Saturday, November 10, 2007

A day full of adventures

It's not really worth getting into why but I needed to make a work related trip to Vashon Island sometime this weekend. As long as I had to jump on a ferry I figured I might as well bring Michele and the bikes. I prefer to get my money's worth from my ferry dollar, and unfortunately I only got a couple chapters from Fauntleroy/Vashon. At least it wasn't my dollar.

The BBTC trailhead instructions were less than clear and MTBR was as unhelpful as ever so it took a little doing to figure out where to start. The first 1/4+ mile was incredibly overgrown and difficult to pick out, not to mention slippery as all hell and nasty brush stump punji sticks all over the place. 100 yards in and Michele was out while I trudged on.

I can't remember ever riding anywhere as slippery as this, worse than the occasional snow excursions back in Spokompton. Of course that doesn't make it bad, just more interesting. Didn't that long for me to take a nice little off bike excursion. The culprit is in the foregound, freshly broken, the bike is where it came to a rest, and I stopped rolling another 10 feet down the trail. I was carrying a fair amount of speed when I hit the slick stick. The front of my bike went off to the right while I continued straight ahead along with the back of the bike. Fortunately the ground is quite soft and not a punji in sight.

Michele refers to this photo as "a new take on a Sean classic".

Same old, same old.

I didn't stay out too long partially because I felt a little(really, just a little) bad about Michele not riding. When I got back to the E Michele was working on a book but ready to go. We headed straight for the ferry, home for a quick pit-stop, and off again to St. Edward.

Definitely Michele's favorite local place to ride so far. We did a couple times around the St. Ed's triangle loop that Michele loves so much.

It was much muddier than last weekend thanks to a good helping of overnight rain. The trail was real nice wet and not very slick at all. I really liked the way the new meat cut right through it and allowed me to climb just like on dry trails. Very satisfied with my winter tire choice thus far.

I got a little muddy.

Michele too, albeit less so.

Post ride we hit Redhook for eats, the food was ok but we were both a little let down by the scene in general. Given the distance from home and the "meh" factor it's unlikely that we'll be visiting again anytime soon.

Home again for a short time then up to Mukilteo for yet another birthday(speaking of which, Happy Birthday SuLing), and finally home again just a short while ago.

Now I'm off to bed.


JMH said...

If you ever get to Orcas Island, check out Doe Bay and Moran State Park, some decent single track from what I remember.

I am in the market for a new commuter/tour bike, and I know you owned a Volpe for a short time. I have narrowed my search down to a Volpe or a Surly Cross-Check. Any opinions on either? I remember you having some issues with the brakes on the Volpe. The bike will be used for almost daily commuting to work and a 200-mile benefit ride next summer. The Volpe is a little less expensive, but not sure about the 2008 model, I think the prices went up on all their bikes.


Sean said...

Orcas Island was actually part of the motivation in getting rid of the Volpe and getting the El Mariachi. I'm thinking about doing some distance rides in the spring with mixed road and trail. Orcas is high on that list. I wanted a bike that'll be better than the bike formerly known as Unit on pavement and more singletrack capable than the Volpe.

Anyway, about the Volpe vs. Crosscheck. If my wife would allow me to have three bikes I would have never gotten rid of the Volpe. The braking problem on the Volpe is definitely the rims. I put the wheelset for Tim's Volpe on my bike and the stopping power was so much better. The only other issue I had with the bike was that the stock bars were a bit on the narrow side for me, but that's what happens when you're kind of a bigger guy and need a frame that will accommodate stubby little legs. I know a lot of people that have Cross-Checks and love them. The one thing that the C-C has that the Volpe doesn't that I really like is that it can run large tires. Crazy Joe runs 29 x 2.2 on his and it makes for a much more trail friendly ride. Of course there's also the new Travelers-Check(boy do I love S&S couplers) but that's more than the Volpe for just a frameset.