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  1. #1
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    Edmonton. Spring 2012

    I had to do this. We were still posting in the Fall thread and Winter is pretty much over..
    The trails are quite messy at the moment but at the rate it's going we may see dirt soon!
    Just make sure you throw on those fenders for the time being....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Edmonton. Spring 2012-img_9796.jpg  

    Fu(k cancer

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  2. #2
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    Yea, I guess the winter thread got skipped, but given the mild temperatures and lack of snow this year means we didn't have a traditional winter anyway.

    I was out yesterday riding some country roads. Slipped quite a bit in the slush and got nice and muddy. Fun short ride, but I can't wait till it dries out a bit more.

  3. #3
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    Definitely a weird year. This was my third "winter" of commuting and hitting the trails on the way home. With the sloppiness out there right now I'll probably be staying off the trails for the next week or two, but I really hope we get the rain that's in the forecast to clean things up fast.

  4. #4
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    Hehehe....it's a week early for spring, but considering the winter we had, I'd say we're probably in pretty good standing to go to a spring thread. Heck, if things keep up they way they have been, I'll get the knobbys back on the Cx bike and get commuting again
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  5. #5
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    Anyone planning to come out to the Blizzard Bike Race in Devon?
    Definitely a more recreational, come-to-have-fun event, but it should be good. Tons of draw prizes, free hot drinks, chili and cookies, hard to go wrong!

    The way this weather is, probably should be called the Slush Cup, but it will be fun nonetheless.
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  6. #6
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    Should be extra slushy with snow in the forecast for Saturday!
    If you want all the comforts of home, stay there.

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  7. #7
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    I've decided the only way I am going to be in shape for race season is to take my CX bike off the trainer, put the knobby back on the rear wheel and start commuting. Because I was dealing with sciatica for the last 3 months I have lost a TON of fitness and I can only hope that I don't get lapped in the first few races this year!
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  8. #8
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    Just rode the course today, most of it is super prime and packed down nicely, a few sections are soft and challenging, but I rode the entire course on a skinny-tire cross bike (new Norco Threshold!) so on a mountain bike tire it would be quite easier.

    It's supposed to drop below 0 every night leading into the race, so hopefully that delays the melt enough to have a race on snow instead of slush and mud... Fingers crossed!
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  9. #9
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    I'm not a racer, but I'm definitely glad to see that the race is back after the weather went crazy last year.

  10. #10
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    Carryover from the Fall thread

    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    I've got a firexc on the back of my hardtail, and it has lasted forever. This will be it's 3rd season, and I figure it's got at least 6000km of commuting/trails on it, and there's still plenty of life left in it. The only thing is that it's always been a really terrible wet weather tire. If the trails are a little muddy, or if the roots are a little damp then it will slide all over the place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Psycho Mike
    The FireXC's last forever, but yeah, they suck when things get wet. Even if it is moderately damp, they can clog up pretty good. In snow, I ccutally find they do respectably well, but not in mud.
    Ahhh crap - I picked 'em out "visually" just for the mucky/damp stuff I expect in Spring. The tread pattern 'looks' good for muck, but it's hard to guess at the compound. Oh well - what would you suggest for Spring conditions, between these? I use tubes on my 26" bike and tend to shop at MEC so...

    Kenda Nevegal DTC 2.1 *or* 2.35
    Maxxis Ignitor 2.1
    Maxxis Ardent 2.25

    Everything else is either really heavy or just seems wrong (Kenda Smallblock8 and Maxxis Ikon / Holy Roller) for muck.

  11. #11
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    ^ I've got Ardents on my 29er, and they're not nearly as squirrely.

    There were a couple of times last year where I gave up in the middle of a ride (usually just hitting the trails on my way home) because the FireXC was sliding all over the place, and I'd been through the same spot the day before on the Ardents without any problems.

    I also had a nevegal on the rear before the firexc, and didn't have the same problems with it (although it wore out in less than a summer)

    Sorry for the bad news about the Firexc. Generally it's a really nice tire, but it's surprisingly, bafflingly terrible in the wet.

  12. #12
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    Well these were taken exactly 1 week ago but I just couldn't wait to get the cross check off the trainer and onto the trails!
    should be an awesome day today with double digits in the forecast. Might just have to go do another scouting run in the river valley to check out conditions.

    These pics are from terwillegar dog park and the paved path just outside the park(sorry, i'm not great with directions and since i don't live in edmonton, i get lost easily in the river valley trail system the odd times i visit). Was kinda messy in spots with all the sand on the paved path and still a bit icy in spots so had to be careful on some of the downhills.
    Cross check feels great on the paved stuff. little rough on the lumpy snow compared to my 6" AM bike though.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6838341108/" title="IMG_0717 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7055/6838341108_b1ed445bc9_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0717"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6984461925/" title="IMG_0716 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7065/6984461925_beecb3827f_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0716"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6838338860/" title="IMG_0710 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7065/6838338860_02cb94c058_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0710"></a>

    Picked up my cross check from Revolution Cycle about a month ago after waiting for it on back order for 4 months. Only changes so far beyond adding fenders and a seat bag are removing the bar end shifters and moved them to the downtube braze ons. Front shifter doesn't work very good right now but I have some proper dura ace downtube shifters on order to hopefully fix that.

    Anyway back to topic, I did do another trip down to the park by the zoo the following friday and the paved trails were ok, again steep sections had lots of sand and still some snow on em so had to walk some. still alot of snow on the non paved trails but there were the odd spots that had some mud and roots showing through.

    Happy trails

  13. #13
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    I went through Millcreek on the way home last night, and it was pretty much solid ice. There are little bits of dirt showing through in places, but even with studded tires there were a lot of spots where it was just hang-on-and-hope-for-the-best. The Canada Cup course was a little bit better, but it still wasn't too much fun either.


  14. #14
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    Even sections of the paved trails through Mill Creek were like skating rinks this morning. Commuting was a breeze today with nearly 100% of the almost 20km commute on designated bike/multiuse paved paths. I would say from what I encountered, 97% of the paved trails are clear.
    If you want all the comforts of home, stay there.

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-Tron View Post
    Kenda Nevegal DTC 2.1 *or* 2.35
    Maxxis Ignitor 2.1
    Maxxis Ardent 2.25

    Everything else is either really heavy or just seems wrong (Kenda Smallblock8 and Maxxis Ikon / Holy Roller) for muck.
    I would NOT recommend the Ignitors. They clog up quickly and do not shed mud. I use the Ardent 2.25 on my SS 29er and find I can usually stay upright more than most others I ride with when in less than favourable conditions.

    Another good option for a tire that can handle all conditions and does better than most in the mud is the Kenda Karmas 1.9s - it is my go to tire when racing in muddy conditions.
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  16. #16
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    2 positives for the Ardent - seems like a safe bet. Thanks for the input!
    Not necessarily needing a mud-paddle tire, just something that's not notably bad I can always swap in the XC later in the year.

  17. #17
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    ^ the other thing to remember is that spring won't necessarily be muddy. Even with all of the snow we had last year the trails were super dry in May. Of course then it rained non-stop for all of June and July, but before that things were good.

  18. #18
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    A little something from the ride home today:



    That was the longest section of my route that was mostly muck and snow free, but it's getting close out there.

  19. #19
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    Was out exploring the bike paths in Stony Plain today. Found some trails in the bush that I didn't know existed. Very sweet surprise.

    These trails aren't nearly as clear of snow as newfangled's picture. They were pretty fun though, it was nice getting into the woods a bit.

    Love the Cross Check jonb505, beautiful bike.

  20. #20
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    Out today and the paved trails are pretty much clear of snow, there were sections of ice and slush on the southside but nothing too bad.

    Mckinnon ravine is doing it's usual slow melt, with snow still covering lots of the paths along with some hairy sections of thick ice making some question why they took off their winter tires
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by joewill View Post
    Was out exploring the bike paths in Stony Plain today. Found some trails in the bush that I didn't know existed. Very sweet surprise.

    These trails aren't nearly as clear of snow as newfangled's picture. They were pretty fun though, it was nice getting into the woods a bit.

    Love the Cross Check jonb505, beautiful bike.
    Thanks, it rides just as good as it looks.

    Did you say Stony Plain? I never knew there were any trails in stony plain. I live next door in Spruce Grove and there are a few paved trails through town with the odd little dirt trail here and there in the woods but never thought Stony had anything. Might have to head over there and check it out next time i'm out for a ride. Its only a couple miles down the highway. Good excuse to put some miles in on the cross check

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by P-Tron View Post
    Carryover from the Fall thread





    Ahhh crap - I picked 'em out "visually" just for the mucky/damp stuff I expect in Spring. The tread pattern 'looks' good for muck, but it's hard to guess at the compound. Oh well - what would you suggest for Spring conditions, between these? I use tubes on my 26" bike and tend to shop at MEC so...

    Kenda Nevegal DTC 2.1 *or* 2.35
    Maxxis Ignitor 2.1
    Maxxis Ardent 2.25

    Everything else is either really heavy or just seems wrong (Kenda Smallblock8 and Maxxis Ikon / Holy Roller) for muck.
    The Ardents are pretty good....I use an Ardent clone (Spesh Purgatory) on the DT and find it works well for the most part. Nev's aren't too bad, but I find even the non-Stick-E ones wear really quickly.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonb505 View Post
    Thanks, it rides just as good as it looks.

    Did you say Stony Plain? I never knew there were any trails in stony plain. I live next door in Spruce Grove and there are a few paved trails through town with the odd little dirt trail here and there in the woods but never thought Stony had anything. Might have to head over there and check it out next time i'm out for a ride. Its only a couple miles down the highway. Good excuse to put some miles in on the cross check
    I'm not sure how long the trails I was on go. I cut my exploring short because I forgot my water bottle at home and I was getting very thirsty. I'm looking forward to getting back out there and doing some more exploring.

    To find the trails just take the bike path along 79th Ave. west of Golf Course road. If you stay on the path as it goes into the wooded area you'll see the trails.

  24. #24
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    Just got back from a ride in the mill creek ravine area. I parked just off whyte ave 95a street, the first parking lot going down 95a street. Took the Slayer out for a ride today.
    This is my first time in the mill creek ravine area exploring on my own so don't ask me where I was when i took these pictures, I honestly couldn't tell you. I'm just glad i managed to find my way back to my car after i was tired of riding.
    I managed to find some single track not far from the parking lot and rode it back and forth a few times.
    Weather was great today, the sections with snow were slushy. There were quite a few bare spots, some dry and others muddy especially on the single track i found.
    BTW i'm running maxxis ardent 2.25 on the rear and 2.4 on the front. Handled the muddy stuff just fine. I did slip out on one steep climbs in the mud but downhill grip in the mud was fine. Anyhow on with the pictures:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6995090219/" title="IMG_0734 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6237/6995090219_87a7b778cd_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0734"></a>

    spot where i slipped:
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6848958306/" title="IMG_0732 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7120/6848958306_eb24e87491_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0732"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6848949386/" title="IMG_0730 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7083/6848949386_b3acf7cf04_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="IMG_0730"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6995054169/" title="IMG_0725 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7205/6995054169_181c4c348c_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0725"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6848918508/" title="IMG_0722 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm7.staticflickr.com/6226/6848918508_ddcd01f387_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0722"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/68516423@N07/6995036581/" title="IMG_0721 by Jonny505, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7101/6995036581_71faab767d_b.jpg" width="1024" height="768" alt="IMG_0721"></a>

  25. #25
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    Not sure if people have heard about the Rivervalley Cycle Liquidation Auction on March 31:

    River Valley Cycle :: Edmonton's exclusive Kona bike shop

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    Mud Sweat and Gears in the Park is doing a liquidation of RVC's Kona inventory this Saturday too. I'd link to it but I don't have the required number of posts. Go to the Mud Sweat and Gears home page and look at the top banner.

    I called the other day to see if they had the bike I've been thinking about buying, but they couldn't tell me what was coming in. If you're in the market for a Kona this may interest you.

  27. #27
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    Hmmm...that's interesting. A lot of Kona's were on the block at the auction being done by Foothills on the 31st (they are the ones BDO had retained to sell everything off)....maybe they are trying to get them liquidated (as in cheap, but not auction cheap) before they auction the rest?

    Edit: in looking at the list that MSG has in their "news" secion, it looks like they may have some, but not all of RVC's Kona's...The title seems to suggest these are the ones Kona siezed (likely to cover what they were owed). There are bikes I was looking at on the auction page (so I know sizes and which lots I was going to be looking at) that aren't listed at MSG. Probably everthing Kona didn't/couldn't seize is at the auction while MSG clears out the rest.
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  28. #28
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    I really don't need a Kona Ute, and I totally don't have space for one, but even at MSRP they're pretty cheap, and at clearance prices that could be pretty tempting.

    Must not go to MSG.

  29. #29
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    FWIW, If one of the Kona 2+2s at Foothills is 18" or 19" I'm going to try to buy it Don't bid me up
    I've been tempted by the Magic Link, and this just seems like a gift-wrapped invitation to get into a FS bike.

  30. #30
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    This looks too "dangerous" for my wallet. I just might have to go.

  31. #31
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    If you're looking for something with knobby tires at either MSG or at the RVC Auction, you're safe from me. The Knolly will do me for Edmonton riding for a looooooooong time to come.

    I'm more in the market to replace the Cx bike with a roadie...I think my commute (which no longer involves trails ), training and the RtCC riding will benefit from a skinny tired bike.
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  32. #32
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    Yep, liquidation here I come.

    Got out yesterday and a week ago with Gord. Great ride yesterday, we both had two near misses that resulting in some definite ass puckering. Riding out of Heritage up to Keillor Road was sketchy for me. Pure ice under the fresh snow. I walked 50%, Gord rode 80%+ of it. Definite good time all around and I'm kicking myself for not getting out this winter as winter riding is FUN!

    Pics on my camera. I'll load up later today.

  33. #33
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    ^ the ice under snow is so nasty. I did most of the CC course yesterday, and with the snow you couldn't quite tell where the roots were, or if they were covered with ice. Ass-puckering is a good word.




  34. #34
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    Random shots from yesterday:










  35. #35
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    Well, the legs are getting there....now if we could keep things snow free for a little bit this week...

    I'm hoping to have the Cx bike off the trainer for April 1, but my commute is sketchy traffic wise, so I need it ice free so I can concentrate on the drivers (the knobbies take care of the gravel).

    I'm set for the long rides, though....finished my franken-pack this weekend. MEC shell, Geigerrig bladder and a Fuel Injector. Probably going to be one of the more unusual hydration packs you might see out there
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    Went to MSG yesterday and picked up a new Kona Unit. They weren't liquidating the Units, so I didn't get a deal. I've been drooling over this bike all winter though, so I just pulled the trigger. Haven't ridden a single speed since my BMX days when I was younger.

    Took it out for the shakedown run earlier today. I felt very comfortable on the bike, love the wide bars and I think the frame size was a good choice (18"). Really enjoyed the feel of the bike, mind you we're still on the "honeymoon". This is my first 29er too. Something I didn't anticipate was how far the front tire sticks out, I mean it's obvious now that I think about it, but I didn't expect that.

    Found a short trail covered in snow to ride. I was really impressed with the stock Maxxis Ignitor tires. I found that they did better in the snow than the WTB Moto Raptors on my other bike. That could have something to do with the wheel size too?

    Single speeding got the heart rate up higher than geared riding. I did stall out once trying to crest a very short hill. The front tire sunk into the snow and I didn't have the power to push it through. Excited to ride this bike more, and hopefully on dirt soon.

  37. #37
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    ^ good choice. The Unit is excellent. I was really hoping that this would be the weekend that I'd de-winterize mine and convert it back to it's SS summer glory, but I'm going to hold out at least one more week.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ the ice under snow is so nasty. I did most of the CC course yesterday, and with the snow you couldn't quite tell where the roots were, or if they were covered with ice. Ass-puckering is a good word.

    Nice! I've just been sticking to the paved and a bit of the multi use to try to get my lungs and legs back to somewhat of a respectable shape.

    The single track attempts I made this year once we had snow cover didn't last too long...
    Fu(k cancer

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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkirkpatri View Post
    Random shots from yesterday:
    What time were you guys out ? That looks like Mill Creek which I didn't even come close to on Saturday.
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  40. #40
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    We were out 1:30 - 3:30pmish.

    Did Mill Creek (just the multis this time, last weekend the single track was a bit icy yet), jumped over to Old Timers, did the multis there, across the bridge at Kinsmen (multi to Emily Murphy was sheer ice last week so we said f-that), took the paved along river valley road to the groat bridge, across the bridge, drop down to the parking lot right beside the wooden staircase (ass puckering moment - you can actually see where both of our front wheels did a nice plow/grind/drift on a hidden ice flow bump halfway down the hill), lower multi all the way to Heritage Park, single track from Heritage to top of Kiellor Road, then paved back home!

  41. #41
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    yup - when my front tire almost completely washed out on the ice coming down that hill I thought I was done for. Still not certain how either one of us kept upright! That had me just as worried as I was when I had my best winter crash ever that I managed to catch on video (crash is in the last 40 seconds): Boxing Day Ride - YouTube
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  42. #42
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    Yeah, winter riding is always an adventure... I remember a couple years ago coming off the pedestrian bridge over Dawson Road and in 3 point mode (two tires and a leg down) doing pirouettes as I wet around the lower part of the curve onto the paved trail to the Capilano Bridge.

    I'm still on the trainer for now...doing intervals to try to get my wind and legs up to where I'd like them to be for daily commuting, but with the weather, I know it won't be long before the knobby goes back on the rear wheel and I'm out there.
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  43. #43
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    I am part-time commuting. I am trying to commute 2 or 3 days a week. I am also going to be a fair-weather commuter as I really don't want to be a sloppy mess coming into work. Last week's weather kept me from getting out but I intend to be on the bike at least twice this week as Spring looks to be coming in full force.
    If you want all the comforts of home, stay there.

    Rides, Reviews, Races and Random Thoughts

  44. #44
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    My new ride!

    I just bought my first 'real' mountain bike! It's not at the same level as most of your rides but upgrading from a Trek 820 to a Rockhopper 29 has been awesome.
    I was able to take it out for a good ride last night and the biggest thing that I noticed was the improvement in climbing ability; either that or I'm in a lot better shape than I thought I was considering it was my first real ride of the year.

    I can't wait until the trails dry up to really take advantage of the upgrade

    A few pics:

  45. #45
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    Nice ride! You'll have a blast with that on the trails this summer! Biggest thing you'll notice is the gyroscope effect of the larger wheels. 29ers FTW!

  46. #46
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    Nice stumpy!

    I might as well throw this out here:

    I'm getting a puppy in a couple of weeks, and I want to get a trailer to haul it around town, to the dogparks, and down to the river.

    After seeing stuff like this, I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a singlewheel BOB trailer:

    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tM5AYzkt2aY" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
    <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/4x-Wh8OsjR0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

    Now, BOBs are specifically not for animals or people, but the videos sure make it look cool.

    The other option would be a two-wheeled kiddie trailer, but I picture it getting hung up on potholes, the crud that's in the gutters, rogue roots on some of the doubletrack, all of the narrow spots on the sidewalks/bikepaths, and being unable to dodge around oblivious joggers. But I could be wrong. Anybody have much experience using a two-wheeled kiddie-trailer around town?

  47. #47
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    LOL! Cute dog!

  48. #48
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    ^ the video makes me wonder how many times the dog got it's nose buzzed by the tire. But my plan is to get the 29er version of the BOB that has a longer fork, and to mostly tow it behind my beater bike that's a 26er and has full fenders. I figure that should give the dog lots of room. And if I were to take it through someplace like lower ewok or the tame sections of the CC course, I'd just let the dog get off and run behind me. It seems like a better idea than getting a two-wheeler, where I imagine I'd be stuck just riding River Valley Road over and over.

  49. #49
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    Nice Ride HankMcCoy! Excellent bike to ride anything and everything in the river valley i'm sure.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonb505 View Post
    Nice Ride HankMcCoy! Excellent bike to ride anything and everything in the river valley i'm sure.
    Agreed, that frame will serve you well. There is a lot of technology that goes into those Specialized frames!
    Fu(k cancer

    thelonebiker.com

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