Monday, April 16, 2012

Old Friend

I wasn’t prepared to bring the El Mar on my Maryland road trip. I usually steal a ride at Shaffer Farms when we go down there to visit family, and the fast flowy single track at Shaffer Farms is single speed heaven.  Plus I wasn't quite ready to subject the new bike to possible rain or a bug splattering night-drive drive home.

The Shaffer Farm trails rock. I rode generally counter-clockwise, and the Green Trail in that direction includes a beautiful winding descent along the side of a small winding vale. It’s one of those sections that puts a grin on your face when you see the gently winding trail winding downhill for hundreds of yards in front of your wheel. The other gem is the Orange Trail. It is a tiny bit tighter and twistier than the other trails, and about mid-way through it breaks out into a little half-pipe cork-screw kind of playground in the woods. Very cool, I had never ridden this trail before.

The bike (the Rig) is a great ride although the hydraulic brakes on the El Mar have spoiled me. The BB7s on the Rig are grabbier and not as strong as hydraulics. 80mm of travel instead of the 100mm on my El Mar is noticeable, but not really a factor on these trails. The Rig geometry is very different, it feels like the bike is “under” me. In fact it feels smaller, almost like a 26” bike which is not a bad thing, just weird. I guess I am still sorting out the difference.

Trails like this remind me how much I love single speeding.


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