Monday, May 7, 2007

Trail Riding at Riverside State Park

Well. There they are. Joe's super fancy nice Karate Monkey and my mountain-afied Rivendell Atlantis. We met up this morning and rode out to Riverside State Park to do the initial shakedown ride on our newly built-up bikes. A few thoughts on some of the stuff that plodded its way through my brain on the ride:
  • RSP is a wonderful place. We met downtown at 6AM and were on the trails by 6:40 or so-- we would've been earlier if we didn't noodle around on some trails around People's Park. The point: we're lucky to have such an amazing network of trials so close to town.
  • Riding rocky single track is a whole different ballgame with 2.1" knobbies when compared to 35mm semi-slicks. It's just more fun.
  • Riding 2.1" knobbies on smooth fire trail and pavement (the combination of both likely made up about 85% of our mileage this morning) is tiring and hard to get used to. Now I understand why so many folks drive their bikes to the trials. It's still cheesy. But I understand the temptation now.
  • A quick ride on the Karate Monkey confirmed something that I wasn't ready to concede: 29ers do appear to roll better for these conditions. In general Joe's bike is just bigger and feels right for the kind of riding we were doing. I'll need to spend more time on the KM before I am completely sold on the 29er idea. There are many differences between the bikes we rode this morning to attribute just to tire size. Plus, I know it's silly on the face of it, but really, 650b (584mm) does make a bunch of sense to me as a good mountain bike size. The Rivendell folks are building a 650b mountain bike. And Pancenti was showing a 650b mountain bike at NAHBS.
  • Mountain/Trail riding is all about the bursts of energy. I forgot about how in tune you need to be around shifting. You really need to anticipate your shifting if you want to stay on the bike over a series of steep descents and climbs. Aerobically, I was quickly peaking, then resting, then pushing. It will be fun to figure out the aerobic plan around trail riding.
  • Trail 25 at RSP is a great route. It's a giant circle that feeds a bunch of smaller trails. There is a newbie section there that Joe and I found. If you've gone to RSP and have ridden 25 all the way and without a person in the know, then you know what I'm talking about. A bit of sand. We'll leave it at that for the next set of rookies.
  • A guy could spend many many hours learning the trail system at RSP. This is an exciting prospect for me as I have tired of many of the local road routes I do.
  • Trail 204 -- going downhill is about the most fun I've had in a long while. Just a long straight descent with no obstacles.

If you are interested in joining us, Joe and I will be meeting Monday mornings throughout the summer to explore RSP. We'll meet at 5:30 AM on Monday mornings -- at Rocket Market in Carnegie Square. The idea will be to be back down town by 8:30.

No comments: