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  1. #1
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    End of Season. Best of 2013.

    With the temps in the 20s Fahrenheit, and with recently 2 inches of powder, the season is drawing to a close.
    Most of my bikes are in winter storage, only the two 29ers are easily accessible.
    And may I say, what a season. It was my first on a 29er, and I rode over 210 miles total.
    I decided to put together a "Best of 2013" thread, so if you want to post, you may.
    I bought my Cobia on the first or second week of January last year.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-copy-kjh_1771.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-copy-kjh_1770.jpg
    I walked it up my steep, snowy, and icy driveway, the sticker still on it. What a moment of excitement. My 29er, My Cobia. The bike was sweet, and better than the Mamba I had been eying previously.
    I rode it around a bit on my snow covered lawn, until I started to change over a few parts here and there with my F9; first was the seat and pedals.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-10093.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_2420.jpg
    This was in late February, during a thaw. I remember the "warm" air blowing across the valley and slamming up against my hill. I had a close call, for my bike almost blew over onto the gravel driveway.
    Before I knew it, it was mud season, and summer was almost here. Once the trails dried up, and I successfully flipped my stem to the flat side, I began to ride at Pine Hill Park again.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-img_3594.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_3589.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_3618.jpg
    This was in June, the prime time to bike. Man, was it fun. The whole feel of not too hot or humid, but not cold or wet was amazing. I forgot how miserable late fall and winter riding is.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_0342.jpg
    One of my favorite pictures of all time. One of the last pictures before I became mod-mad.
    About the time of mid-June, I started to go to STAB on Mount Ascutney more often. This trail network is closer to my house than Rutland, but it is more demanding, so I didn't go there after mid August.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-img_9053.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_9050.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_9046.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_9037.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_9034.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_9028.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_9022.jpg
    The trails are beautiful, and wicked fun once you point downhill.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_4377.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_4375.jpg
    By this time, I had already had the F9's stem on my Cobia, but also a 180mm rotor up front, and new Cannondale dual lock on grips. Not to mention the new rubber. In almost a blink of an eye, I became mod-mad. I never looked back.
    I attempted Kingdom Trails in July, but it was so muddy that I had no fun (waste of $15 plus gas, for Kingdom is 2 hours north of my house).
    Later, in July, I stopped by at my LBS and rented a Rumblefish to ride at Pine Hill. What a machine! I rode faster, and took rougher lines than on my Cobia. How badly I wanted that bike, and how badly I knew I just couldn't afford it. By the end of the day, I was sad to return the bike, but what a day it was.
    Summer came and went, with the riding more and more epic as I became better and better at riding over obstacles and such. But soon, it was fall, and the terrain changed dramatically. I found a new obstacle: wet leaves. Many times have I slipped and not fall, but still, leaves took a big hit on my self confidence and morale. I have possibly slowed my speed by riding in fall, but hopefully next year I will be faster than ever
    September 29: My birthday = major upgrades.
    My bike was changed so much after one day that I could hardly believe it. First went on the new Rear Derailleur, and then the new bar ends, then the new brake rotors, and after a week's stay at Start House Ski and Bike, and some work on it by Nate the mechanic, I had my new crank and bash guard on.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_3728.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_3718.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_3715.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_3713.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_3712.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_3729.jpgAttachment 849319End of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_1628.jpgAttachment 849321End of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_1638.jpgAttachment 849323Attachment 849324
    On my Birthday, some neighbors and I went to a local trail system, and my F9 was again useful. These trails were unkempt, but they followed the rolls of the hillsides of Pomfret, and it was beautiful. One field on top of a huge climb let you see all around. I could see Mount Ascutney down south, and Killington away west (and past that is Rutland).
    I rode here once more before the leaves and cold were too much to stay on the narrow, fast, and bumpy trails.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-img_6386_resize.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-img_6391_resize.jpg
    But I still had one thing to do: defeat Kingdom Trails. Not too long after this, a nice day popped up and I made the voyage north. Sure, it was muddy, but not as bad as that one day in July. This was October. I tried new trails that brought me up higher onto the hill, and after a blast down a nice trail past a sugar house, I was on the mountain. A dash over the hills and trying to avoid the "cold" wind blown fields, I ended up at the southernmost point of the trail network, a road crossing. The trails on the other side were sandier, and fast. This one downhill of trail after trail that led to the riverside was twenty minutes long at least. But the climb back up was hard. Climbing on sand is hard, and the fact that I was exhausted didn't help either. This climb was long, and after the inn at the top, a fast paved road led to the trailhead. If I were smart, I would have ridden the road down to the village, but I wanted to ride the trail I climbed back down. I missed the trail and had to climb again. By now I was completely exhausted and could barely ride any more. Before I left, I stopped at the bike shop and purchased a new stem; a 60mm Raceface Respond. This was my longest ride of the year, at about 13 or more miles.
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_4604.jpgEnd of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_4602.jpg
    Only a month more of riding at Pine Hill, and the leaves began to be ground down into the trail, or were blown off. Riding became easier, but on the back side, the rocks began to pop through leaves that were settling down. It was obvious not many people were using these trails (primarily Lonely Rock). Last week, Furlough (a fun exit) was so covered in layers of leaves, I was forced to walk my bike down, and even then I slipped down one corner.
    I tested my friend Todd's Stache 8, and I liked it. After that I wanted an All-Mountain hardtail instead of a Rumblefish or Full Suspension equivalent.
    Near the end of the Season, my LBS closed for good. Yes, The Start House Ski and Bike. I was sad. It was the only bike shop within 20 minutes of my house, and I became friends with everyone there. Nate, and Fred.
    75% off of EVERYTHING! Once I heard that come out of my friend Todd's mouth, I desperately wanted to stop by and purchase the Rumblefish, or the Superfly 100 Elite they had. Once I finally showed up, the 2012 X-Cal was all they had left. So, for $320 I bought the bike, and then spent a few more $ on two XR4 29 Bontrager Tyres, some bike supports for storage, a bottle cage, and a few things here and there. Voila: another epic 29er.
    My line of Treks:
    End of Season. Best of 2013.-kjh_4579.jpg
    Well, that was my MTB season. What an epic year, and I even got out on my almost free Cannondale R300 road bike, but for only a month or two. I had new tyres put on it (Schwalbe Lugano with Kevlar guard), and new cables. Perfect!

    Feel free to post your adventures if you'd like.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  2. #2
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    Great read! It sounds like you had a season of great rides and for that I am jealous. I didn't get out as much as I had hoped. Life gets in the way sometimes.

  3. #3
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    Great write up!

    I, too, love Pine Hill... but I plan on riding there until there as late into the season as I can. I'll be there Wednesday, and maybe Friday as well.
    Eric

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by skyphix View Post
    Great write up!

    I, too, love Pine Hill... but I plan on riding there until there as late into the season as I can. I'll be there Wednesday, and maybe Friday as well.
    I will keep trying to go, but because I have very little in terms of cold weather riding gear, the only way I could go riding would be if a nice day with temps in the 40s popped up. Other than that, I am stuck riding around my place.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  5. #5
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    Great photo set you have there! Always love seeing where other folks get to ride.
    Fortunately the party ain't over yet here in the Midwest. Getting colder (14 this morning), but there are always nice days in the low 40's mixed in all through the winter.
    2013 Salsa El Mariachi 29er
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CannondaleF9 View Post
    I rode over 210 miles total.
    Thats a lota pics for 210 miles.
    "Bigring, that's deep. ...Well, I suspect it is. I didn't read it."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigRingGrinder View Post
    Thats a lota pics for 210 miles.
    Most of them were taken in my front yard before/after a ride so they are really clean. Around me the bike trail networks are small (Pine Hill is about 1 mile by 1 mile, and Ascutney is more like 3 miles by 2 miles), so it is hard to get in a lot of riding.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  8. #8
    YOUREGO ISNOT YOURAMIGO
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    ya lost me after the bar end upgrade....
    Yes, Monday and Tuesday are now no longer weekdays. Trust me. LP.
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  9. #9
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    Photos taken to miles ridden ratio is way off...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtdan View Post
    Photos taken to miles ridden ratio is way off...
    Well, I like taking photos of my bike.
    Tried to take more today, but mother nature said "no way!".
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  11. #11
    mtbr member extraordinair
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    Ignore the haters, they forgot the passion they once had in the early days. Great photos! Keep taking them, and keep riding.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  12. #12
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    Great pics. Nice to see you are enjoying the bike. The ski slope pics rung a bell. I made the trip up to Ascutney in July for the mtn bike festival. If you get a chance you should check it out. Great time and lots of riders of all abilities. It being held July 11-13 2014. Keep riding.
    LOVE THE RIDE!

  13. #13
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    Glad you had a great year riding. Thanks for sharing your passion. I always get a bit grumpy after the first big snow and cold weather. After a week of sulking I just layer up and keep riding. Sometimes it ends up being pavement and packed dirt roads (or I head south), but it beats the heck out of the trainer.

    Is that an Allroad or A4 Avant? How do you like it? I just picked up a Jetta Sport Wagon but was seriously shopping Allroad also. I liked the Allroad better but couldn't pass up the 47 mpg TDI and couldn't justify the huge price difference (~ $12,000). I am missing the AWD and the (slightly) raised ground clearance...... not to mention the extra power.

  14. #14
    How much further ???
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    Too bad about the season ending for you. One of the many reasons I left the midwest and moved to Phoenix is because our season is just starting. I think the comments on the picture to mileage ratio is pretty funny but not as a way to put you down but because I can relate. Passion is relative and it evolves. Putting all your bikes in a row to take a picture like a proud dad of his kids. I get it. I could barely ride 15 miles back then without feeling like crap for the next few days. These days I have a 53 mile training ride scheduled for this Friday in preparation for a 68 mile race in a few weeks. Im even starting to have thoughts that a 300 mile multiday race could be feasible in the near future.

    Good for you and stick with it. There is no limit to where your passion can take you. I should look for the old self timer photo of me sitting on my couch with my brand new 1995 GT avalanche trying to look all bad ass with my Oakley M frames on. Wooooohaaaaa.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob View Post
    Glad you had a great year riding. Thanks for sharing your passion. I always get a bit grumpy after the first big snow and cold weather. After a week of sulking I just layer up and keep riding. Sometimes it ends up being pavement and packed dirt roads (or I head south), but it beats the heck out of the trainer.

    Is that an Allroad or A4 Avant? How do you like it? I just picked up a Jetta Sport Wagon but was seriously shopping Allroad also. I liked the Allroad better but couldn't pass up the 47 mpg TDI and couldn't justify the huge price difference (~ $12,000). I am missing the AWD and the (slightly) raised ground clearance...... not to mention the extra power.
    That is an Allroad. I liked it a lot, but sadly it was only a 6 month loan from Audi. But it was great in the snow, the engine had plenty of power, and once summer came, it was a great bike hauler too.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  16. #16
    CrgCrkRyder
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    Nice bike and pics. Sounds like you had a blast this past year so by Spring you will be ready to rock and Roll.

    We have our first winter weather of the year coming tonight, freezing rain, sleet, snow and then 1-3 inches of rain - yuck. Hopefully it will be short and we can ride after all that turkey on Thursday.

    If you ski or board that helps a lot getting you through winter.

  17. #17
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    Nice reply Douger-1. I ride a lot more than some of my friends and a lot less than others. It's about the passion for the ride! Keep riding.
    18" rigid Unit

  18. #18
    2006 Yeti AS-X
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    Here are some of my 2013 pics and one video!

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    End of Season. Best of 2013.-squirreltree1.jpg

    I don't use Strava. Don't need an application to tell me I am slow because I already know.

  19. #19
    holy trail surfer
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    Hope Best of 2013

    Highlight of the 2013

    Panixerpass

    In the rocks of Panixerpass

    cu m10b
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawson Raider View Post
    Here are some of my 2013 pics and one video!

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    That sneaky squirrel.
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

  21. #21
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    I just rode 1 more mile on my snow and ice covered lawn today.
    Total mileage = 211!
    Big Wheels Keep On Rolling

    Forth Eorlingas!

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