Tuesday, January 8, 2008

What do you call wet dirt?

Oh yeah, I remember. Mud. That's it. It had been so long since I had seen it, I had forgotten. But since So Cal has had more rain in 2008 than in all of 2007 (well, nearly, anyway), I actually rode in the mud today. You see mud riding in So Cal is optional. Heck, just wait a day or so, it will dry out. Meanwhile, road ride. Or find a sandy ride, no worries.

But today, I totally brain-faded and rode over to a nearby trail area that is notoriously bad after a rain. In fact they make bricks from the clay soil in that area. Huh. I figured out the mistake after a few yards of trail time and the resulting increase in wheelweight from about 2 cubic yards of clay stuck to the Maxxis tires. It looked funny, like the pics of those Surly Pugsleys I see in the snow pics. I should have slapped my forehead and turned around, but I did not. Oddly enough, I smiled a bit and pedaled on. This was fun. I really was not causing any ruts in the road, I was just picking up the top 1/4" of soil and carrying it with me.

After a bit of climbing it got to where I had to stand to get over the top of the gear and that was the end. Too much slippage, so I turned around and headed down. Mud was flinging everywhere, pelting me all the way down, but the 29" wheels were like skiing and handled great. Fun!

Well, I needed more saddle time then that, so I picked up a pavement climb that led to more doubletrack DH. Faster than the other section I rode, I really needed to pay attention to stay upright, but it was such a grinfest. Looking behind me, I barely left tiretracks, but it was very cool riding in something other than dry, hardpacked, dirt like So Cal is typically like. I really need to get out more. I look at the photos of the folks in the eastern woods and the leaves and roots and it looks so awesome to ride, swooping and dicing through that blur of hardwoods. I wonder if they look at the vistas and long downhill runs that we have and think the same thing? Grass is always greener, I guess.

I remain impressed by the 29" wheels in difficult conditions. They supply so much stability and confidence and just get down the trail with grace and style.

Next thing I need to try...snow. I think that is where water gets really cold and falls to the ground, but I forget.

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