Sunday, January 8, 2012

Another Beautiful Day, Back to an Old Friendly Trail

Hadn't planned on riding today, but I got home earlier than I thought from a family visit. It started out sunny and high 50's which is amazing weather for January. But as we drove, I could see the clouds were definitely rolling in fast. I checked the weather on the smart phone and decided to try to get a ride in before the rain was expected to arrive by early evening. Due to time constraints, I figured I'd go to the closest trail to me which although is pretty flat,  is really rooty. I love this trail because it reminds me of "home". While we didn't have the elevation there, we did have the roots. Probably why I like them, familiarity and all that. Temps were great and the trail conditions were very nice. This was another trail that I've been off of for almost 3 months. The good news, no major trail changes, and my skill set hasn't lost too much overall for riding rooty sections. I did however realize that my tires really are shot and not just for muddy sections. I guess after 1400 miles on these, some new ones are in order. I think I placed my order on Friday for some new ones at the right time.

The Lone Holly Tree
Normally, I don't like New Year's Resolutions. Far as I can tell, most people make them only to become unsuccessful in their resolve not long into the new year. However, I realize that with every new year celebration, pictures become more and more important if I one day want to remember my rides as more than just a blur. So in that vein, my New Year's resolution this year is to take a little time on my rides to "smell the roses" so to speak. I will stop to take photos if I see something interesting on the trails and take a little more time to enjoy the ride as much as the "ride". So here ya go. A little green in a sea of dead brown that is my trail in winter. I found it pretty, so I thought I'd share instead of riding right by them like I usually do thinking....oohh that was nice, I should have stopped to take a picture.

So pretty...
After I finished that ride, I still had some energy and the rain hadn't started yet. I decided I'd go home and take the cross bike out for a couple short laps at the local park and practice mounts and dismounts for the upcoming race. I am so glad I did. While my mounts and dismounts can be classified as nothing short of  absolute newb, I managed to get off and on the bike several times without falling over. Bonus!! The one thing I did learn today was that I can not run the higher pressure I have been running in my tires off road. Once I took the bike into bumpy dirt and uneven grass, the lack of suspension was rattling my teeth around so bad, I feared I would let go of the bars on the downhill. So lesson of the day was that 80 PSI works for smooth-ish dirt, but is not at all good for the changing terrain that I will probably find in an actual cross race. So now I will start experimenting with tire pressures and hopefully will get something dialed in within the next two weeks.

I also hope to start doing some good long trail rides starting next Friday to start building up my off road endurance base. And if this weather keeps cooperating, maybe I will be lucky and my trainer can start collecting dust. Fingers crossed!

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