Thursday, December 20, 2012

End Of Dirt?

One last time in 2012....
The forecast wasn''t sounding too great. Blizzard warnings and all. The "smart phone" made sure I knew about that at 4am in the morning! So I figured that it wasn't too bad out, and that I should get one last dirt ride in, and then get out the fat bikes!

So I hauled the Camber Comp out to the South Side trails for one last go around. The trails were looking frozen with the remnants of the "dandruff snow" that fell from the sky Tuesday. But the looks were deceiving. In reality, it was a weird combination of moisture, dirt, and frozen components that made for a sticky, clod-fest of a ride. You would have thought I was riding a moto-cross bike with the amount of dirt that was being flung about me as I sped along the trail.

It was fun for sure, but I did not push it too hard to start out with. I think many of the readers here may find it amusing that I did wear knee pads on this ride though! You know......just in case. Turns out I was in no danger of needing them this time.

The woods were strangely devoid of deer this time. Only the cackling of crows was to be heard far overhead. There was no wind to speak of at this point. Just a grey sky and mostly silent woods. I didn't see anything alive until I reached the nearest point to the Cedar River. There they were again- two Bald Eagles this time. That makes three out of three trips where I have seen the Bald Eagles at this same spot on the river. 

Then it was on to the technical bits. The Camber, with its plush suspension, was a good match for the quick down/up of the new section. But then you gotta go back down. Here is where I appreciated the long, kicked out wheel, short stem, and wide bar on the Diamondback Mason. The Specialized took more care to get it to go around the corner here.

Overall the bike was good though, just not as stiff and stout feeling as the Mason hard tail. But then, the Mason and the Camber weigh almost the same amount, and the Camber has dual suspension, so, ya gotta figure the Mason is a bit burlier than the Camber just from that stat.

It was a great "last" ride at The Camp. I started out 2012 with some trepidation concerning this trail system. It was not known what was going to become of it, since the rumor was the Boy Scouts were selling it off. Would it end up becoming a few high dollar residences? Would it get closed off to public use? Who knew? I rode out there as much as I could get away with early on since I figured it would be the last year.

Well, now it seems that the trails will stay open. Bremer County owns the land now, or so I hear, and the scuttlebutt is that new sections of trail are being planned. In fact, some was put in late in the year after word of the sale went through, and it has been a great addition to the already fantastic trails out there. Next season should be really a good one.

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