Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The First Ride


The build-up of the Niner Air 9 was complete Friday afternoon, January 25. I picked it up at Blue Sky and Rob finished the bike fit. There are still some adjustments to be made (stem height, bar length) but the bike was ready to go by 6:00.

The first official ride of the Mapping Project occurred late Saturday. The weather was warm for January, a bit windy but rideable. The trails at Rabbit Mountain were dry where they faced south and where they avoided the path of melting snow. The spur section was quite muddy in some sections of the back half (since the slope faces north) but in every case I rode the center of the trail to avoid trail-widening. There were a handful of other riders out, all happy to take advantage of the temperature.

Ride details: From the Rabbit Mountain trailhead to the Eagle Wind Trail (a 2 mile loop) ccw. Back toward the trailhead to the Little Thompson Overlook Trail (2 miles out-and-back), returning to the Eagle Wind Trail cw. Return to the trailhead. Approximately 8 miles and 1:20 by the end. Slow to moderate pace due to fitness but more so to trail condition and persistent swollen arm (which vibrated uncomfortably on the downhills). The bike rides differently than what I’m used to, but for having been properly fit on the bike by Rob it was very comfortable. The bars are a bit wide feeling still. The fork needed a bit more air pressure. The front derailleur acts as a mud shelf (the action sits directly in front of the rear wheel). Tires functioned well considering snow and slush terrain. Brakes have not “set-in” and are not at full stoppage. Angle of brake levers and shift levers need to be rotated downward. Because of my slower speeds I didn’t get to fully test the cornering capability of the bike. I have also not ridden Rabbit Mountain before, so I can’t really compare the rollover or contact patch differences of the 29er yet on this terrain. Once I ride Betasso, Heil and Hall I should get a better idea of the differences from the 26″.

Since Rabbit Mountain BCPOS didn’t exist in 1980 when my topo was made, I had to draw the trail by hand following the contours as closely as I could. Right now it is such a small area that one would probably not even notice it to look at the map. I still have to work out just what it is that I hope to record on the map and what I will record by hand or on this blog. I’m thinking I’ll draw dashed lines for mountain rides and solid lines for road rides. The map is going to get cluttered if I retrace the route every time I ride it, but I’d still like to indicate how often I ride a particular trail or road. The other thing I haven’t figured out yet is how to indicate the direction of travel, since it could differ even during the same ride. I could probably color code everything, but I am interested in simply seeing the location and distance of the rides and not overly complicating them to the point the route becomes illegible. I guess a fancy key could help. Or tracing paper.

I meant to ride Sunday afternoon which was even warmer than Saturday, but instead I spent the day replacing a burst water spigot (found that one out while I was trying to get the mud off the bike post ride). Regarding washing, are the disk brakes going to squeal like that every time? And how long does that last? Sorry, I have been a V-braker for 12 years; this is new for me.

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