As I was riding to the trail head Wednesday morning the shotgun blasts in the not to distant reminded me that today was Opening Day for Shotgun. I looked down to my bars and noticed that I didn't have my bell, but fortunately I was wearing a blaze orange jersey and I had my old orange Giro MX helmet on. At least you could see me in the woods.
I didn't have a lot of time and my primary intention was to ride up the Gussy to see what it's like to ride the new re-route from the opposite direction. Everything is great on the reroute until of course you get to that little bit of fall line climb. On a geared bike, it would be a little slow but it could be done and if you had Granny's help then definitely no problemo. The singlespeed is a different matter and therefore I think I need to go in and do a little more ramping on the downed tree at start of the climb. The problem is you can't mash on the pedals going into the climb like any normal singlespeeder would do, rather you have to first negotiate the obstacle which automatically takes the wind out of your sails going into the climb. I might just have to take the obstacle out all together and bench/berm that section so you can go into it guns a blazing!
And then there was the Raleigh XXIX and my bottom bracket. I noticed that it wasn't creaking as it normally does and upon entering the reroute I bounced on a rock and the chain fell off. The chain fell off a few more times, too. Clearly, the Bushnell isn't holding very well and I might have to try using locktite to hold it place. Granted the Raleigh experiment won't be lasting long because I have my sights on another frame. I will probably end up keeping the Raleigh and turning it into a Single Speed Monstercrosser/Commuter but it's days as my primary single speed mountain bike are numbered.
I didn't see him on the way up, because I wasn't paying attention, but on the way back I did notice some blaze orange camo about 20 yards off the Gussy. It was a hunter! I chatted with him for a second and he told me he could hear me coming and new it was a mountain biker and not a deer (a bell would have helped even more here). In the course of our discourse I recognized him as the infamous Hunter Dumper. I wished him luck and told him if I see any hooved rats that I would definitely try to send them his way!
I did see a dear much further down the trail but it was headed in the other direction and it was in a hurry.