Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mesa miles.

Moobs and Flipper came to town last weekend, each bringing their own unique blend of controlled chaos.

Moobs spent Friday evening building up and dialing in his new steed.


Flipper arrived Saturday AM, tongue firmly in cheek, always ready to entertain.

Given the past ~two weeks worth of high pressure and midwinter cold, our prospective loop seemed a cinch to be hard packed and fast.  The installation of corduroy could only help.

Moobs made minor wrenching adjustments in the early miles, while Flipper and I busied ourselves snacking and enjoying the bluebird day.


The grooming ended at a stand of trees deemed (apparently) too thick to thin.  We dumped loads of psi from our tires and managed to continue riding, but when the trees opened into a meadow (allowing singlefile-averse slednecks to disperse) we had no choice but to schlep on afoot.

We had a tremendous variety of conditions throughout the day--from fresh cord to punchy crust, surface meringue to packed powder.  Because Moobs and I are both a ~month away from riding in AK, we paid hyper-close attention to how our constantly evolving machines handled each of these situations.  At present, his was a little floatier and mine a little faster.



We discussed tire size/rim width/air volume in the context of whether wider rims with narrower tires were advantageous compared to narrower rims with wider tires.  Do you really need a 'muffin top' for max float?  

Head angle, fork rake, and trail were also discussed and experimented with.

The day was warm, at times downright scorching, allowing us to appreciate the quixotic desire for midwinter shade.




Schlepping occurred sporadically, allowing introverted contemplation as we all walked at different speeds.


Heaps more snow than a year ago, but still not nearly enough.


Layering up as the sun goes down.




Climbing three close, low ridges late in the day gave us three unique sunsets to admire.


7 hours is a damn long ride for me these days.  While slaving up one of the later climbs I could only wonder if I was the only one suffering.

Hearing the nonstop stream of banter and laughter out ahead was all the answer I needed.  Bastards!

We rolled back into known territory as darkness rose, then spun the last hour back to the barn in full dark.  Spoiled we are to have such a diversity of geomorphology and elevation change right here in the backyard.

Later, pizza and cheese doodles were ingested with gusto and enthusiasm.  

Thanks for checkin' in.