Mo' treads, mo' better
(H's worn tire on the left for comparison)
Back at Round Valley on Sunday, it was evident that summer had arrived. The squishy spots had all dried up and the trails actually seemed to be in pretty good shape and not too torn up from people riding in the wet. The dry trails also meant that we could get back to our preferred loop. Part of what I like about our loop is that we've got the climbs spaced out fairly evenly: Hammerhead Hill comes close after My Nemesis but since I have to hike-a-bike Hammerhead, that doesn't matter much to me; then there's some nice, rolling double- and single-track before the Sweet Sixteen climbs; then more flow until the Staircase, which is steep but short.
Apparently there was some sunscreen on
the camera lens. I think it's Impressionistic.
My legs were a little stiff from the Mt. Aire hike but I seemed to be climbing pretty well. I was pleased with my performance on Sweet Sixteen, riding fourteen out of sixteen switchbacks including one that has stymied me thus far this season (I shout-whispered, "Yes!" when I got around that one.) It wasn't until the Staircase, however, that I realized how great my new tire was. I've been able to ride the Staircase on prior rides although my rear wheel has usually spun out in the steeper pitches. This time, I could feel those "more aggressive treads" bit right into the dirt and was amazed at how much easier the climb was. I was actually grinning at H when I got to the top (in addition to the gasping for air). New treads make a huge difference - I highly recommend them.