singlespeeding the afternoon away- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    singlespeeding the afternoon away

    Sometimes being awakened by a neighbor's incessantly barking dog is not a bad thing. That is when the trails are dry and it's pushing a double-nickel on the Fahrenheit scale. Life is too short to sleep away sometimes, even when you need the sleep.

    After calling the Angry Man and downing a bowl of cereal, I was off to pick him and our Little Orange Friends up. At Casa De Anger, things were stalled for as he showed me his new stash of freshly cut cedar that is waiting to be created into rustic furniture in his shop. While exiting the shop, I grabbed his singlespeed off of the wall and brought it out to my truck. I was ready to ride.

    Our Orange Friends jumped in the back with the singlespeeds and we made our way to the trailhead. Of course, it was empty and the only tracks in the dirt belonged to our tires and some bovine traffic. The soil looked a little moist, but we both knew that about 1/2 mile in was the true turnaround if it was really too wet, a lesson we had quickly learned a not too hard way on this particular route a few weeks ago. There was an air of optimism.

    The cattle had not been kind to the first stretch, but it was not too bad, even on a rigid bike. This was our first SS outing on this route and though the climbs had been made rougher than expected by the hooves and we both handled them quite well considering the conditions, Angry exceptionally so. Over the first fence and rolling into the "decision zone", it became apparent that we had indeed timed our visit to this area exceptionally well. There was just enough moisture left in the soil to leave a slight tread imprint. When it dries completely, what was once a powdery defunct cow trail will be a hardpacked salt-flat rail in the dirt.

    Our Orange Friends enjoyed the stream crossings, Gordon plopping right in to get a good soak in the second one. His habit of laying in a stream and drinking from it at the same time always cracks me up. Two cattle gates later, it was time for bump city for a couple of miles. Some places were actually so hacked by the cows, we had to dismount and hoof a little ourselves. The pain doesn't last very long though, especially when one knows the payoff. The payoff was there, however about 100 yards or so later than expected and it was just as nice as it could be. The climb from there went quickly until the last steep, which has an approach that is still a little soft for a SS assault on it. Another quick hoof and it was off to the races.

    The rest of the climb went really well. It mostly went clean on the singlespeeds, which was very encouraging for a trail that had only recently been reopened. The last 1/4 mile was a tad difficult, though looked at more as a challenge than barrier and was readily attacked with equal fervor as the rest of the trail had been. Cleaning the last section uphill on a rigid 2:1 singlespeed is definitely a fine ambition and will be accomplished soon. The small draw at the top is a nice place to recoup for a few because of the large boulder "seats" and was used to its full advantage.

    The top 1/4 mile had been daunting as an uphill, but was a case of "mind over matter" as a downhill. I didn't mind because it didn't matter. I'm not sure if Angry had any miscues in it because I dropped off a bit at the very top, trying to close a highly annoying Camelbak valve that was dripping onto my leg. I didn't get it closed in time and had to endure this distraction until the palying field leveled out. Getting that section clean as a downhill on the first SS attempt after only cleaning it only a few times on the fully was quite the rewarding experience. That bike is one fine chunk of steel.

    Riding down the "upper" smooth twisties on this route were made for a "snappy" bike. Our Orange Friends had a tough time keeping up, even on such an optimum day for them to run. The "trials" section seemed much easier on a rigid either direction, but was almost ridiculously easy on the downhill direction (though flat either way). Even when it opened up after the trials section, it was obvious that this trail is made for singlespeeding. Neither of us spun out and the gearing seemed perfect for powering out of any move or turn that required braking.

    Of course it all ended too soon and fighting the cattle chop came back into play. It was much easier on the downhill slide and Angry commented how worth the pain of the chop was to get to the goods above it. I heartily agreed as we spun down the perfunctory "social doubletrack" to the twin cattle gates. The remainder of the ride was spent in a mix of mellow spin and slow grinds on the few short climbs back to the truck. An excellent day, company and trail for sure.

    PS If there's a rock in the trail don't ride around it, ride over it.


  2. #2
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    very nice

    way to turn the incessantly barking dog annoyance into a positive. Also, way to score a friends ss for a ride

    thanks for the write up

    scott

  3. #3
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    friend's ss?

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    way to turn the incessantly barking dog annoyance into a positive. Also, way to score a friends ss for a ride

    thanks for the write up

    scott
    I've had my Deep Purple colored Edge singlespeed for about 4 1/4 years now.

  4. #4
    the cool nerd
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    my bad. you grabbed his ss off the wall for him to ride

  5. #5
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    writing/riding under assumptions

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    my bad. you grabbed his ss off the wall for him to ride
    I'm assuming that only people who know me dare read my BS in mtbr when writing about riding. My grabbing his bike for him is part of the "ritual" that gets us to the trail more quickly.

    Here's my bike:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #6
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    Nice ride......Nice story, JD

    That sounds like it was a great ride. Nice to be able to bring the orange friends along. As you know you can't do that much in my area. I guess you could do it if you tether them and they are smart enough not to get tangled. I am in the process of adopting a very cool black and white friend, Border Collie/English Setter. He is great but has a habit of pulling real hard at the leash. Come to think of it he may have been very useful pulling my big @ss up to the top of El Moro yesterday......maybe if I tether him to hy headtube....Hmm.
    But then again if we tangled or I crash it might look like this.....manbikedogdustdogbike manbikedogcursingdogmanbikedust........you get the idea.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

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