Tuesday, March 25

rigid and fixed in fruita and moab

I wasn't sure I could do it, so I brought along a freewheel cog just in case.

Started out 32x18 and switch to 19 later the first day because I didn't have the legs to climb. The 18 felt better decending though.

Over the week of riding, I had hundreds of pedal strikes but maybe one caused me to fall. Most of my falls were caused by fatigue and not making good decisions. I seemed to challenge ttfs on odd days and felt tentative on even days. I listened to my body and mind and rode within myself, otherwise, I would have hurt myself more than I did.


dale said...

The trails were very rocky and challenging, except for Rustlers and parts of the Kokopelli. I think the rigid was more difficult and punishing than the fix gear. My arms (triceps, then elbows) hurt more than my legs. The legs were fatigued but not as sore. I had to roll most of the drops instead of launching but that is more my style anyway. I'm sure the fix contributed to my legs being toasted and slow to recover.

The last day before going to Moab, we hit the Book Cliffs and Joe's Ridge. That downhill made me decide then and there to go to a 38x19 and install a rear brake to allow faster pedalling without over revving. I kept that setup the rest of the trip. This caused more push climbs but gave me short, power climbing and good decending as far as pedalling was concerned.

From the first three days on the Fruita trails, I liked Horsetheif Bench, Handcuffs, and Mack Ridge the most because of the trail and the views.

The fourth day of riding was down in Moab on Porcupine Rim. I felt stronger that day and rode faster over the chatter, though I still rolled the drops. I endo'd just before the end and was only a couple feet from the edge of a 20' drop ledge and the final big drop. Should have took a pic since it looked scarier than it felt.

Rode Sovereign Trail next day. That beat on my arms again, and with a little taste of slick rock there, wasn't looking forward to slick rock trail the next day. Slick rock ended up being an interval workout with many push climbs and crazy downhill traction. This was more fun than I expected. Though not making one climb gave me my worst rasberries.

The last day was Rabbit valley near Fruita and the western rim trail. Everyday required work on the bike, a minimum of cleaning and lubing the chain and touching the bolts. I was checking every bolt except the ones that loosened up. 8-) I had been hearing noise in the bb and thought it was the ebb though the set screws were tight. Not chasing down the noise, the last of my four chain ring bolts fell out the last day. Had to borrow one from several bikes for us to have three a piece. This ended the chance at an even longer distance though we got over 30 miles in that day anyway. It was a bonding experience since we were getting a little short of patience after 7 days in the saddle and trying to ride as a group.

The trails were difficult and challenging. I have many scrapes, sore muscles, and fatigue. We had several rear deraileur problems, hangers bent, brakes dragging, spokes breaking, a wheel almost taco'd. Except for missing the chaingring bolts, mary only needed an occassional wash, daily chain cleaning, and spoke tensioning. I built the wheels just before going so I kept a close eye on them. Though tonight while cleaning the chain and wheels, I found my lockring was loose, something else I didn't check.

The B&B and condo were excellent. I could not have done the riding everyday without such plush accomodations. Food, laundry, and a place to relax and talk helped make the trip more than just great bike rides. I was the slowest rider and it was a challenge at times to keep Aaron from running off on his own. Having riders around similar abilities helps make it a great group experience.

For beginner level riders interested in Fruita/Moab, we had sport and expert level riders in our group. The trails were harder on the bike and rider than Omaha trails. One needs to be comfortable riding on rock and rocky ttfs. I think anyone who wants to ride Fruita and Moab should ride Landahl, Perry Lake, and Clinton Lake. If those trails are not fun, you will not have as much fun out west, imo. There were beginner level riders out there. They didn't ride as fast, far, or the more difficult trails. Getting into decent riding shape was one of the difficult tasks to accomplish before going out there.

To sum up, I had a great time!

Biker Bob said...

Thanks for the ride report.

dale said...

I forgot that the book cliffs were not rocky too - joe's ridge, prime cut, kesseler's run, etc. I actually rode the 32x19 just about topped out down prime cut because it was tight and twisty like trails in omaha.

RF said...

Dale rode over much steeper, technical challenges than I had expected him to attempt. And he cleared quite a bit. The pace of our group was relatively fast given some other groups out there. Dale's fitness certainly helped him a lot. Imagine never being able to recover on the downhills but rather being forced to continue pedalling.