My house was featured in the local open house event today, so I had to make myself scarce. I took the opportunity to get a mtb ride in and enjoyed my time, although my ride got cut short. I had an incident of chainsuck, looks like I had a misadjusted limit screw, and threw the chain off my cassette. That bent the chain some, which messed up the drivetrain. I tweaked it back to being “good enough” to get back to the TH, and took it to the shop so they could check for busted parts. The bent chain was subtle enough that I couldn’t find it on the trail.
Talking to some other riders in the area about our mtb trail opportunities, I got a somewhat crazy idea about linking our area trails together in a big, long ride. I wanted to do it all via county roads, but looking at maps of the area, it became apparent an all-county-road route would not be possible. The problem: the Angelina River bottoms. Between Nacogdoches and Lufkin, there’s only one road that crosses them: US-59. Not the ideal road because of its 70mph speed limit, but it’d really be the only option unless we REALLY wanted to go out of our way and probably spend days riding. Not this time.
As I’ve posted before, I got my hands on a new GoPro HD Hero recently. My first “video” wasn’t much – essentially just a backyard test. I was supposed to get some real footage on Friday, but a mechanical problem halted that. So, Monday was my next opportunity, and I took advantage. I got to get some ride footage of the local trails.
Okay, so it’s getting to be time to break the monotony of riding the same place all the time. I need to hit some new trails.
It took me awhile to get my first ride of 2011 in. No excuses here. I was lazy for the first couple weeks of January, but we’ve also had rain moving through the area on a regular basis since the New Year. We’ll only get a day or two of dry, sunny weather, and up until now, those days have coincided with days I’ve had other stuff to do. Today, I had time to ride, so I took advantage of the nice weather.
The early October maintenance day for the SFA Rec Trails happened to fall on Livestrong Day. I made sure to represent Livestrong today. I arrived late, but I met up with the group installing some rock gardens on Upper Bois d’Arc.
In testing them out, they’re entirely rideable, but they add some technical challenge to a section of trail that is mostly a cardio challenge. I wouldn’t call them difficult because they’re short and as long as you have momentum, you can roll on through. But they can catch you if you hesitate and/or fail to carry enough momentum through them.
I’m making some solid progress on the trails map for Nacogdoches, Texas.
Right now, I have all of the trail in the SFA Recreational Trails mapped, in addition to all of the Lanana Creek Trail. I have a little bit of data for the Azalea Garden, the Mast Arboretum, and Tucker Woods. I’m not entirely certain how well those areas are going to come out, because the arboretum and azalea garden, especially, have VERY dense networks of trails.
Today was the day I decided to ramp up my mileage for my weekly rides. I’ve felt good the past couple of weeks, and ready to increase my mileage. Both my legs and my lungs felt ready for it. In addition, it was a nice day, and I decided to ride from home to the trails. To get a longer ride in without being out later, I had to start earlier. Since it was nice out, I could do that easily enough. I set out from home and picked up the Lanana Creek Trail at its Main St. trailhead. I headed north and saw a number of other folks enjoying the trail on their bikes or on foot. Unfortunately, I flatted my rear tire after not long on the dirt. I had just inflated my tire, so I thought I may have burped some air. I reinflated it and checked for trouble. Sure enough, I heard a loud hissing sound. I looked around for the source of the escaping air and found a puncture. That’s odd…I’ve got sealant in there, it should have sealed this little hole. It looked about the size you’d expect from a piece of broken glass, but the hole was clear. Well, that’s why I carry a spare tube. So I had to pull the tire off and insert a tube. While I had the tire off, I double-checked that a piece of glass wasn’t poking through the tire. Fixing that would have killed the evening. When I got the tire off, I saw why I got a puncture…my sealant was dried up. There were no boogers of any sort, so it appears as though I just didn’t put enough sealant in to start with. I’ll have to remedy that. The tire was clear, however, so I tossed in a tube, inflated to a comfortable pressure, and continued on my ride.
I got out a bit this weekend. My mileage isn’t super high yet, but I’m getting out and getting exercise. On the 26th, I got a night ride in on the bike. We’re trying for a regular Saturday night at 8pm group ride time. Unfortunately, my main riding buddy couldn’t make it since his wife was out of town and he had to watch the kids. I was there, though. Nobody else showed up, which turned out to be a good thing. The batteries on my headlamps were BOTH low (the indicator light was now glowing red instead of green), and I wasn’t sure how long to expect them to last. So, I ran on one light, but kept both batteries on me so that in case one of them died, I’d have the extra to get back to the trailhead.
Today is Cancer Survivor Day. I celebrated with a dawn mtb ride with my riding buddy. I tend to not take so many pictures (any pictures) when I ride lately. I’m just too busy riding. I still do record GPS tracks, though.
It was disgustingly humid this morning for the ride. The sun was nowhere to be seen. It was obscured by fog/clouds. It seriously looked overcast at the beginning of the ride. I had to stow my sunglasses in my pack because they were too dark and I could barely see for one. The other problem was that it was SO humid that I absolutely could not stop the lenses from fogging up, even though they’re vented.