Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Return Of Brown Season

The snow melted, the rains came back, the temperature rose, and the mud returned.
Last week at this time I was in full-on winter commuting mode and we had snow all over the place with icy patches to boot. This week? Well, one week later the highs are in the upper 40's, the snow is gone, and ice has been replaced with wet leaves. Both are very slippery and treacherous, but landing on mud and wet leaves beats hitting concrete hard dirt and ice any day. That is, if you were to crash.

The weather has gone to a wet, moist, and definitely late Fall-like feel. it's so weird having had an interruption by Winter, and how that icy cold has basically altered the way the leaves are falling, the way the leaves are decaying, and how that is working into the soil already in the woods. There are patches where the water in puddles is so stained by the tannins from leaves that it is orange-yellow or deep brown. Many trees still have green leaves on them, which never had a chance to turn colors, because we had such a quick, deep freeze a few weeks ago. It's been an odd Fall, for sure, and I am just glad it came back for a bit.

I have a component I needed to test out on my bike, so I went off to Lower Hartman to check out the single track. I'm not hip to the modernized names that CVAST (the local soft trails association) has given these trails. I remember them by their old names. I went down old Shirey Way to a deer trail and bushwhacked through that toward the old "John's Trail", which I have spoken of here before.

John's Trail was a quickly made affair. I recall we laid it out in a day along an old deer trail, for the most part. Oddly enough it was one of the trails that managed to survive all the major floods and is mostly intact as far as its original layout. Only the far West end has been modified from the way it used to be. But no one really cares about any of that anymore. I'm probably one of very, very few people that even knows anything about the old Lower Hartman trails and their origins these days. I don't mean to brag, but all the younginz probably don't have a clue as to the who, what, or why many of these trails were put in back in the 90's. And none of them bother to find out, which is why I say no one cares.

Its as if you were a million miles from civilization, but this is within maybe four city blocks of residential areas.
Well, I had a wonderful pre-work ride. It was almost foggy, drippy, and there was zero wind. One of those days when everything seemed drenched in peace. I almost didn't go to work! (Not that there is much to go for these days, but anyway.....) It was a good respite from the stress which has characterized things in my life of late. Good stuff! I highly recommend a good woods ride on a quiet day.

The Cedar Valley has a healthy and active beaver population. Evidenced by this fallen sapling.
I have all my fender action going on here with the Ti Muk 2, which needed testing, and it all came through in flying colors. No mess on me, and mostly none on the bike. I have one more place I want to try a shield for splashing muck and that is behind the seat tube. I think I am going to try to fabricate this out of milk jugs. We'll see. I'm in no big hurry to do that though.

I did note that the Terrene Cake Eaters were slipping on wet rocks and roots under the leaves. Probably due to my "commuting tire pressures". I am not too concerned by this. If I were to lower the pressures a couple of psi, I think that would make a huge difference in the way these tires worked over such things in these conditions. Overall though, I am really pleased with the Cake Eaters. They roll pretty well, and yet they display good grip, and last week in the snow they were mildly impressive, so I am keeping those on for now.

I did stick on the old Revelate/Salsa/Surly frame bag meant for this bike and I have to say that while the quality is good, I am not a big fan of how it was fitted for this bike, and the internal divider is vertical, not horizontal. Soooo...... That's coming off. I really don't need it either, so after a bit of cleaning up I think it's going on the Garage Sale Page here. My purple Bike Bag Dude one is going back on, despite it being not quite right, but then, it was made to fit the 2012 Ti Muk, not the 2015 one! Still, it is close enough and it has a LOT more room than the original bag here.

This bike will be slop-season/Winter ready soon. I have to re-check sealant levels, and then I should be good to go through most of the season to come.


Exhausted_Auk said...

Do you think the frame bag will fit an ICT size L?

Salmon said...

Like the new banner pic. I would not be able to fight the urge to paint it to look like a crashed space capsule.

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk- I don't think so. It doesn't fill the main triangle of my size Large Ti Muk, so thinking an Ice Cream Truck in Large has an even larger space, I doubt it would fit well.

Guitar Ted said...

@Salmon- I totally can see that! That would be super cool.

Skidmark said...

- Good time to see the deer out feeding on those drippy, dampened down, quiet rides where the leaves make no noise.