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More Racing

More Racing

I've realized I'm happier when I race once in a while. I have no interest in planning out any kind of structured "season", but I do want to have something to look for ward to and train for every couple of months.

So far, I'm just collecting options for this fall and next year.

Put all that together, and there are plenty of opportunities to race.

And honestly, I'm really tired of hearing myself say that the best thing I can do for my fitness is to lose ten pounds of fat. I know better than to take that on right now. But soon, that's going to be the focus of my eating & training.

UCI XCO

UCI XCO

Great stuff over at Red Bull TV.

Upgrades

Upgrades

I finally acknowledged that the new saddle I got a while back won't ever be comfortable for me, and bought a another one. I did my homework and settled on a Fabric Scoop Race Radius.

So far, it's great. Firmer than the stock Giant saddle I had, but comfortable. I've been riding plenty this week, and have no complaints. Mostly, I forget it's there, which is all I hope for in a saddle.

The new fork is even more awesome than it was when I first said it was awesome. It's top-of-the-line, and it shows, even to a knucklehead like me.

And I replaced my old franken-brake setup with brand new Shimano Deore XT brakes. I can't say enough good stuff about these. Super-precise lever action, great tactile feedback, and bleeding them is a pleasure. And both power and modulation are outstanding.

And I'm continually more impressed by the Maxxis Rekons I put on a while back.

All together, it really feels like a whole new bike.

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

older stuff