Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moving On

Yep, Christmas is over. It came and went with a quickness, and now we here at B-43 have to deal with the aftermath. What aftermath you say? Well, I’m glad you asked. After all of the holiday cheer has been spread, it’s now time to focus on the primary objective, which for me is riding (the new season is fast approaching you know.) That being said, it’s also the time to get the bikes in my stable in order. Of course I told you yesterday that I installed the new Fox F32 RLC fork on Goose, but I haven’t had a chance to ride it. Well, the time has come.

We had a shitload of rain on Christmas day, followed by some pretty cold temps to keep everything on the trails nice and slushy. I feared that nothing would be open, even though I desperately needed to get out for a test ride. On Saturday, after consulting the Tarheel Trailblazers website and chatting briefly with the Dirty Party Cycle, we decided that we would hit up an old favorite, Poplar Tent/Beech Springs (since nothing was officially open.) It doesn’t really ever “close” per se, so we could go there and ride it. We made plans to meet up at around noon, on what turned out to be a mild winter day (temperature-wise anyway.)

I knew the trail would be less than ideal, so I decided to change my tires to suit the conditions. This time of year is always tricky to ride with my Kenda Small Block 8 tires, so I wanted to get a new set of Nevegals. I put them on my Christmas list, and Little Miss Sunshine and Lunchbox came through for me. I grabbed them off of my workbench and got ready for the installation.

There’s nothing like a brand new set of tires to make me smile.

I glanced over at Goose, and he looked a bit worried. “Why are you removing my tires?” I imagined him telling me. I said, “Don’t worry, I’ll put them back on before the next Summer Series. Besides, I did this to you last winter, remember?” What? You don’t talk to your bicycle? Shame on you. I guess I must be the only nut-job around here. I took one photo of the bike with those super-fast racing tires:

After pulling off the old tires, I quickly started to mount up my new Kenda Nevegal tires. It would be as easy as pie:

While I was attempting to put the wheel back on, I realized that I may end up with some cable rub on my new fork, so I quickly remedied the situation. I found a Lizard Skins frame patch on my workbench and placed it on the fork. Now I could be worry-free.

Speaking of Lizard Skins, I also received yet another cycling-related present from the family. You see, I’ve been using some long finger gloves made by Adidas for the past few years, and I’ve mostly been happy with them. However, they have been wearing out fairly quickly. I can’t keep shelling out big bucks for gloves a couple times year if this keeps happening:

I had my eyes on a set of gloves that I saw in a Lizard Skins catalog I received a while back. They looked pretty beefy and high-quality, so I thought that they might last a bit longer than my old gloves. I put them on my Christmas list, since I had been forbidden from buying anything since November. Well, Little Miss Sunshine and Lunchbox came through yet again, so I am now the proud owner of a pair of Lizard Skins Komodo full finger gloves.

With all the links to their site, maybe they can give me a little love too. You never know.

After all of the work was complete, I loaded up Goose and headed out for some PT. I arrived a lot earlier than the DPC, since I live only six miles away. No worries though, since that gave me time to take a little stroll and assess the trail conditions. While it was still a little muddy out there, it looked like we might have a great ride.

The DPC arrived a short while later, and we got the bikes ready to roll. He came over to admire the fork installation and the new and improved “pimped-out” Goose:

The DPC’s own bike (also know as the Dirty Party Cycle) was ready as well:

After we spent a few minutes looking at the bikes, the DPC had to finish getting ready. He grabbed a seat and went to work:

We paid our three bucks and headed out on the trail. It was a little slippery in some spots, so I’m glad I changed my tires. It was still lot of fun though. With this being the first ride on the new Fox, I paid close attention to the handling and feel of the ride. I was more than impressed. This fork is smooth like butter, although I’m sure that anything would have been better than the turd-disguised-as-a-fork I had on there. The Pilot wasn’t that bad, but the Fox was so much more. I played around with the settings during the ride, and I started to feel like I had it dialed in. Man this thing is great. Now I’m on my way to superstardom as a mountain bike racer. Ha, as if. Here are some trail-riding “action shots”:

I didn’t want to push my luck by jumping off of the other side there.

The DPC conquers the teeter-totter.

I got some teeter lovin’ too.

We moved on from the see-saw to play on a big rock:

No fear, bitches.

We also saw a prime photo op with this little jump. I promise that it is more dangerous than it looks. Please don’t try this at home, as we are untrained professionals.

Next up on the trail was the ever-so-popular Gravity Cavity. This place is like a giant toilet bowl that you can just swirl around in all day long. We stopped to play for a bit:

We made it out alive, albeit with much dirtier bikes than when we started. The DPC made a comment about how he’d rather have a “clean Party Cycle”, so we headed to the B-43 World Headquarters for some bike washin’ and beer-drinkin’. I got to use the brand-new beer fridge, which is now in a closer proximity to the bike wash station. Good times.

In all, it was a great ride. Not too cold, not too muddy, but just right. The DPC is always fun to ride with, and it was nice to take my new Fox fork out for a test ride. I’m sure the rides will get better as I learn to use the settings a little bit better. As for now, I’ll give it a 10 on a scale of 1 to 5. That’s how great the components from Fox are. The rear shock is a Fox as well, so now Goose can be really Foxy. Oh joy. Tune in tomorrow for more buffoonery.

No comments: