Moonlight snow ride - stoked!-
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  1. #1
    Reputation: anthony.delorenzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Good job! Moonlight snow ride - stoked!

    Eh, so I've been a bit in the dumps lately. Had the bike apart waiting for some new parts, other than commuting to work on skinny tires I haven't done a ride since New Year's.

    The parts came today - new stem, bar, grips, tires, chain and ring. Big changes on the old monkey. While I was at it I trued the wheels and finally cleaned off most (OK, well, some) of the mud that still clings to everything nearly four months after the ground froze.

    Then I popped the garage door open to do a little test ride on the crescent. Everything seemed good, the bike felt lively. I hadn't planned to go riding, but I'm feelin' it and besides, Starbuck is going crazy gnawing on my pant leg. So, OK, back inside to throw on mitts and a hat and away I go.

    It's a perfect night. Full moon, mostly clear skies, a crisp -17 C and with no new snow lately the trails are frozen hard.

    I blast off down the wide-open trail behind my house. It's packed hard and I'm flying as fast as I can push my gear. No lights at night but the moon shows me everything. I'm only wearing a thin shirt underneath my overalls, but I don't care that the air is knifing through me. Woooosh!

    I hit the end of the powerline and turn into the single track. Two trees guard the entrance to this trail and BAM! I just found out that my new Race Face bars are a little bit wider than my Mary bars. File that one away.

    Then I'm in there. Tight singletrack, packed so narrow by walkers that you only have inched on either side of your tires or you plow in. Sometimes the trees open up and the moon lights the way perfectly. Other times the trees close in and I'm left feeling my way rather than seeing, trying to find a narrow line of white on white.

    It's a trail I know well (right in behind my house) but everything is different in the dark. I'm not flying now, just rolling along. I climb up a small exposed ridge where a few inches to the left will send me tumbling down a steep bank, then I swoop back down into the forest again.

    I follow Starbuck, a black shadow against the white background, down a less-used branch of the trail. Whoever packed this down had small feet, I have no room at all. I pick my way around it and then I pop back out onto the main trali and open 'er up again, spinning out as I race the dog all the way home.

    Man... I'm still buzzed from that ride, I had to get in here and type this.

  2. #2
    A Surly Maverick
    Reputation: Dr Feelygood !'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Excellent Stoke !
    Life IS a Beach and then you Corrode :)

  3. #3
    Reputation: anthony.delorenzo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Last night I did it again, went out for closer to an hour. Brought along a bit of light (just a Knog Frog) but reflecting off the snow it was enough to see in the dark areas.

    When I was changing stuff on my bike I switched to 29" Weirwolf tires from Rampages. Holy cow, those WW tires roll fast on hard snow! It's pretty amazing. When I first put them on I rode out onto my crescent, and a few hard pedal strokes had me rolling forever.

    On the other hand, they don't hook up nearly as well. Powering up hills and braking it was breaking loose in the rear. I could flip the rear around, but I might not. I'm really curious to see how they will do around here on dirt, as most of our trails are pretty dry and hardpacked.

    Depending on how it goes, I might end up with the Rampage in the back and the WW up front. Who knows....

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    On the occasions when I do take my 29er out on the hardpack snow, I run the Rampage in the rear (man, I love typing that) and a Nano-raptor up front and I am pretty happy with that combo. I have found that the Rampage will get me decent traction even on featured ice, like swamp ice mixed with some snow.

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