Holy cow is it cold riding at 39 degrees! I am not ready for winter. I wore riding pants over my shorts, a techwick longsleeve, longsleeve T-Shirt, my CT NEMBA Trail Ambassador riding jacket, cold weather riding shoes and gloves. I wanted to take the Dillinger somewhere more sexy to ride like Trumbull or Mianus but didn't really have the time so I settled for Upper Paugussett. The forest was resplendent in fall foliage and there were no hunters about!
Now that I have two functional 29ers in the stable I started riding with a seat pack that I can quickly switch out between the two bikes. That means no more camel back, furthermore since it's not as hot my hydration needs are not as much as they are in the summer so I can ride with a water bottle, and as I found last Tuesday on my ride at the Blow-Hole in Cromwell that by pre-hydrating with two bottles I don't need anything during the ride. Of course if I don't have a pack it makes carrying things that I would normally bring along for a ride that won't fit in the seat pack a little more challenging. I just have to make sure I am wearing a jersey or jacket with back pockets.
On this ride this morning, the one thing I didn't have was a pump so if I had a flat I would have been screwed and would have had to do the walk of shame. Fortunately, nothing happened. In fact, the Dillinger felt really good. The first thing I noticed was the rigidity of the aluminum in the frame and how the lack of frame flex increased my climbing ability. Of course the 34:22t gearing probably helped as well as I hammered up every hill, including the steepest sections of the fire road coming up from Hanover Rd.
I decided to take the Bushwack trail down to see if there were anymore Orienteering Points in that section of the forest after finding one at the intersection of the forest road and the white trail. But there weren't any more there. There were, however, three on the Gussy Trail! Having them along the trail struck me as funny because an idiot could find these. I wondering if today's meet was Orienteering for Dummies?
There are quite a few up and overs and rock gardens on the Gussy Trail which are perfect for putting a rigid 29er through the paces and the Dillinger cleaned them all. In fact, I felt a lot better than expected after the ride. Being human suspension I figured I would be more sorer but I think the larger volume tires really helped. On the trail I did have to tighten the star nut a bit more and it seemed that I lost a little chain tension, too. The only other issues that I noticed is that the Ergons need to be adjusted, I think I may have play with the saddle angle some more, and I need to raise the seat post another half inch.
Today's ride map is a 5 mile course encompasing the fire road, two bushwacks, and the Gussy Trail.