Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I have been negligent, very much so, as I havent updated the blog in several, dare I say, weeks? I have been one very long bender. Actually, the holiday season gets hectic at the work place, and that coupled with the fact my internet connection has been out. And by out I mean the person I had been poaching from is either away on vacation or they have wised up to me stealing their bandwidth. Normally, I would just go to the coffee shop and do my business, but seeing as I am obstaining from coffee drinking for the time being, it is one again the blog that suffers. To be completely honest, I don’t think anything that I have been up to recently would be of interest to most of my readers so I will spare you the gorey details.

I was able to fanagle my way out of work today to get in a big ride on Great North Mountain (?), my first ride since my last post, as well as round things out for a five day weekend! I made my way out toward Wardensville and watched the sun rise over the western slope of the Massentutten ridge. Oh how I have missed the beauty of the early morning. We were gonna meet at P13 near the bottom of Little Stony but when I pulled in I only saw a kid going for a ride with his dad so I went down to the next lot and ran into Harlan and then Matt driving up. Turns out that kid and his dad were actually Dillon and Ian who were supposed to be riding with us so I turned back and we pulled in. Something like 20 people showed up and none of which were slouches. Some were of the fitness/racer variety and the All-mountain riding leveled the playing field nicely. This was going to be my maiden voyage on the new ride as well as the first time I have been on a dual suspension bike in 4 years. It took a while to get the bugs worked out and I paid dearly on the climbs but the payoff was ripping descents in a fashion that had been lond since forgotten. Plowing through gnarly rocks and having the confidence to pull some big moves such as riding down from the outlook on Half Moon. One dab and one slow motion over the bars moment, but it all came back. At some point later in the day a renegade rock flew up from my front whell and broke my inner derailleur cage which got worse as the day progressed but I was able to make it back to the car, more or less incident free. I was happy to be able to pick Pat’s brain a bit about how the Rockburn skills park became a reality and how to go about selling the idea of one here in DC. As the newly appointed Maryland/ DC at- large representative for MORE, that is one of the things I am focusing on. I have been slack as there as well, having many irons in the fire over the holidays and things will probably continue that way until mid-feb as I will demonstrating my most notable trick of all in a couple weeks: the disappearing act when I ghost out to Sedona for a month. Oh yeah! It was great to ride with some folks I normally just see at races such as Harlan Price from Philly, a strong presence of Cupcakes from Gettysburg, Zack from Blacksburg and of course some of the usual suspects from Harrisonburg. Plenty of chunky rocks to make the forearms cramp and slow, technical climbing to make even the fittest of folks’ lungs burn. This was also the first time trying out the 2x10 set up, and all day I was wishing I had my granny gear. I am happy to report that I have got a triple crank set on order. Other things I have to get used to is the super low bottom bracket as I had more than my fair share of pedal strikes, but the possibility of a longer fork will take care of all of that mess.

How I have missed early mornings in the mountains...

Matt has been riding really well this year...

Map check. Notice Harlan's worm vein. Less stress in the new year my friend...

Self portarit.

With the temporary bad aid of a 9 speed XT rear derailleur, Saturday brought a morning ride at the Watershed where I was to meet up with some cats from NOVA. In typical NOVA fashion, I was left sitting at the Shed waiting for over an hour before they changed the meet up spot and neglected to tell me so. I pedaled around solo for a bit before calling it a day with a couple of burned bridges more rear derailleur issues, most likely due to the 9 speed XT der which is temporarily replacing the 10 speed unit. Did I mention I miss my granny ring? Funny, I remember in the late ‘80s bike with only 2 rings up front being called “city bikes.” Pretty much where I feel a 29er with the 2X10 set up belongs. I would like to think I am not the only one, but on the other hand, I might just be weak. Anyway, Monday will bring a triple up front, new XT rear derailleur and a hand full or hangers and an order placed on a bigger fork which I will hopefully have in hand by the time I leave for AZ. The end.

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