Saturday, July 29, 2006

First ride on the W.U.S.S.

Well ..i finally got a single speed. A Bianchi just like my Wife's. Her's is a S.A.S.S. Fully rigid and steel. Mine is a W.U.S.S. a hard tail and aluminum. It's white,got a rock shox REBA team for a fork( air and coil spring) a 32/16 ratio at the moment and crappy grips. The tires are very skinny compared to what i'm used to. 2.4's are coming real soon.

So today was the first ride on a trail. was my first ride on a SS. And with Mech disc's, plus i've not ridden a hardtail since last winter so that was wild. I usually ride a hardtail (a 98 gary fisher hoo koo e koo) in the winter so the mud stays out of the pivot's and bearings on my enduro. V brakes in the mud and rain is exciting. my Wife Marla and went to Growlers Gulch which is in SW Washington. From the car it's a steep 1/2 mile gravel road climb to the first trail. The Terminator is a twisty,turning ,root strewn trail which doubles back on it self so many times you think your actually going somewhere. When you come out on the road your not too far from where you started. A well made trail for sure.Oh ya..the bike. It excelerates really well with that grear ratio until the hill get's me. I rode relly well (surprisingly) and tried to attack the hills early. I statred really having a good time when i came around a corner to an up hill section with a log across it. oops! That was about as close as i came to eating today. The geomotry is quite different than my normal bike(bikes) so it took a while to get comfortable. I was wacking the pedals frequently so the bb must be lower than i'm used to. The next 2 trail's (Beauty and the Beast & Belly of the Beast) have some climbing and rolling decending sections but are relatively smooth. Marla really liked that as she can't sit much on the really tech trails. I found that if i pedaled out of the corners i could make it up the next climb. I'm sure there are lot's of SS techniques i'll be learning in the next few hundred ride's. We rode the Creek trail which had lot's of rocks. More than i remember actually. I guess riding a 5" travel trail bike makes you soft and lazy. I had forgotten how much i liked riding a hardtail bouncing through the rocks. We rode a few more trails and then called it a day. I did better than i thought i woud. I figured i would be really worked but it was'nt too bad,and i made quite a few tech climbs. Maybe i have a future in singlespeeding. We'll see..............

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Mt. St Helens

Riding next to an active volcano sound's like fun. Right? A few weeks back my Wife and i rode Ape canyon and the plains of Abraham right through the blast zone. It's not the most tech trail, unless you fall off a cliff or the mountain erupts, but it's a great ride just the same. The Ape canyon trail is a switch back climb through the forrest that escapes the blast back in 1980. Tall trees and a view of the Mtn here and there. At the top it changes so fast it's really strange. Almost like going from Hobbiton to the moon. In fact riding across the Plains of Abraham i felt like i was on the moon. With gravity. and i could breathe too. Riding on pumice rocks,ash and around and through other volcanic rock that i can't name, but my kid's could. Near where we turned around there some ridges that remind me of Fruita. Knife blade style, fast and skechy. We estimated the mtn to be about a half mile from us on the trail which seemed even closer when we realized it was smoking. my Wife asked " How do we know it's not going to erupt today"? I responded like the experianced rider and loving husband - " Just keep pedaling"
Great day and another notch on my Wifes bike. As always...if your in the area and the trail is not closed from recent eruptions you should ride this trail.