Yesterday I rode out at Salmon Falls. As far as I can remember, I haven't been out there in over three years. Where has the time gone?
I had a really, really good time. It left me wondering why I have not been mountain biking more in general, and specifically here in my old stomping grounds.
A big part of what made the ride great was the new bike. The Canfield is simply fun. The more technical the trail became, the more it shined. Steep, rocky climb? No problem. The short chainstays allow for plenty of traction in or out of the saddle. Fast downhills were cake. The slack geometry allowed me to really go for it. I hit speeds I had never achieved on that ride, ever, and felt very comfortable doing it. Steep, technical descents were easy, too. The long top tube combined with the low bottom bracket makes the bike feel really stable. On the long, rocky climb up Flagstaff, the 32x36 low gear made it tough going, but I was able to grind it out.
No bike is perfect, though. When I was on flat, wide open singletrack, I was wishing for another bike. That's when I like to put it in the big ring, get low and go fast.
Something new for me was leaving the "real" camera at home and going with the cell phone. I recently inherited a lightly used Nokia Lumia 1020, which features a 41 megapixel camera.
In the old days I used to always do at least two loops, which gave me 29 miles or so. I will have to work back up to that.
The average speed doesn't look great because I don't stop the GPS during photo ops. I'm faster than that. Really.