Sunday, February 7, 2010

What Off Season?

Haven't been able to get on the slopes in far too long so it was time to regroup, shift gears and take advantage of the crap skiing conditions as best I could. The best part is these particular crap skiing conditions are excellent ice biking conditions!

I couldn't find any ride partners to join me for a jaunt out onto some actual frozen water but that is probably a good thing because it was another cold and breezy one today and while sunny it probably would have been pretty brutal all exposed out on the ice. I was able however to meet up last second with Mike, a local rider who I have ridden with once or twice before, for some trail riding at Franklin Falls.

It was definitely a cold one in the parking lot at FFD (which they have expanded by the way, almost twice as many parking spots now. Probably due mostly to CNH NEMBA's efforts to expand the trail system and the resulting spike in use) but once we got into the woods it was actually kinda nice.

this was the only pic my camera could handle before the cold shut it down for the day

The chopper is still going strong (amazingly). In its 5th or 6th incarnation it is currently still SS, although in this pic it looks geared buts its not. I didn't have any cassette spacers to just run one cog so instead I took the 9 speed cassette I had on the bench from my 9 speed and the old partially broken X7 that I busted at Pat's Peak to experiment a bit.

It is currently locked in at 32-20 with the high limit screw and theoretically I could back that screw off a bit and change to a slightly harder gear on the fly and the derailleur would eat up the chain slack. I would probably never want to do that because riding in snow/ice requires a bit more torque and smaller gears are a bit nicer but its an interesting way to do SS especially for longer touring rides where picking that one gear can be problematic.

I thought it might have some issues with bouncing around and jumping gears a bit on me but that was not the case. Never even skipped once.

Mike and I did a few loops and some poking around to see what was riding well and what wasn't. Most everything was riding awesome, there were a few trails towards the north end of the park that hadn't seen enough traffic that we avoided but we got in about 6 miles before my rear tire went soft.

The downside to riding home made studded tires...they grip awesome (better then commercial studs, Mike slipped out a few times while mine were holding strong) but this is my second flat in as many rides, granted the other was last season but I think I may either need to reevaluate my liner to protect the tubes better or maybe look into buying the real deal. They are kind of expensive so I think I'll probably take a down day and try and whip up a better more robust liner.

It would be nice if we got some snow though so I don't have to worry about that fix for awhile....

1 comment:

  1. pretty glad you explained the derailleur + no gears setup...i was pretty confused looking at that picture..haha