French Lick ride

With youth baseball, travel soccer and bowling, I have not had as much ride time the last couple of weeks as I would like. With another busy weekend ahead and bad weather on the horizon, I saw a small window and took advantage of it. I really need to step up my game before it is too late.

I was not ready for the ride, so I had to rush home to pack up my gear before heading toward the trail. This took a little longer then I had hoped, but I was still no my way. When I got there the decision was made to put on my new flat bar before heading out. The swap out did not take too long and I was ready for the ride. The sun was still shining, but I was starting later then planned.

I jumped on and put the hammer down. I left the lights in the car, so I was going to race the horizon to get back to the car. I did make good time for most of the lap and only stopped twice. One stop was to snap a pic or two and the other was to let a little bit of air out of the front tire. When I stopped to let the air out, I was bent over taking the valve cap off when I hear a noise. I was shocked when I looked to my right and there was a deer standing right there. He was no more then 30 feet from me and was not sure what I was doing. I said hi to him and told him he was alright. I finished letting the air out and we said our good-byes with out him taking a step.

I continued to put the hammer down and was not sure if I was going to make it or not. The bike was rolling great and as I came up to the car in the parking lot, I looked down to see that I did the outer loop, car to car in less then 1 hour with the 2 stops. I am pleased with that feat.

I mounted up my light and headed back in to the woods. I climbed the same side as before, but was going to do the new loop the other way. As I climbed the hill and looked at what time it was, I decided that I should cut the ride short and head home to try and help with the kids. I was really feeling the effort from the first lap and I was already tired long before I got there. I have been lacking some much needed sleep and I just threw batting practice for 10 kids the night before. To say I was feeling that is an understatement. It was much harder then just throwing for my kid.

So, I headed out the new loop the same direction as before and turned around to head back. I wanted to climb that last little nasty section back to the main loop. The new bar fit great and I was happy to be able to flip my stem back around and not have the bars too high. This was also my second ride on my new back tire. I picked up a Race King 2.2 after being impressed with the performance of the 2.0 I used for the Death March, but wanted a little more meat on the SS. The trail had a lot of small mud holes where the drainage crosses the trail, so it was a good test for the tire. I was very pleased with it’s  performance in the wetter stuff and already liked the way it rolled in the harder packed stuff.

I am still a little concerned about how hard this gear feels. It should be easier then what I was using earlier this year, but it feels harder. Maybe I need to switch back to the 34×20 and forget the 32×20, but if I don’t get stronger when I am finally rested up, I might need to roll the 32×22 for the Mohican. I guess I have a little time to figure that out.

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