Enjoy the Ride

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I've created a couple of masks that hook to my helmet straps for easy cover/uncover while riding. In the lower foothills single track I just keep it on because I know that I will see people, but once I get farther up I go 15-45 minutes without seeing another person so its just hanging from my helmet. This mask with a zipper might be an option...zip it for snot blocking, unzip it for more free breathing.

To follow up on this, I got one of these zipper masks: My first concern was how covered the zipper would be, but the backing fabric completely covers the zipper. It unzips relatively easily, but rezipping requires both hands. That's OK if I'm stopping to yield the trail, but less OK if I would be able to roll past.
There is a great drop away jump on one of my favorite trails. For years it was a natural drop-away going from about 10% to 30%. If you hit it at about 30 mph, you could fly down the hill 40 ish feet, but never be very far off of the ground. After the wet June we had here, the trail crew added a little kicker at the top to divert water. That completely changed the way that I hit the top because the kicker shoots me up initially, plus the next water diversion mound is about 15 feet down the hill. I didn't even consider trying to double from the kicker to the next mound because the consequences for a miss are going to be bad. As the summer has gone on the kicker has rounded off a little and the back has filled with some sediment which got me thinking... I had a slight tail wind, and was going to give it a go, but the 52 year old me scuffed a little speed, and did the kicker as a single. The 22, 32, and maybe even 42 year old me would have hucked it, but... Maybe still this fall! :D
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Its been an odd spring on the trails here. Overall crazy dry, but just enough snow dusting and frost to make the trails not ridable more often than usual. Plus we've had a lot of high winds. Its always windy in this old lake bed, but instead of being 20 mph, its 35 mph with gusts. That makes for some great free speed! I think that I've over jumped every big jump at least once this spring! :p But I was able to make a double-double-single- double-single combo that I had never made before. An update on the jump in my post above: its in my head so I'm not going to try it!

The Treasure Valley (the greater Boise area: Boise, Meridian, Caldwell, Nampa, Eagle, Star, Middleton...) is growing at an unsustainable rate. More people in general means more people on the trails, and I'm sad to report, more rude people on the trails...lots more rude people. Certainly some of them could be natives who were looking for something to do during the pandemic, but I think its safe to say that most of them are new to the area. Its unfortunate.
Ran into a guy on the trail who I used to work with ~15 years ago. He changed locations when he accepted an managerial position, but he's back in Boise. Anyway, he had a really cool new helmet made by 100%. I commented on the appearance of the helmet and he laughed and said "its the only thing 100% about me!" :D

I've been having some great rides, but Wednesday I poked a 1/2" hole in the center of my tire casing. The Stan's sealant tried really hard to seal it, but just couldn't quite seal it enough for me to ride. It was fine if I left the hole at the bottom, but rolling just opened it up again. I tried rubbing fine sand on the hole to help it seal, but no luck. I did the ride/pump about 10 times, and was getting frustrated so I got in a rush and bent the presta valve core. I had to remove it and use my chain too to get it (almost) straight again so that it would work. It took another 10 ride/pumps to get home. I know, 'why wasn't he carrying a tube'? Easy answer, that was only the third (?) time in 20ish years of using tubeless tires that I've done that (3:5,000 is an expectable ratio).
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Yesterday was the first beautiful ride of the year: sunny, 65 degrees, trails below ~5,000 feet ridable. Today is back to cooler and rain, but if we can just stay above freezing at night that will help keep the trails ridable.

I have been doing multiple short loops connecting trails just below the mud line (trail jelly) so it was nice yesterday to do one longer loop.
Yesterday I rode a Specialized Stumpjumper for a few hours. Fun bike, but too much for the trails that I ride on a daily basis.

I rode a Yeti SB115 today on the same loops as yesterday. Fun bike and more suited to the trails I ride daily. Its not much different than the Scott Spark that I've been riding for two.5 years, but different nonetheless.

One of the mutli use (motos too) section that I rode starts with a pretty steep shoot with pretty large earthen erosion diversion mounds that are like small ski jumps (drop-aways). You can fly off of them, and go a long ways down the hill, but never be too far off of the ground. The last two are closer together than the other ones because of the lay of the ground. I have frequently wondered if I could jump off of the first one, clear the entire gap, and land down the second one (double them). The risk is too great though so I have never actually tried it. I inadvertently tried it on the Stumpjumper yesterday. I don't ever use my brakes on this 500 M section, but the stumpy seemed to keep a little more speed because it ate so much of the trail and impacts from the previous landings. As soon as I launched I felt how much farther I was going to go, and then it was one of those things where I had time to think about how much farther down the hill I was flying. I really didn't want to straddle the second one because that would be sure ejection. The effort to avoid the straddle though really put me front wheel down (my head/shoulders were definitely ahead of the front wheel), plus its a really steep landing anyway. I landed vertical/front first, and felt 'the shock of doom', but was able to keep my hips back enough to nose it for about 15-20 M as the trail bellied out. Some skill, no panic, and lots of luck! Ok, a little post-panic rush as I rode away!

ENJOY the Ride!



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