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.