Monday, November 27, 2006

Tubes All Around!

    60 degrees, you can't beat that for a day in late November. The few days prior gave us a lot of rain, so no matter where we went to ride it was going to be muddy. We all met at Mercer, 6 people came out in total, Keith, Kerry, Phil, Jen, Sam and me.

    The trails were squishy in the turns, as my rear wheel slid around the turns but I think my ever, slow leak in the rear wheel contributed to most of the sliding. I got torn up with the most stickiest thorns, my legs are covered in scratches from my ankle to upper thigh and i think i took the worst beating because everyone was smart enough to cover there legs up.

    Mercer trails can be tight in spots like handlebar forest section and most of the tree trunks have marks of people's handlebars scraping them. When the leaves drop on the trails making it more impossible to follow the twisting trail, I have watched others, make their own temporary trail by trail blazing thru the leaves and vines which just leads to a flat.

    One time Barry and I were out at Mercer, he blazed thru some thorns and quickly learned that going off the trail isn't a good idea. Instant flat. No tube for either of us. I know, i know, not wise to ride without a tube or a patch kit nor a pump. But instead, i took the bad tube out and stuffed the tire with leaves, it worked just enough to ride the bike back to the parking lot. When we took the tire off the rim, the leaves completely shredded to practically nothing, it was like instant mulch!

    Well 3 out of 6 got a flat, I was spared. Then again I put them big, bulky Slime tire liners in there and i got that crappy, Slime tube as well. I'm hoping Santa brings me Stan's, No Tube's system.

    So what's the advantages of going tubeless you ask, here are some benefits...
  • Yer wheel set can be converted to a tubeless without having to purchase a new wheel set and no modifications to your existing wheel set

  • No more pinched flat

  • Maybe NEVER having another puncture flat again

  • The sealant can also be used to seal punctures and slow leaks

  • The sealant will usually last from 3 weeks to up to 3 months. Add more, when needed.

  • this is not a commercial for Stan's No Tubes, nor am I paid by them

    Well I hear from some friends and people on the MTBR forum, that it works well althought some tires work better than others, so check the forum out.

happy flat-free trails
dirty bert

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Belated Turkey Day!


    I hope everyone didn't over-indulge with all that starch but maybe you were thinking of burning it off today and tomorrow with all this beautiful 60 degree weather we are having.

    Thank You Global Warming!

    I'm hoping to go riding Saturday, some place not so muddy, HA!. I remember the days where I LOVED riding in mud but then again, i didn't care so much about my bike or the way it handled after it was covered in it. Nor did i care or even think about the effect it was having on the trails.

    So tomorrow, I'll be huffin' and puffin' up some small hill that I would have flew on when I was in my twenties BUT never would i have done it, in the end of November, in 60 degree weather.

happy muddy trails.

Monday, November 20, 2006

New & Improved Allaire!

    First things first. A BIG CONGRATS, goes out to Frank and his whole crew at ATUG that builds and maintains all of the trails at Allaire. The trail systems consist of the orange trail which is about 4.6 miles long, the blue trail which is about 3.1 miles and the white trail is about 2.3 miles. The trail systems were fast and fun and still moderately challenging.

    What a day, we gathered a total of 13 people for Saturday. 6 from my crew and 7 new people from Mtbr forum. It was, Jen aka "Jen Jen", Mike aka "Bud", Barry aka "BEC", Dave aka "Datadude68", Mike aka "beefy jerky", Keith aka "EtsxTeam", Kerry aka "Kerrybelle", John aka "Ice25gt", Sam aka "Skygrowscold", Brian aka "Idbrian" and Brian's gurlfriend (sorry, i don't know how to spell her name), Phil aka "the 13th man" and me Jim aka "Dirty Bert".

    We roughly started the ride around 12:30 and Keith and John guided us thru 12 sweet miles of trails. This was my second trip to Allaire, my first was about 10 yrs ago when the trails were deep sand and mounds of horse land mines littered the trails. I tried to stay in mid pack where my friends were at and also kept a distance from the person ahead of me. Keith did a great job, waiting for us at certain intersections, telling us what the trails were like ahead and what to except or how to avoid the trail and what to take as an alternate route. I also liked when a turn was being made, and "RIGHT" or "LEFT" continuously shouted as each rider made that turn. Despite it not having many huge climbs, ther were still times where i walked. I'm never one to be ashamed of that. I noticed it more at Allaire, that my front end lifted off the ground a lot. So it may be time to get a new stem, a longer stem will keep my front end down. the trails were twisty but not as twisty as Mercer or even 6 Mile but they were still decent. Despite where we were, ther wasn't much sand on the trails as there is at Hartshorne. Hartshorne always has sand in the turns, it's always nice blasting into a corner and burying the front tire in 4 inches of soft sand. "Tiger's Woods" was cool. It got it's name from the trail being alongside a golf course. "FORE!"

    In all, I had a great time and i got to meet more new people. I wish i got to take sum pictures but I was to selfish to stop and take them. Hopefully next time, I will have sum pics to post, more names to talk about and all the good times we had.

happy trails
~dirty bert

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Masta Is Home!

6 Mile Run
It's been a long time, since I rode with John, maybe 10 years give or take. We all met up at 6 Mile Run. It turned out to be Mike, Anthony, John and Me. (betty bailed!) The day was brisk and very windy and I knew the trails were going to be muddy after all that rain we had all week.

yoga standBad cell pic of a yoga headstand.
It became apparent early, that John hasn't ridden in a long time because he busted out his yoga headstand within the first few minutes. It was fine by me, that we rested alot because it gave us more time to catch on the lost years.

mike and me in 6 mile runMike and me

If you ever been to 6 Mile Run you would know this section, it's right after the "Wet your Pallet" section, the concrete crossing. Well with all the rain, the concrete section was under about 6 inches of water.
concrete crossing at 6 mile run
Mike went thru first. Usually there's a lot of jumbled rocks in the beginning and at the end but this time Mike powered thru the water and found the big hole. the front wheel sank in and the rear end came way up, in what it looked to be a very wet endo. But Mike, somehow, saved himself and ended up stepping off to the side of the bridge. See the pic below...

concrete crossing at 6 mile rundouble click on this picture to see a great shot sequence!
Mike made a great effort and the rest of us continued on our ride.

Here are some great shots Anthony took the rest of the day...
tree tunnel at 6 mile runTiny tight pine forest in 6 Mile Run

wet your pallet section at 6 mile runProof of me, actually riding the pallets

a skinny bridge in 6 mile runJohn, riding the skinny bridge, right before the muddy marsh

(L to R) Me, John and Mike

(L to R) Me, John and Anthony

Well the ride ended quicker than I thought, no problem, it was still great to be back riding with some good friends. We would have gotten back a lot sooner, if we didn't take my "short cut" but that was ok because it extended our riding time.

BIG, thanks to Anthony for all those great pictures! ( Check out Anthony's site ) You took the risk carrying that big camera around yer neck all day. As always, I still marvel at Mike's ability and confidence to ride up and over things, maybe one day, I'll have that confidence. And for John to come out and ride again, like we use to, in our "younger" days, when we cut Pete's class to ride Watchung or South Mountain with Barry. This has become my second favorite ride, this year!

Happy Trails!
~Dirty Bert