Friday, November 27, 2009

Slippin' And Slidin'!

I got to ride out at the Camp Wednesday on one of the new test rigs I am riding for Twenty Nine Inches. Well, it had rained a bit Tuesday and the leaf strewn trail was treacherous. To make matters worse, the tires on the tester bike were XC, minimal width, minimal tread wonders.
It took all of about 30 yards for me to find a hidden, off camber, wet, slick root that ran at a diagonal to my wheels travel on a steep downward pitch. My front got knocked off line, I wobbled, and that went okay, but when the rear tire hit, it was all over. I went sideways in the back and that pitched the front tire into an angle I couldn't maintain at the pitch I was descending. An over the bars trip was immanent. I hit pretty hard, and the bike slid up onto my legs, entangling me. So, here I was, face downward, with a bicycle all tangled up in my legs.
I was going to be okay, but it took a few minutes to get out from under the bike and investigate the damage. It wasn't too bad. Stem knocked off line, and thankfully the bar spin didn't cause the top tube and controls to clash. The front brake line was crimped over at a pretty severe angle, but after I straightened the bars out, I checked and it functioned well yet. Whew! First ride on this rig and I had already had a big biff on it and to come away unscathed was good. Really good.
So I went on, albeit at a much more measured pace. The slip outs happened numerous times. The tires were just not matched up at all to the conditions at this time. The steeps were more often than not hike-a-bikes due to the lack of grip. Then I had the trail conditions to deal with as well. I had a lot of blow downs to move. Bigger limbs in some cases. At least the loop for the Turkey Burn will be more clear than it would have been otherwise.
And those racer boy tires? Yeah, they came off and got replaced with something more in the knobular, voluminous vein. I also went tubeless with 'em too, which should allow more tire conformity over unseen branches and roots. No more OTB trips for me! Not if I can help it anyway.
Hopefully you are avoiding "Black Friday" like the plague and riding a bicycle instead. And that goes for whatever the heck they named Monday as well. Retailers. They think they can just name a day whatever stupid name they want. I just call it another opportunity to be alive. It's all good! Have a great weekend!

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