Wednesday, January 19, 2011
TOT 8: Icy
This is the obligatory just-passin-thru MTB tourist picture from Cascade at Patapsco on Monday AM. Gotta stop there and get a picture when there's ice. This was in the middle of a 2:15 ride up there with John and my old cross nemesis Alain, who is a really nice guy.
I'm on the boinger lately due to a wonky back. It's not terrible, just that riding at Rosaryville (which is getting comprehensively destroyed by assholes who ride it on warm days, leaving huge scars in the mud) really aggravates my disc condition. No, not the undersized rear 160 I have on the rear of my single, I'm talking about the herniated L5/S1 disc in my back. The constant bumping in and out of 1" to 4" ruts makes it super painful, and it takes 3-4 days for the aggravation to go away. You see, because I'm halfway responsible and don't want to repeat some of the backbreaking trail work days I've done, I only ride there when it's dry, or frozen. That means the ruts are like concrete when I ride there, and the rigid just beats my lower back up as if it had insulted its mother.
On the boinger... no troubles.
I am noticing a weird phenomenon though, and that's a convergence of my singlepseed and geared riding styles.
What has bled into my singlespeed riding is the hops. When I get to a low obstacle at speed, like a log, or a log drop, or a rock drop, I flex my legs, hop up, then land using my legs as shock absorbers when I hit. This really smooths out the ride on the rigid single. I noticed that I do this in a really pronounced way on the full suspension bike; this results in an utterly plush ride on that bike, even when bashing through really rough terrain.
What has bled into my geared bike riding is a habit of carrying as much speed as I can into the bottom of hills, and grinding up way harder than I used to do on a geared bike. The result is in rolling terrain... well, my rides seem a bit shorter than they would because I can really tear on the downhills and by carrying big speed into little kickers, I'm up and over pretty quickly. It's kind of like the fatboy road trick on rollers, to sprint down them... except more fun.
In any activity, it's possible to get to a point where it just makes sense, where you feel fluent in it and can do it with a lot of joy. Lately, I'm able to ride that way for several minutes at a time on the MTB. It's a good feeling and I always finish rides in an elated mood.
I think it's going to be a dawn patrol to start the day tomorrow at Patapsco. Looking forward to it. [Big Grin...]