Monday, December 26, 2016
My wife is on break! So I ran out Saturday morning before the storms rolled in to brown's since I had enough time to run that distance. I was really excited to ride this place, I always have a great time here. It was surprisingly dark as I got parked and was testing my eyesight for the first 10 minutes. It was again amazing outside, the sense were smelling and the eyes were catching wonderful colors as the sun rose. It just kept getting better as light grew and clouds and landscape really took on some colors as I rode onto Diablo trail. Always a fun trail and even better with the scenery. I had a little different plan today and once done with Diablo I was headed for hawks nest, a fast flowy fun trail, one of my favorites for sure now. Then a series of trails and ended up back at the north end of diablo. The Divide to Cholla Mountain loop to Watershed to Whiskey Bottle to Latigo and I was one happy dude with a mega good ride!!
Wow! Storms rolled on in wednesday night and into Thursday, and while the outlook for a ride was looking grim, the radar did show signs of improvement just an hour before the ride time. I looked around and studied the radar and while I was planning on San Tan it was looking fierce and saw South Mountain to the west glowing in sunlight between dark clouds I went for South Mountain. As I was driving towards it was absolutely glowing in light against the dark skies that passed over it and were heading north, I knew this was going to be an absolute stunner. Some of the best clouds I have seen all year were present large and little brilliant white clouds and gray angry skies with clear blue breaks. The dirt was perfect, just a little soft in the sand but enough to grip and secure the tire as hard as you wanted. It was absolutely glorious out, it felt good to be out on the bike I enjoyed the entire ride and was begging for more but had to head home.
Out on the Kona Unit again and looking to enjoy that 18 tooth cog. I have come to a decision that 20 tooth would probably be a nice sweet spot between riding a 18 and a 22 tooth. I must say though that 22 comes in handy on tough technical climbs and I could not conquer them without it, but spinning on the flats is slightly odd but I think I will stay with 18 and 22 cogs for now. The Unit was instantly feeling like a pig as I got it rolling, I am quite close to throwing a 29er wheelset I have in the garage and being done with 27.5+ I just don't care much for it, I'd rather go fast. The kona sure is a nice fit though, comfy steel ride and it loves to pedal. I did my normal maze of trail at Usery and enjoyed it.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
With two rides under the new bigger tire I put the skinnier much lighter bike in my truck on Friday and headed for the rain clouds over Gold Canyon. As I pedaled in it was gray and misting, it felt amazing! Immediately the Trek accelerated which was obviously going to happen on skinnier tires. It was great to be back on my trek, perhaps too good. As I got into the heart of things I began to grow weak and lethargic, thinking of the best way out of there alive. My body began to become defeated on climbs, I felt like junk, I guess more low carb aftermath. Once I hit flatter ground it was a speedy ride out and while my performance was bonked the scenery was absolutely breathtaking.
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
I was out in the morning goofing off with my kiddo and decided to give the bike shop a call since my Kona Unit was due to be in Monday and it was now Tuesday. I called and they told me they were drooling over it and it was ready to go, I am not sure why they liked it so much but once I got it I was quite pleased with the paint color and bike. The tires looked big and meaty and barking for a ride but that would have to come later. As the day wore on I had to figure out a way to get a ride in, so I decided after the boy went to sleep I would do 30 minutes on trail. I had enough time to setup tubeless before the ride and it went smoothly for the most part, there was seepage where the rim is fused and quite a few spoke holes, never had a rim do this but others had same result. For now I aired the tires up to 19psi and went out on a tougher gearing on 32X18 compared to my normal 32X22. Right off the bat it was so nice to be able to pedal and be going somewhere, the 22 tooth gear is a skinny one, great for long steep climbs, the benefits were obvious. The bike was super smooth, even for having no suspension the tires offered a supple ride. Then it cornered, and man did it corner, such confidence the turns could offer. I even enjoyed the cheap O hub and it's smooth engagements, the tired felt a little soft to me and going over rocks was nerve wrecking but no rim strikes. Just a tweak of the handlebars and more PSI and switch over my hydro brakes and this baby is ready for the desert!
Excited to get out and found the sun so dang strong lately I am still wearing sun block. The weather is nice no doubt, but in a short 2 months it will start to climb and another tough summer will be upon us. The ride went smooth, lots of elderly people out there walking the trails, a few bikers. Can't say much about this ride just another spin around Usery.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
The weekend has come, but unfortunately my bike has not, it looks like Monday it should be in the store. I am excited but surprisingly calm about the whole thing shockingly. I was excited to head to South Mountain with my bike bike to get rowdy, I was in a funk of a mood and was armed to release the trail with my fury. I hate that I can't find terrain to charge hard enough, I just want to go fast with this bike, I want to hit big jumps, don't get me wrong Phoenix area can offer some chunk but I can never fully release the YT Capra completely in the desert terrain. So I climbed up Mormon, lazier than normal but somehow set records, then down national. Always over too fast but a good time. The down Javalina which was bland for some reason. Then up Beverly and down the gnar to Desert Classic, whole crap I forget what suspension can do, honestly I feel like my wheels should not be able to stay round after I charge some chunk. Always astonished how this bike can climb, I will never get rid of this bike, I want to take it the the bike park sooooo bad! Did a lot of technical climbs today, I liked it.
I have been noticing the rear tire looking more haggard each ride, today it definitely barked at me to change it, man the desert sure eats my tires right up! But I guess I do a fair bit of riding to tear thru them, I don't think I would go back to the Maxxis Ardent Race but however am happy with the Ikon. So I will soon be slapping one of those on next week. I took a little detour from the normal loop over to Saddle and Upper Secret, added a little spice happily. It was all butter from there, getting warm here for December I've about had enough with the 70s go away!
Off to Usery for my normal easy fast spin of the week. I decided part way in to switch up the mix of trails to bring in some new flavor, it turns out that it doesn't spice up the trail experience very much. But it did however seem faster, probably the fastest 18 miles under 90 minutes I have ever done on dirt. I have to say I was feeling pretty good this day, body was finally in tune where I like it, maybe I am finally adjusted to this low carb thing. Still I need was less teeth on my bike, I need to start experimenting with a smaller cog to help with the flats, I can say that 32x22 was just fine in Utah where you climb plenty, but here in the desert some places are flat. Not the end of the world either way, I am fine 32x22 for life as far as I am concerned as big if a diaper baby gear it is.
I was trying to figure just where to go on Monday as the kid happily went off on the bus to school. I can say I am fortunate to have options, about 4-5 options to be exact. I had in my head wanting to do something a little different and I took the chance at a populated San Tan. Now I frequent here 1-2 times a month so this is not out of the norm, but I do ride here less due to the fee and horse/people traffic. When I got to the lot it had normal amount of cars and I happily got climbing. My legs were absolutely funky as I began to climb, they did although happily warm up. A pretty normal loop around the place, came upon a bunch of kids having a session on a jump, about 10 or so, turns out they were missionaries. Just 3 groups of horses with happy encountering and some hikers. Good to see people out enjoying the trails.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
I ended heading for Hawes on friday, set out for my normal loop and noticed a lot of pungent horse poopies, soon after I spotted few horses, at first I assumed domesticated but then I figured out after a second they were the wild horses I have come across before. One nervously crossed my path and I got a good picture of it. Wild horses, the only horses I can appreciate.
Set off thursday for Gold Canyon, tried in my mind to mix things up slightly for a goo 80 minutes of fun. It was nice to have the dirt all prime and it felt great to be out on it. Now into December the afternoon rides have become quite nice and comfortable, it will all go to crap in a few months but for now I am loving it!