Before you go any farther, realize that this isn’t your typical PMBAR race recap post. No way I’m fit enough for that event. I did volunteer to run the Sassafras Gap checkpoint for the race, however. The checkpoint was far enough “out there” that I needed to camp at least on Saturday night, and then pack out on Sunday morning. I opted to camp Friday night, also, since I’m not so much of a morning person, and I wouldn’t have to get going at 4am to be at my checkpoint by race start time.
While the Rockshox Bluto fork I’ve been using on my Salsa Bucksaw since day 1 has been effective, it’s been a bit underwhelming. It worked fine on my local xc trails and winter rides, but when I’d ride more rowdy trails, it really began to show its limitations.
It’s a little flexy, and I could deal with that under most conditions. Burping air out of the fork was a problem, though. Finding that halfway down a long, gnarly downhill that your fork has suddenly lost air and that it’s now mush and bottoming out far too easily isn’t good. Thankfully I had my shock pump when that happened, but that initiated a drive to look for other options.
As part of my recovery from acute myeloid leukemia, I set some fitness goals for myself. Early goals were more running and general fitness related. I ran a 5k. I ran a few more 5k’s. I eventually ran a half marathon. My knees were furious with me over that and I vowed to never do it again. After that, I swore off running because riding my bike is WAY more fun. My goals became more bike-focused after that. I set two goals for myself, and it’s taken a couple years to meet them, but I’ve done so…and then some. The first one I set for myself was an annual mileage goal. That was the first one I achieved, also. My goal was 500mi of mtb riding on the year. I met that goal in the late summer, and revised it to be 1,000mi of all-purpose riding. To date, I’ve ridden over 730mi on my mtb, and over 900mi total, so I’m within reach of hitting 1,000 all-purpose miles for 2015. The more difficult goal for me to reach was a 50 mile single ride distance. The roads around here are mostly flat, and in good weather, anyway, 50mi is not that difficult. It’s another thing on the mtb. Most of the mtb trail systems are comprised of smaller segments and loops, so a 50mi ride on those becomes more of a mental game, as you feel like you’re on a hamster wheel after awhile. With Yellowwood State Forest opening to mtb use officially, I got a chance. Not all of the potential connections are open yet, which will make even more options for long rides available. But I took advantage of one option this fall with a few other riders also interested in a long adventure-type ride. This was a most excellent ride. Because not all of the trail connections are open yet in this area, we had to make use of more gravel (and a little pavement) than I’d prefer. I didn’t take a ton of photos on this ride, especially towards the end when we were all hurting.
The intrepid adventurers
My last post about this bike was before I had even finished my own build. I’ve been too busy riding it! Here’s a build summary, followed by my impressions.
Here’s my build list:
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.
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.