We have had so much rain that things are pretty soggy right now, but that was not an issue where we rode. The route was not a new one, so I did not take too many pics. We were pretty focused on moving it as this is a 5.5 hour ride at a decent pace. (More pics here from the last time on this ride where we did take more pics).
This was a new route for some. We had Ed the Tall, Navy Mike, Weekend Warrior, and FFW on this ride and they were placing themselves in my hands for the day. The fools. But they are all fit dudes and good riders so I expected a good pace. FFW is over 50 and is a climbing genie, seemingly levitating up the slopes. He led the big climbs while Ed was just a bit back from that having been off the bike with knee issues lately. Mike, WW and I made up the rear section of the pack.
|Navy Mike all smiles at the start. Ignorance is bliss after all.|
|Ed The Tall on the JET9, XL version.|
I have a test bike in the house right now, a very white and very XL new JET9 from Niner. This is the type of epic ride that the JET9 was made for, so I wanted to get another rider on it to contrast my thoughts on the bike so far. I have found it to be a super ride for long day rides over varied terrain. It climbs well without Propedal, although it is there if you want it, tracks the ground quite nicely thanks to the CVA rear suspension, and feels solid overall (where the first generation JET9 was a bit flexy).
|I asked Ed if he would buy a JET9...he said, "Yep". Man of few words, that Ed.|
The recent rains have really soaked the ground and there were little waterfalls and cricks running everywhere. Yes, I said 'crick'. Look it up, city boy. This area is unique in the rock formations here. There are signs of Native American presence here if you know where to look.
|Hard to see, but there is a waterfall here.|
At the top of the second climb, Navy Mike is no longer smiling. This is a pretty good grunt of at least an hour, maybe 90 minutes and it comes after a 45 minute climb that we warmed up with. As well, beyond this point along the ridge, there are many false summits to make you go "uuughhh".
|Navy Mike and Weekend Warrior at the top of the second pitch. Less smiling here.|
It was not only FFWs birthday, but also WWs (well, within a week or so) so both of them enjoyed a metric 50 miler+ to celebrate their milestones. Good going! Old guys rule.
We hit up the country store to lick our wounds. I had run out of water at the middle of the last singletrack downhill, so this was good timing. That was 100oz of Elete tinted water in the Camelback and one bottle of 50/50 Cytomax. For the first time in a long time, I got one leg cramp in the same place as before...inside/right/thigh at adductors. I think there is something out of balance that I need to work through here.
|Navy Mike, WW, Ed the Tall, FFW, left to right. All hail the conquering heroes.|
On the way back, FFW was spinning down the road in his 1000 mile Double Century road weenie jersey off the front and WW was tucked in behind. We were all just beyond earshot when they rode right past a crucial turn off the highway and disappeared around the corner. See you boys. Moral of this story? If you don't know the route, don't be in the lead.
They figured it out soon enough, had backtracked a couple of miles, and came rolling into home base with tails tucked between their legs like two lost lambs. Funny, but someone had to do it. Glad it was the birthday boys. They needed the extra miles to work off all that B-Day cake, I guess.