Friday, June 19, 2015

the secret to my success

H washed our MTBs after the rather muddy ride we did the previous weekend and in doing so, discovered that my rear tire had a small slice in it.  Whatever had cut the tire hadn't gone through to puncture the tube, but it was a big enough cut to merit a new tire.  When we went to the bike shop, they handed us a tire, then asked where we we rode, then handed us a different tire with "more aggressive treads," saying that if we were just riding in Corner Canyon (Draper), the first one would have been fine.  We went home, H put the new tire on my rear wheel and we were good to go.

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.

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