My two cents on this years NEMBAfest is that this event has 'grown up'. The times I've been prior have been great but this year was bigger, better, well organized and with seemingly no new venue kinks that needed to be worked out. The town of East Burke, Burke Mountain and the Kingdom Trails did a great job of accommodating almost 1500(?) mountain bikers without even breaking a sweat. I heard rumors (from the Burke Mtn Campground caretaker) that the 'fest is on the books for KT for the next two years and that couldn't make me happier. I think this has a real chance of turning into something huge. All the folks who missed out this year will be hearing and reading all the great stories and I think the growth could be exponential over the next two years. Great for NEMBA, great for the industry and great for the Northeast Kingdom. Win-Win-Win.
All told we rode about 55mi with roughly 7000ft of climbing over the three days with awesome rides Fri/Sat/Sun. My studying of the map has paid off and after Mark's tour on Saturday I feel like I have most of the great stuff figured out. Sunday I was able to lead about a 15mi ride mostly from memory only needing to check the map a few times. My memory works well with stuff like that and especially well with things I enjoy as much as mountain biking. One more trip and I bet I have the lay of the land almost as well as a local.
My gear soap opera of the last few weeks continues. This past weekends rounds of long/hard riding put my rear wheel back in question as things got a bit squirrely back there again. Several spokes kept coming loose and I could always get the wheel back to basically true without much issue but the problem kept coming back each day.
I needed to pick up a small adapter for my new air compressor and chat a bit about this weeks CNH ride in/around Laconia so I figured I would also bring my wheel in and see if Eric from Chainline Cycles could diagnose / work some magic. He planned on detensioning everything and starting from scratch...long story short he sent me an email a few hours later asking me to call him...not good.
Turns out one section of the rim was knocked well enough out of whack that when you tensioned those spokes up it would detension the other side too much to really be able to balance the wheel out properly. He said he could get it close but those same issues would probably keep coming back. Oh well, Eric was able to order me a slightly beefier Arch EX rim at a great price and might even be able to get it built back up before this weeks Thurs ride. It'll be nice to be clear of this well in front of Moody Park. I'm thinking my riding style might be a bit too much for Crests and after poking around there are quite a few people who use Crests in the front but the Arch EX in the rear, so I'm going to see how that mix of lightweight performance and durability works out for me.
In other wheel / tubeless news my new air compressor set up is now completely good to go and working great. My new front tire arrived while I was up at KT and I was able to get it set back up tubeless with no issues (so far) with high levels of ease.
can't wait to use compressed air for all kinds of weird things...
Tire snapped right in, added sealant and as of several hours later things are holding just fine at 30+ PSI so I'm fairly confident things are good to go. Zero mess, zero hassle. Kevin is pleased.