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More Good Stuff

More Good Stuff

Got out to ride yesterday. Set out to explore some more of the dirt hidden in Anaheim Hills, but had to cut it short a bit because of time. Starting from home added about 45 minutes of out-and-back street riding to the ride. I thought I'd have plenty of time after that to do the loop I planned, but when I got to the point where I had to either commit to the full loop or cut it in half, the right choice was obvious.

Still, fun ride, and I did get to ride a few bits of trail that I've been eyeing for a while. The climb to the water tank from the east end of Via Escola was fun, and it's good to find that Oak Canyon Nature Center is off-limits to bikes.

I'm not sure some of this is worth returning to in its own right, but it's great to know that there are ways to connect the various bits of trail near my home.

Dirt Loop

New Dirt Loop, New Fork

The stars aligned this week: I had time, health, and a working bike, all at the same time. I rode every day this week.

It's amazing what having a working, top-shelf fork can do for the quality of a ride. My new Fox Float 32 Factory fork is awesome. Little ripples and bumps disappear, and big ones are manageable. Utterly confidence-inspiring. So, so much better than the mushy, stiction-afflicted mess that was my old Marzocchi.

I spent the first part of the week retracing familiar trails and getting re-accustomed to real trail riding. So I focused on the Yucca downhill (new PR), Grasshopper (ditto), and tried to make sure each ride included plenty of climbing, just to get that into my legs while I have the chance.

And Friday afternoon, I decided not to sweat the pace, and instead just explore what else I could find close to home.

I ended up riding some of the trails through Anaheim Hills. A bit of singletrack along the creek, and some horse trails, but all of it enjoyable. (Some of it simply because it's new, some because it's genuinely great.)

It's a near-perfect one-hour loop starting from the Weir Canyon trailhead at the end of Hidden Canyon Rd. and looping east through Weir, then connecting out to the neighborhood trails through Anaheim Hills.

The singletrack running south from Blue Sky Rd is genuinely great. What a gem to find hidden in a suburban neighborhood. And it was fun to connect Deer Canyon to other trails. Without those connections, it's just an isolated out-and-back. Now I can link it with neighborhood horse trails, and back to Weir.

I've always been a huge fan of hidden neighborhood trails/loops, especially if they involve little secrets you only discover by actually exploring what's there. This loop ticks all the boxes. About an hour, 1300 ft of climbing, some fun singletrack, some challenging technical climbing, and enough navigation to keep my mind engaged. I'm absolutely going to go back and ride this again when I get the chance.

Anaheim Hills Horse Trails Loop

Deferred Maintenance: No Longer Deferred

Deferred Maintenance: No Longer Deferred

Lots and lots of work on my mountain bike lately. I'm sure nobody cares but me, but just so I have notes somewhere, here's the rundown.

continued

Upgraded Motivation

Upgraded Motivation

As hoped, I've had a little time to ride lately. The new Rekons are awesome, and fresh air and dirt and smiling hikers & bikders are good for the soul.

And today my bike got a pretty serious (and long overdue) upgrade. I swapped out my old, heavy, leaky Marzocchi fork for a shiny new Fox Float 32 Factory fork.

I suspect a top-of-the-line fork is wasted on me, but when you find a screaming good deal, why not buy the best out there?

I installed it myself, which feels good. Definitely took a deep breath before cutting the steerer down to size, but ultimately that's not that hard an operation. Ideally, I'd have a star nut driver tool ($25), a bench vice ($70), and saw guide ($45) to do the job right. But I got by with my old stem as a saw guide, and hacking together an improvised star nut driver, and it went fine. It just takes time and care.

I set the pressure and the damping in the garage, and can't wait to get it outside and go for a ride.

After a tough few months, I'm feeling like myself again, and my motivation to ride and train is coming back, and new gear definitely helps stoke that fire.

Deferred Maintenance

Deferred Maintenance

Got a nail in my tire a while back. Weather, flu season, and life in general have made me unmotivated to make time to ride, so I treated my flat rear tire with zero urgency. When it became obvious that the hole was too big for the Stan's, I just shrugged and walked away for a few days before deciding what to do.

But hazy plans for upgrades, riding, and racing are forming on the horizon, so it's time to get my act together.

I always think I'm going to love fast-rolling XC tires, but then when I get them, my favorite thing is that I finally have traction again. So, in the interest of getting older and wiser, I've ordered a set of Rekons.

And it's finally time to admit that the rear tire on my road bike has been toast for a while now, so a new Gatorskin is on the way.

older stuff