Sunday, October 14, 2012

Back 2 The Fat

I swapped By-Tor the Titanium Mukluk's wheels back to fat, and I needed to get out there and ride the rig the way it was meant to be. I thought Friday would be that day, but it turned out to be Saturday instead.

"Skinny" Larry 3.8"ers
The 3GR got rained out in the morning. I slept in instead. Then I did a bunch of household chores before hitting up the writing chores for TNI. By the time late afternoon rolled around, I was feeling like something was missing.

That something was a ride. I figured that it had been several months since I hadn't put in at least a couple of hours of riding on a Saturday. Even through Interbike I had kept the streak going.

Well, I couldn't let that go now, could I? So I started getting kitted up for a ride on the fat bike that didn't get ridden Friday. That act of getting ready was a bit elongated due to the strange weather we were having. I decided that it may rain, so I  had to pack in the rain shell. Then I decided that it may cool off, so a woolen shirt was put on over the tech tee I was wearing. Endura knickers, wool socks, and Lake 165's on the feet. off I go then!

I had gotten into the woods and decided it was too humid to wear the woolen shirt. Off it came and packed nicely into the Osprey Raptor 10 hydration pack. I snapped off a few images then took off again.

Black Hawk Creek
The air was soupy. It felt like an August day, only not as warm. It was in the low 60's when I had started. No wind to speak of either. The rain earlier in the day had softened up the terrain, but there was little mud. A shame, really, as I was hoping to slog through some just to test the 3.8" Larrys.  As it was, I may as well have been riding a typical 29"er this day, as the ground was rather firm. Even the sandier sections were fairly packed down.

Well, I was still having fun, regardless, so I just kept on pedaling onward toward the very end of the Green Belt Trails. The end is a bit strange, and little used or visited by most riders. It is a spur off of Shaulis Road that is a "lollipop" out-and-back, which most folks merely dismiss, or don't even know about it, as the entrance is about 100 yards down Shaulis Road to the East from where you come out from the North. I discovered it once years ago, and I make sure to visit down this end a couple times a year, at the least.

Of course, there is this little grassy two-track that comes off the lollipop and goes around the edge of a farmers field. I had never ventured beyond the field, until this ride.

Probably where I shouldn't be....
Now one might go all the way around this field, or fields, I should say, but this day I didn't dare to go that far. It seemed unwise, and furthermore, it was going to be getting dark soon. No need to be out bushwhacking on unfamiliar grounds in the dark.

I saw a spot that looked cleared out on the edge of the woods toward the creek. I drew over to it, compelled for some reason to stop right there. As I dismounted, I noticed the rusty structure against a tree in front of me. A deer stand. Wow! I was glad no one was in it!

This only reinforced my desire to turnabout and go on back the way I had come. So, I did just that. Back down the two-track, then on to the backside of the lollipop section, out onto Shaulis, and back on to the "well used" part of the Green Belt.

By now I could discern blue shreds in between dark clouds. The sun was setting red on the western horizon to my left. I didn't have time to stop and ferret out a good viewing point, and the woods were pressing in on me as it was. So I pushed onward. Even though it was getting darker, I could see well enough, and the lights weren't necessary quite yet.

The last shreds of the day
 As I popped out over the four lanes of Ridgeway Avenue, I saw the red western sky. As I started into this section, I got a phone call from Mrs. Guitar Ted, and she wanted to know what I wanted for dinner. We decided upon Chinese to be delivered. After the call, I flipped on the tail light and head light to finish off the ride.

I headed over toward the lake and to make a round about. I did see the last shreds of the day slip away here in red fire with pink and bluish gray.

It was a weird ride in that I figured I should be seeing some wildlife, especially deer, but I only saw various squirrels, and I heard the hooting of several owls. But it was a great two hour ramble in the woods on By-Tor The Titanium Mukluk, and it was good to have it back on the fatter tires again.

I think I need to tweak on the wheels a bit. Seems that I was hearing some random spoke noises, which makes me think I may have a few loose spokes in the rear wheel. The noises went away, then the noises would reappear again. Kind of bothersome, and something I want to fix before it gets to far into the winter months.

As I pulled into the sidewalk in front of the house, and slowly dragged the bike into the front door, I noticed a car pulling up to the curb. The Chinese food delivery guy! My....I must say, my timing was impeccable!

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