After picking up my new girlfriend I headed over to this Nature Preserve that my friend Thom suggested called Glacier Ridge Preserve in Brookhaven, NY. Thom posted a thread on CLIMBOnline.org's message board to see if anyone was available to give me a tour but no one responded, however, it wasn't really necessary because this is the kind of place where you cannot get lost! Downloading the maps from CLIMBOnline were extremely helpful, I put them in a gallon sized zip lock, rode with them in my back pocket, and referred to them at every intersection.
On TrailFu.com, I found some GPS tracks that I put on my Garmin MAP60CSx and had hooked to my hydration pack for a quick reference, you are here, kind of thing. It was helpful a few times, however, if you ever go there, ignore the first track and look at the second one (10 mile) and of course mine. The beauty of Glacial Ridge, besides the trails, is the organization. These little signs adorn the trail and there are even bigger, yellow signs that tell you what trail you are actually on. That's important because the trails crisscross one another so many times that it's easy to get confused.
I took this picture after riding CR83 North and you can tell by the shit eating grin that I was having a blast. The Kona is so freaking light and nimble I thought I was tearing up the trail like CB2 on a Root66 race. Of course, their idea of marking trail difficulty is somewhat less to be desired. What they consider a black diamond in difficulty I would call a green by the simple fact that there was nothing technical to speak of and the climbs, never got to the 5% maximum. But, it's their park, and after all, it is Long Island! But who cares about difficulty when it was just so much fun to hammer these trails, especially on a new bike.
I met these guys taking a break at one of the main trail hubs. These intersections is what really makes this place great and why you can never get lost. The map is marked with a You Are Here markers so you know exactly where you are and can easily find what you have just ridden.
As I was nearing the end of What Goes Up must Come Down my left crank arm just fell off! My biggest fear was the pinch bolts were missing but they were there, just a little loose. Got it repositioned, tightened down and off I went! The previous owner maintained this bike impeccably and I had no doubt that this would not be a serious issue. And it wasn't.
Here is what I road (in blue) with one of the tracks from TrailFu as an underlay for reference. This was 10 miles. I rode most of the preserve but I think I missed two sections. To the north, I got confused at a trail intersection and cut back too early missing the Fox Hole section. Nearing the exit I also bypassed the White Ghost Trail because I felt that I had to get back to CT because I had a 2 hour+ drive ahead of me. Still 10 miles is pretty decent if you ask me on a new bike.
I really like the way the bike is set up and don't plan on touching anything. What I found interesting is how the bar ends are set parallel to the ground. I am used to Ergons and being out on the ends for maximum leverage, however, these are interesting in that I can get the same leverage without coming out of the saddle. The only thing I will probably do differently is when I am riding more technical trails, go to a heavier duty wheelset, like the white blunts that I currently have on the diSSent. Since that will be my geared hard tail now the SS specific wheelset is not going to work with that bike. Eventually, I am going to get a better set of blunts with lighter, blingier hubs for the Kona.
I probably went a little overboard on the gear but it all paid off nicely. And of course, nothing beats an ice cold PBR after a long hard ride. I did however celebrate the new bike with a Bomber of BBC's Saint of Circumstance India Pale Ale. Below is a consolidated map of the two sections (East and West) that put together in Photoshop. I had the helmet cam along for the ride and when I get a decent video editor I am going to start adding videos and somehow linking them to the map.