Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday night quick fatty and skinny hills

Nelson met at mine and we were thinking we were meeting the crew up top of Huntsbury at 6.22.  Steve, who'd organised it (as usual) had remembered he was busy, and so had announced he wouldn't be riding.  We got there at 6.15 and were well ready to ride at the appointed time, and no one showed...  Txt went out to Wazza and Andy, and Wazza rung me from the top of the hill above us.  Andy's text I didn't see til later. Decided with Wazz to go our own ways as he was doing the full flat-hill-flat loop ride from home.  So.  Me on the Fat and Nelson on the Skinny Singlist, we were definitely coming from both ends of the riding spectrum.  We both struggled our way up the jumpy singletrack and then onwards up the single to the landing strip.  On up the gravel, fat gripping good, and keeping a good clip, especially Nelson on the one choice of gear not actually capable of going slow.  A few looks of shock and awe by other riders parked up on the road, as we rolled on through and onto Vernon.  Bit of a roll through til a big bunch of climbers rambled past, then we got going down the old line with rocks and switchbacks.  Steering under braking on the fatbike was interesting, and disconcerting, with the steering becoming kinds stiff.  Down the fast bits and around, another pause for someone else just before the wee pondy-dam thing, then blazed off again and through the finish.

More smiles and awed faces at our apparent insanity, fatty and skinny, as we rolled through the top of Rapaki, and straight into the Witch Hill climb.  The rocks and the fat tires made this hard work work for me and so, Nelson pulled away, and I lagged behind.  Really, what my problem was was too much air in my tires.  Onto the road and Nelson stayed on the new walking track above the road while I rode the first bit then stayed back down on the road.  Up under the Tors and then into the Castle Rock descent.  Feeling a little smoother in here, and getting some good speed, and rolling and bouncing over the rockies, but still struggling a bit - thinking well it's not designed for this kinda riding, and that's what I've got the Turner for, right?  Round the switchbacks, not too much of a gap between the two of us, but into the climb and Nelson's dropped me again.  Fat bikes aren't racers.  Down the last rocks and then onto the Bridle Path top.  Short rest and on up the road back to the top, then mega speed down under the Tors, into a tuck and the big wheels really got rolling!  Down the road, and into Witch again, tires gripping on the rocky climb betterer than anything else, and then I started to actually remember how to ride a rigid bike and down through the rocky lumpy shit I was popping and hopping properly and getting into the swing of things again.

Light was starting to fade and Nelson didn't fancy the singlespeed up the first steeper bits of Vernon (and tbh neither did I), so we stayed on the road from Rapaki, but at Farm Track we hung a left up onto the singletrack again and climbed away, Nelson gapping me as usual.  Bouncy bounce down to the road and here I released some air from my tires.  Into the singletrack and oh my fucking god what a difference.  Grip.  Control.  Comfort.  All three and man what a difference a few psi makes.  Into the steep descent then bombed it down the gravel road and I've never felt such grip on that surface.  No skittering or ricochet, just planted grip, control, and speeeeed.  Down onto the landing strip and speed carried on through to the fence.  Over this, and down the singletrack through the tussocks, grip and rocks not a problem this time.  And it was even quieter.  Then over the gate and down the jumpy trail, me missing all the jumps as I'm still not 100% confident of my control of this beast.  Over the last fence and to the car at 7.40. 

So, ideally, a bit more air for any roady bits and climbs, then down a few psi for the tech.

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