Saturday, April 26, 2008

'Doin' it and doin' it and doin' it well'

Disappointed by our lack of dirt in the past week, and with an eye to the sky for fear of storms, Ali, Chris, and I headed down to the Raleigh/Morrisville trail complex this morning to get our roll on. Happily fueled by way too much coffee, we started with a spin around Umstead and some nearby trails. The pace was conversational and the mood was light, though Chris and Ali were both quick to point out that I was going soft: of the three of us, I was the only one with a suspension fork. Suitably unmanned, I mumbled something about their moms, and hoped that they wouldn't continue to call out my miserable bike handling skills.

The ride was uneventful -- if fun -- until we hit the Crabtree trails for some quality pump-trackin'. I felt a little bit better on the tight confines this time than on my last effort, but I'd be lying if I said that I had this skill figured out. Chris picked it up in no time, and was soon flying 'round the track with the greatest of ease. But the big revelation came when Chris and I jumped on Ali's bike for a couple of laps: not only is he on a 26"er, but it's also a small (15"?) frame with a short, tight wheelbase, not to mention a rigid fork, and we were able to whip it around the curves a lot better than our long tall steeds. (Of course it helps that his bike is wicked-light, too.)

*In an attempt to try a different format and save a little bandwidth, I'm just going to post the link to the pics on my Flickr account. The photos are in order though, so if you scroll through them you'll get the chronological pictorial chronicle of the day.

Ali was in fine photojournalist mode: be sure to check out his close ups of Chris as he leans into the last curve. It didn't take us too long to wear ourselves out and exhaust our (admittedly modest) skill set, so we headed over to conquer the assorted "skinnies" and the teeter-totter.

This is only worth mentioning in order to contextualize some of the pictures, as I was determined to get as much height as possible off of the (again, rather insubstantial) teeter, and Ali was poised to catch me in flight, however brief. I hit the thing repeatedly in an attempt to launch my rather earth-bound hide into some modest orbit, and with some tricks of his lens and an eye for timing Ali was able to make me appear much more aggressive than I actually am. In truth, I rather hew to the "Go medium or go home" motto, but one of the pics makes me look like I'm really jumping. (I'm sending that one to Mom.) Sweet.

Bizarrely, when we rode away I had my tubes explode python-like out of my tire. They didn't pop, mind you, they just got tired of being held down by the man (in this case, the man is the tire, I think), and left the casing to twist bizarrely around the frame and spokes. Chris thinks this means that I was running my tire pressure too high; I think it was probably too low. Whatever, something was definitely wrong, as first the front then the rear went squiggling free.

Tubes reinserted and wheels planted firmly on the ground, we headed back to the car and back to Durham for refreshing beverages and (in my case) the hard-fought war against the seduction of an afternoon nap.


felonious said...

Minihuckus lives!

DukePirate said...

And how, my friend, and how.

co2cycle said...

Is that a python bulging out of your sidewall, or are you just happy to see me?