Last night while prepping my bike I was again impressed by how beautifully simple a fully rigid singe speed ride is. Here is what was on the to do list so my bike would be ready to ride:
- pump up tires
- wipe off and oil chain
Oh, I guess I'm done.
Today some friends (Justin A, Bill H) and I met another guy (Brett) for a mountain bike ride down at Black Diamond. It's incredible but in all my years here in the NW I have never ridden there so I was pretty excited.
Justin had just purchased a new uber fancy, plastic single speed bike and I have been riding a single speed this summer so when he showed up I felt like we had a little club going. Then Bill pulls up and gets his single speed out of the truck and I'm feeling just a little less special. Then we head down to Renton to grab Brett and he unloads a custom titanium single speed with tubular titanium bottle cages no less. Did I mention that everyone but me was riding 29" wheels? By now I'm feeling like (stale) sliced bread and the dude who brings a knife to a gun fight.
Whatever, I was still psyched to ride these trails. We parked, changed our clothes and started riding.
Holy cow… right away I am riding way too cautious. The trail is totally twisty turny and it's also covered in leaves. And it's wet. And there are roots at odd angles. I was not feeling the flow.
I manage to hang with the bunch for the first mile or so and then it suddenly starts to get easier. The woods open up a bit, there are fewer leaves and suddenly it is a LOT of fun! After a very flexible wooden suspension bridge the trail starts to get burmy and firmer and we are all having a blast.
This is one of those locations were you can be five feet from another rider going the other direction but really you are about 200 m behind them on the trail. This shit winds all over the place! There are no big climbs or drops or descents, just lots of tight corners, little jumps, some logs and ramps and on occasion you even get the option of an easy way and hard way. Nice.
Things were going pretty swimingly when I spun my rear tire on a wet root and managed to stuff my stem into my crotch. Yep, that made me stop for a bit… Once I got going I had not ridden for 100' when I did the same thing and this time crammed my right knee into my stem. Damn. That actually hurt a lot more and I had to stop for a good minute. By the time I got going everyone else was way up the road. But not as the crow flies, I could always hear them and even see them most of the time. These trails are nuts.
ASIDE - just take a look at the map below… it's TWISTY.
The pace was never extreme so we (read Brett) talked the whole time. Frequently it was the case that the front two riders were telling a joke and the rear two were riffing on the front two. Then when the trail would double back on itself the front guy (usually Brett) would hear a comment by the peanut gallery, not understand the context and say something like, "What…?" Then the riders in the back would laugh. I guess you had to be there.
Other items of note.
- Bill had a get-off at the start or a bridge that resulted in a slow motion fall right into the only person in sight. Some guy none of us knew.
- In addition to my other two incidents I had a very soft encounter with a dirt hill. It was surprisingly comfortable.
- Bridges with chicken wire on them are much easier to ride than those without.
- Seatpost and fork/downtube fenders are very much appreciated in the mud.
- Penis/ball/scrotum comments seem be a natural paring with moderate speed mountain biking, I sure heard a lot today.
- Brett has good skills.
- I don't.
Luckily I recovered from my encounters of the stem kind and finished the ride off with a big smile on my face.
That was a LOT of fun and I need to go back. Who knew these trails were so excellent?
|Breakfast||5:30 AM - smoothie|
|Workout Food||half a large bottle w/3 scoops Perpetuem, 2 shots of gel|
|Time of Day||8:30 AM|
|Weather||upper 30s to low 40s, dry sky, wet ground, calm|
|Clothing||knee warmers, bib shorts, Craft long sleeve undershirt, short sleeve jersey, arm warmers, OR Gripper gloves, cap|