I rode the orange Peugeot to Kaladi Bros., today, and ended up sharing a table with Eric. It was a bit warmer, this morning, than yesterday and I commented on that fact.
"You're crazy," said Eric (or words to that effect, anyway). "It's too cold to ride a bike, today,"
"Well," I replied, "I was thinking of hitting Mt. Falcon, climbing up from the east parking lot and riding Parmalee Trail."
"No way I'm doing that!"
So, after I was through with my coffee and socializing, I rode home and got the 69er out. I had a couple of pieces of toast and jam, for energy, threw the bike in the back of the truck, and headed over to Mt. Falcon
I was a little worried about how much snow would be on the trail. This time of year, the shady areas tend to retain the snow, while the sunny areas dry pretty quickly. I have ridden the trails there when they were completely covered with snow, but I was running snow chains on the tires. I didn't feel like mounting the chains on the rear wheel, and I don't have one for the 29er front wheel, so I just let a little air out of the tires and headed up.
I shouldn't have worried. The parts of the trail which had snow on them were as rideable
, if not a little easier to ride, than the dry parts. The snow was of a consistency that allowed the tires to hook up, nicely, and I was able to clean all of the waterbars
on the lower part of the trail, where it runs through the gulch. I don't remember the last time I did that.
The snow was fine, and the weather was beautiful.
The sky was bright blue, and the sun was very warm. I shed one layer of my clothes not too long after taking the picture, above.
I got to the picnic shelter in about 44 minutes, which is my normal summer ride-time to that point. I don't know if I'm just getting the same effect from the 69er set-up that Dumbo got from his "magic" feather, but I really think I ride better on this bike than any other bike I have had in the past few years. The rigid fork is lighter than a suspension unit, and I can lift the front wheel more easily to clear obstacles, the big hoop rolls over ridgy rocks and roots better than a 26" wheel, and I just feel good on the bike.
Hazy down in town (Brown Cloud), but beautiful on the mountain.
I rode on over to the Parmalee Trail, and ripped around it in pretty good fashion, for me. I was pretty muddy by the time I got back to the Meadow Trail. I stopped for a minute and put on all of the clothes I had with me, including my glove liners, ear warmer and wind jacket, for the descent. I was glad I did, because I never felt chilled or overheated at all on the way down.
That was a good thing, since clouds were moving in, and the wind was picking up as I came back down the mountain.
Gray clouds chased me back to the truck.
By the time I got home, hail was falling, as was the temperature. The hail changed to rain as I was bringing Jack in. I was happy to have caught the window of good weather for my ride, that's for sure!
Man, I'm digging the mountain biking again!