A 3 Hour Tour
The plan today was to hit single track at Boyce for a minimum of 3 hours. The plan rocked, but the ride rocked more!
I originally was going to work on some pacing a fueling stuff, by doing multiple laps of a 7 mile loop I have. After loop one, that plan seemed stupid right now, so I opted for 3 loops, but adding some additional trails to laps 2 and 3. This proved way more fun.
Earlier in the week when I was planning the ride, I wanted to use my full squish Big Mama. But Mama needed a brake bleed and was at Pro Bikes. If I had wanted to wait until later in the day, I could have swung by Pro Bikes and got her on the way, but I wanted to be on the trail by 10, so Dos Niner version 3.2-B was the bike of choice.
The trails were 85% dry today with only a few slick spots. BUT Boyce mud is full of clay and can be super slick. Not to mention tire clogging. Hell, the Ignitors were clogged so badly that they looked like slicks by the end of the ride. And that was only from a few slick open field sections. Jeezzus!!
I could not be more pleased with my change to a 100mm stem. My position on the bike is SO much better now. Steering is better, getting over obstacles is better, etc., I can't believe that 20mm could make such a huge difference to my control of a bike. I feel more centered on the bike and also feel like I'm making better use of ALL my leg muscles rather than just my glutes and hammies. The back was still pretty sore by the end, which I kind of figured. The ride was 98% single track with only a couple short service road sections. All that single track was the main reason I wanted the Big Mama for today.
Yeah, yeah, Boyce is pretty smooth sailing and I know some folks (OK, just ONE dude) that can ride 99% of it on a cross bike, but he's a freak. My 37 going on 38 year old body needs every bit of help it can get. Jeezus, just typing that made me realized that I've been riding Boyce for about 13+ years now. HOLY CRAP I'm getting f*cking old! Not to mention you would think I would be faster!! ;)
In the end I did about 25 miles of single track in about 3:15 with pee brakes and a stop to ditch some layers in the Xb. Climbing was aces, fueling was spot on, the XTR crank continues to amaze me with how stiff it is, the stem was a great purchase, and most of importantly- I had a f*cking GREAT time in the dirt. There is just nothing better! OK, sex might be better, but that's a whole other part of the day. (oops I've said too much). I mean at one point I was REALLY close to dismounting, laying down in the dirt and doing some sort of pseudo love making type action. It felt THAT good to be off the road, in the woods and rolling on dirt.
I managed a second week into the double digits of saddle time. Given my responsibilities (even with no freaking job), and the wacky spring weather of Western PA, I'm pretty stoked about that.
That's all for bike talk, but there is...
A SIDE NOTE: I'm drinking a Nugget Nectar (I took a brake, now a Hop Slam) as I type. Is there anything better than breathing in that aroma of hops as the glass hits your lips?? Speaking of beer... today was the St. Patrick's Day parade in Pittsburgh. Not a fan of the event or the holiday (hell, I'm just a Bohunk), but of course a lot of yokels would be swilling Guinness. I have to say Guinness is about #456 on my beer list. It's just not my cup of "tea". There are so many outher stouts that I like better, that it just seems stupid to waste the calories on a Guinness.
Very often folks (non beer geeks) will tell you that Guinness is "strong" because it's dark PLEASE inform them that they are wrong. It's only about 4% ABV. It's a pub beer for folks to enjoy more than a few in a night and not be CROCKED. In contrast, the gold/copper hued Nugget Nectar I'm enjoying is 7.5% or so. And before you unleash the Irish Mafia on me, please note that I do enjoy one on occasion, and RESPECT the TRADITION of Guinness. I would just rather have a sweeter, robust and nuttier stout. But hey, that's just me.
Time to cook up some grub, have Wifey do something to my back and enjoy a couple more beers. Some people ride to race. Or race to ride. I ride, to race, to burn calories to eat good food, drink good beer and enjoy time outside. And I wouldn't trade any of that for a spot on the box. I might trade it for a case of Nugget Nectar though! :)