French Lick Resort

Yesterday the wife and I traveled to French Lick, IN to try out the mountain bike trails on the resort.

The verdict: Win.

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It was a relatively short ride because both of us have been working hard this summer, and not riding nearly enough. These trails are climby, and they kicked our butts. On the plus side, we finished our ride with a 2+mi downhill which was well worth all the climbing earlier.

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You know what else characterizes these trails? Rocks. And tech.

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Riding the Salsa Bucksaw

Ever since it was announced April 10, 2014, I’ve been committed to making this my next mountain bike.

When the 2014 SaddleDrive event came around and Salsa started taking orders, I stepped up and told my local shop I was ready to order one. Unfortunately, my shop didn’t get its Salsa order ready for a little bit after that, so I couldn’t get a complete Bucksaw 2 (in yellow!) like I wanted. All that was left in my size on the preorder were some Bucksaw 1 frames. So that’s what I committed to. I hadn’t planned on building a complete bike, but I was roped into it so I started ordering parts.

Summer Rides

Fitting regular rides in along with working two jobs and significant volunteer commitments tends to leave the website feeling neglected.

How about some pixels, some words, and some GPS tracks to make us happy?

Even though I only had one day off over the July 4th weekend, I managed to squeeze in a couple rides.  On July 4th, the wife and I made our first trip to Rangeline Nature Preserve in Anderson.

We kept to the “novice” and “intermediate” trails for the day.  Even the novice stuff isn’t true beginner trail.  There are some techy spots that would have a true beginner rider walking.  It’s definitely no Camp Glenn.

Spring is in Full Swing

Last week had a nice stretch of dry, sunny weather in Indiana for springtime and I took advantage getting a couple rides in on my days off.

Nebo Ridge Trail

My first ride of the week was on Wednesday. I had the whole day to myself, so I headed south to visit the Nebo Ridge Trail for my first time there. It was a great ride. The beginning of the trail when starting from the northern Story side was a little muddy. Mostly there were just a few soft spots in the trail. It wasn’t so bad as to be sloppy.

Shaking Out the Cobwebs

Tuesday combined with some dry spring weather before a rainy week, a day off of work, and a strong desire to get out on the bikes.

My wife’s Blur (she has now named it the Sexy Vixen) is out of commission for the moment as the DT Tricon wheels are repaired. The rear wheel was out of true, and then I noticed some busted and mangled spoke nipples. Shipped it off to QBP for them to fix. That left the wife’s old Rockhopper (now named the She Beast) and she doesn’t enjoy that bike on the trails. She’s been hemming and hawing about riding it and finally her desire to ride outweighed her hesitation of riding a less favorite bike.

2013 Year in Review

I have to say, 2013 was the best year of riding I’ve had in a long time. It came at the expense of hiking and canoeing, though. According to my Strava logs, I rode for almost 70 hours and logged around 360 miles of riding (combined between my commuter and mtb). There were a handful of rides I did not log, so in total, I probably reached 400mi or close to it. My goal was to get to 500mi on the mtb by itself, so I did come up a bit short.

Winter MTB Upgrades

My old Maguras finally gave up the ghost this year, so I’ve decided it’s time to put some modern hydros on. I’ve been dealing with sticky pistons all year. Mostly putting up with them, but I’ve also spent some time trying to unstick them, with less success than I’d like. They’re 11 year old brakes that have needed almost zero maintenance in 11 years aside from two bleeds, two sets of pads, and a few alignment adjustments.

I decided to replace them with a set of Shimano SLX brakes with Ice-Tech. Shimano has been killing it on their recent hydro brakes, and the SLX model is a good value. Up until recently, they were the best value models they offered.

Snow Ride! Freezing!

That title fits this tune pretty well.

It only sorta fit my ride. The temps outside were indeed freezing, but I was mostly fine. Except for my feet. I really need some winter cycling boots (a half size big so I can fit thick wool socks in them). I wore some Gore-tex ski gloves with Smartwool liners, a Buff under my helmet, Smartwool lightweight base layer, my EMS Windstopper N2S jacket, and my hardshell gear (Marmot Precip jacket and Mountain Hardwear Epic rain pants). I was warm enough to be sweating underneath, but as long as I kept moving, I stayed warm.

2014 Salsa Vaya Build and Basement Workshop

I mentioned in my last post that I recently moved. My new place has a basement that makes for a perfect gear storage and bike workshop. I took advantage of that space to do a frame swap for my commuter. Bye-bye On-One Pompetamine. Your rear dropouts and disc caliper mount were a pain in my ass and it was time to replace you with something that just worked.

Welcome, Salsa Vaya. You sure are a sexy commute bike.

2014 Salsa Vaya 2 Frameset

Belated 2013 Brown County Breakdown Recap

Sorry for the late post. After the BCBD, I moved into a new place and have been busy getting everything unpacked and organized. I’m mostly situated now, and I need to catch up on some posts.

The 2013 Breakdown was a great time. I went down for the whole weekend on Friday evening and camped both nights. I got there a little on the late side, and wound up in a suboptimal campsite. It wasn’t a bad spot, but it was out in the open and got hot in the sun. The Crosstrek held our camping gear well.

2013 Brown County Breakdown