled and remembered why I dont like this place. You simply cannot reach down for your water bottle or you were going to get the bars ripped out of your hands. All the small round rocks (called babyheads) were wet with humidity. Both back and front tire would slid to the left or right by 4 or 5 inches constantly. Let alone trying a grinding climb over those things. Back tire spinning on them while you try to lift the front tire over them, at the same time.
Suddenly I noticed I was not on my 3in plus tires. Where I never had to worry about this stuff on my bigger tires I was sliding all over the trail. I totally struggled. But I have to remember the shape Im in today. And if on all these rocks is the only time I’ll struggle that seems fair. There are other trails to hit with 1\10th the rocks. And I’m pretty sure I will not go bigger in the tire category. I do have the 2.6’s here in store. Those are some heavy, meaty tires. They might help me on that one particular trail. Not enough reason.
One thing I just realized… Im pretty sure I havent rode my road bike in all of May. Either the Checkpoint or EX. And there was a good chunk of May I didnt ride at all. With the day off yesterday I’ll be in catch up mode the rest of the week with only four day till the weekend. Today will be a big ordering day. Better get to it.
Had my first spin in the woods yesterday. Today may be my second. The first ride is just a shakedown. I spent some time just moving things around. I moved the seat back, acually might consider a slightly longer stem but its hard to figure that stuff out when you havent been on a MTB in 6 months. I’ll ride it a few times before any major surgery.
I was pleasantly surprised that the shock and fork held my fat ass up pretty good. When your as big as me your approach to suspension setup is not the same as others. All the set up manuals get thrown out the window. But the Fox products seem to respond well to my extreme pressures. Both fork and shock are as high as they recommend. Rebound too.
However I was not hucking any drops, nor do I plan to. I think the 2.4 tires will be fine. I have 40 pounds of air and found out that was too much even for me. Dropped to 30 and it was much better. Might even go to 25 today and give it a try. I need to be careful that I dont smack those carbon rims on a rock. That would suck.
I got out for an hour yesterday around noon and hope to do that again today. Im pretty excited about this weekend. Two days off in a row for me. Saturday will be the road bike before work. I’ll head over to the group ride and start with them, then head back after a few minutes (if I can last that long). Sunday its back to the woods for a short ride then some fam time. Monday right now is open and I hope to take maybe a small road trip to ride somewhere. Not sure where but I have all day.
That’s about it for now. I have a lot to do in the store. Lots of bikes to get out for the Holiday weekend. But its going to be great weather so get outside!
There it is. Finally. And before Memorial Day as I said. But this is the latest I’ve ever waited for a summer MTB. Time to put away the road bike. Although Im hitting up the road today at noon. So the comeback starts again. While just a day ago it was close to the 30’s and fog in the morning, today will be in the 70’s and it looks great ongoing right thru the Holiday weekend. Im excited.
Im pumped to acually ride a bike in the woods. The first ride in the woods for the spring\summer is always a great feeling. And I can’t wait. If others were not coming to ride today I would be on this bike. But its all good. A bike ride is a bike ride at this point. I have about two hours in the saddle this month. Thats nuts.
From stock, I changed out the ring, chain and cassette to XX. If you recognize that stuff it was on my fat bike this winter. Oval chainring. I also took off the dropper post. Just no need where I live. Unlike last year’s Farely EX Im going to keep it to put it back on when I head back out west in fall. I hope to make that a yearly thing now.
I also threw on a set of Bontys Line 30 Pro carbon wheels. Changed out grips and seat and cut the bars to 710mm. When done the bike weighed out at 24 pounds 15oz. I left the XR4 tires on at 2.4 but I think Im going to go with XR3’s. I just dont need all that tire the XR4’s bring. But I did mount them tubeless already and might not want to go thru all the motions again….. This is the first time in 5 years I have a actually MTB and not riding some version of a fatbike in summer. I hope I like the 2.4’s as Im used to 3’s.
So my line up is complete. BMC Roadmachine for ther road, Trek Fuel EX 9.8 for the woods and Trek Checkpoint for everything in between.
Here is the quiver for summer 2018. Not too bad. Now just need to find the time.
Like I mentioned, I do have a ride planned at noon today and maybe tomorrow I will hit up the local woods for my first dirt ride. Definitely plan on parking the road bike this weekend. But the unbelievable upcoming weather will have the store busy. Which is good so I can pay for these bikes….