Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Camp Is Rideable! (But Barely)

<===Green moss and white snow make a contrast of Winter and Spring.

I got out to The Camp yesterday and made a two hour tour through there on the Big Mama. It was a blast! Of course, this is the first real "dirt" of 2009 for me, so I was very excited.

The trails ran the gamut from tacky and clear to muddy, choked with dead falls, or blocked by logging debris. There will be a clean up day at The Camp on April 18th, and I suggest if you are local, that you should show up. They will be needing lots of help. (I'll be in Cali that day, so I can't help, or I'd be there myself.)

<===A touch of snow here and there yet! (Probably gone by now!)

I rode through the Pines and that is still my absolute favorite spot on the trails out there. I ran into a bit of mud in one spot, but otherwise it was pure bliss there.

I saw a couple of deer, a Red Headed Woodpecker, and a huge Wild Turkey that I think was going to sit there and wait for me to fly on by. However; I stopped, and when it saw me stop, it got up and trotted away in a flash. Man! Those things can haul the mail when they want to run, and they are totally silent.

<===Big Mama= Big Fun!

So, the Big Mama was a hoot! I have the 120mm travel Reba Team with the Maxle 20mm through axle on it and that jacks up the bottom bracket pretty high. I could clear some of the smaller downed trees with ease.

I will have to see if I can tune on the suspension a bit more as it is super, couch-like soft right now. Like you are sitting on a pillow. Really! Yet it will climb as steep a pitch as you have the legs and traction for. Unfortunately for me, the greasy soil let me down in some spots and I couldn't quite clean everything yesterday that I am sure I could have, had it been drier. I did bag one climb I have a terrible time on with other rigs though, so that was a small consolation.

<===Over looking the river.

I thought I might not get along with the longer fork on this bike and the higher bottom bracket/slacker angles that it creates, but it actually behaved pretty well. I did have a wandering front wheel when I was going super slow, and climbing with the suspension set so plush required the on the nose of the saddle position to gain any altitude, but I am used to that on full suspension rigs.

Turning in was cool. I could actually "tip" the bike into slower turns, wheel it with lots of bar input, or lean and carve. Very versatile in that department, I think. I may try lowering my bar height a bit though by going with a flat versus riser bar. I found that the front end was too easy to pop up off the ground at times and the front wheel didn't seem pinned to the ground quite well enough at times in corners.

I will also definitely be tweaking on that suspension too. It's going to be a fun ride! I can't wait to go out on the Big Mama some more and ride it at different venues.

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