Well just how great was this weekend?
After what seems like weeks of rain and boggy riding it was a pleasure to wake up to blue skies and a decent frost on Saturday morning. This weekend was another following the staying local theme, so it was off to Café Cali to meet up for the obligatory pre-ride coffee before heading out to enjoy the fast and fairly unpredictable condition of the trails.
As it turned out, due to last minute ride bailing, there was just me and Sim out. I was riding my 1×10 Santa Cruz Highball and Sim was on the Lapierre Spicy 916 with SRAM XX1. A bit of a mismatch in bikes but I was keen to see how the XX1 differed from my set up. We’d hatched a simple plan over coffee: ride where it was sunny. It was at this point we’d realised how different riding in the valley is to most other areas. Due to the number of trails in such a small area we very rarely head off on a long linear loop, instead choosing to climb and descend dependant on the days conditions. Each ride tuned to the current weather and trail situation. With a low sun and freezing conditions it made sense to avoid the shady north facing parts of the valley and make the most of the ‘sun drenched’ side instead.
We’d not used Jack Bridge as a climb for a couple of weeks, so it was sad to see it’s been ‘improved’. What sections of the climb that had previously been interesting have now been reduced to blandness. Those riders out there that use this as a descent are going to be sorely disappointed next time they try it.
Two quick climbs, with an bit of fast singletrack descent in between, and we hit the good stuff. With a beautiful bit of golden light we dropped off the front and into a mix of fast and firm, alternating with frozen ruts and slippy thaw sections. All fast riding but sketchily unpredictable with quick reactions needed. As we popped out onto the road at the bottom the decision had already been made; straight back up the road climb to do it all again.
Round two saw us taking a variation on the first descent and making the most of the limited warmth the sun had to offer. It was the sort of light photographers dream about, but this time we were a bit too focused on the ride to waste time setting up too many shots.
A perfect day of chilled out riding that made the most of the good weather on offer.
If you’re interested in Sim’s thoughts on SRAM XX1 he’ll be writing up it this week so keep checking back…
So what did you all get up to?
Posted on: December 3, 2012 by Dave