Friday, November 21, 2008

hardtails, cell phones, snow, and

I spent a delightful two and half hours in the woods yesterday on the new Stumpjumper. A few notes from the ride:

(1) h/t vs. f/s. On relatively calm terrain, including the fire roads and double track that make up much of my "off-road" riding, the hardtail is so obviously superior. But when I got into the super rocky, root infested single track for which Michaux is famous, I began to miss the cushy ride of my full-suspension ride, and did indeed find it more difficult to keep my rear wheel on the ground when climbing.

(2) In south central PA, it's now officially cold. Tuesday night (I tried to write about this in my last post) it was cold. Atop the mountain, high teens. Yesterday it was cold. Atop the mountain, high 20s. It takes me a while to get back into the swing of cold-weather riding. Fortunately, yesterday I remembered to bring along a change of clothes--at least a change of clothes from the waist up. It doesn't matter how technically advanced your clothing is, wet is wet, and if you sweat like I do when you're working out (like when you're climbing 1500 feet out of the valley on your mountain bike) you're going to get wet. About an hour and a half into my ride I stopped and stripped off the wet stuff, put on new dry stuff, and was completely comfortable the rest of the ride. (Except my feet, but I've given up on trying to keep my feet warm.) In my opinion, an essential trick to staying warm on a long winter ride, ski tour, or whatever.

(3) With t-mobile, I have super crappy cell phone coverage in the woods. I'm told from Verizon and Cingular users that their coverage in Michaux isn't too bad. If you spend any time in Michaux, I'd be interested to know how your cell service is. I'm afraid it's time for me to change service providers.

(4) When it's cold (like now), and in the middle of the week (like yesterday), I don't mind riding my bicycle on the AT. I've never encountered a hiker. Whadda y'all think? Is this anti-social behavior?


It's snowing outside right now. Snow is beautiful.

I'd like to see a couple of inches of accumulation. That would mean cutting fresh tracks this afternoon. I love that.


I also love (well, maybe not love, but I'm feeling good about) the new look at


camps said...

Use of that trail requires a
certain ethic

Re: White Grass, maybe, you drive, I'll have a beer

goat said...

I'm not sure if that's meant as a critique of my riding it or an attempt at irony.

The AT is one of the widest, most unruly, most obtrusive hiking trails I've ever been on. At least through here. Which is saying something, because these woods seem to be able to reclaim an unused trail in about a year's time.

camps said...

I meant that ATers are happiest when they see only footprints.

Yea, it is pretty dang wide thru here. I think it gets a lot of use, otherwise it would get reclaimed pretty quickly as you say.