What's the weather like in Doug's neighborhood?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Feeling a little abused

So yesterday I was sitting at work and feeling a bit dumpy. I see that there is a call on my phone from Jon. At this point I have pretty much passed on getting out for a ride and have resolved to get some additional work done. Check the message and of course he wants to ride. Erin is cool with me taking off for the evening, so I change pace and decide to suck it up.

The ride is going to be a Saratoga Gap top to bottom run so I decide that the 29er is the most appropriate rig to avoid massive pain on the climbs. I still have my xc race skinnies on it, but hey the Gap is an xc ride right? For once Jon and I arrive in sync and on time at the bottom of Redwood Gulch. I am on the xc bike, so I put in a bit of extra effort to keep Jon in sight up the climb. We get up to the Gap trailhead in 50min. For the record that's about as fast as I ever climb that (I think I have hit 45m on one of my 26er hardtails, but I was trying for a fast time). We take a short break and gear up for the chill that has set in.

As soon as we drop into the singletrack I realize that I am getting bounced all over the place and not having nearly as much fun as normal on this trail. Also, the XC tires don't have enough bite to get good grip on the loose over hard pack so traction kind of sucks. Oh well, make the best of it. Jon kicks my ass up down and around the mountain. Obviously the 5spot with big tires descends a bit better than my xc clad hardtail. I think it has been about a decade since I hit the Gap on a hardtail with 80mm of suspension. It is still fun, but I notice my hands are fatigued early on and my dh speed sucks. I hit a couple of small drops and jumps and thing are flowing well towards the bottom. After a quick break I am able to keep Jon in sight as the singletrack has leveled off and smoothed a bit. I do a small drop near the bottom. Wasn't pretty, but felt good to pull it.

We then climb out towards Steven's Canyon. The singletrack is feeling good. We both pull the stream crossing as some guy on a gravity rig blows it. Up a bit more, then downhill towards the exit. I am tired and on the xc bike, but decide to jump the triple log at the gate. I pedal in slow, get no lift, and case the 3rd log so hard that the chain came off the cranks. I tag the seat hard, right in the bits. I haven't nutted myself that bad since I was a kid. Ow. Fortunately I stayed on the bike and the wheel doesn't look too bad for the wear. I really am going to have to stop treating this bike like my typical all mountain bikes. It just doesn't react the same as a ht with 100mm fork despite the fact that it slices through the woods faster.

After a couple of minutes of trail side groaning we continue back to the cars. Total lap was 2300' climbing and 1:50 on the clock. That is about 25 minutes faster than we normally do that lap. No wonder I was feeling like shit and tired every time we hit a small hill. Good ride other than the cased exit.

something fun from youtube:

I gotta build up a street/dirt bike one of these days. That kind of stuff is just fun.

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