Monday, December 31, 2012

last day of the year commute

So, I managed to ride to work today on the Voodoo for what was virtually the only ride I've done in the month of December aside from the S24O I did on the 1st with my friend Joe. I did get out last night for an urban assault on Essex Junction to try out the new winter boots. I have to say that I am glad that I finally got them. It is nice to know that you can walk through a section of snow without your booties pulling up and letting snow all over your shoes that will melt and get you feet wet. Not to mention that they are very comfortable.

In other news, I just ordered and Surly Necromancer frame that I will build up in short order (hopefully) so that I can finally get in some fatbiking. I am looking forward to it. I have a couple of friends that have been at it a couple years and I have just been dreaming about it. +Mike Beganyi is my local authority on the subject and I look forward to finally sharing in the bounty.

Stay tuned for writeups on that build. I will be starting with a wheel build as soon as I gather the rest of the parts.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December (nearly winter) S24O

There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this trip. It wasn't terribly certain that it was going to happen until a couple days before and then the day of seemed to have some events that compromised the departure. In the end my friend Joe and I left his house at about 3pm for the ~30 mile trip to Little River State Park for an overnight at a leanto.

out for another bout

Joe had recently purchased and put together a Taut Terrain Amber Road. It is one fine rig I might add. Dyno light, Alfine IGH, belt drive, integrated rear rack, kickstand! That's right, I am finally old enough that a kickstand is cool again.

the rigs
We rode into the evening on some really nice dirt that I have never been on. That helped make the trip more mystic. The route was off the beaten path but for some reason, the night we were out there, the traffic was pretty dense. We ended up riding out into a valley with some nice expansive views. It was actually bouncing around between cold/windy to warm/breezy. It was on Nashville Rd. in Jericho/Bolton that I was thinking how nice it would be to be on a fatbike. Later on the ride I thought the same thing again when we got to the park. After an incredible and sometimes sketchy downhill on Stage Rd. we ended up at Route 2 in Jonesville, a community of Richmond. We proceeded to follow Duxbury Rd. along the river into Waterbury. Blustery gusts of wind and long stretches of road bring you to realize that you are out there because you love it. Why else would you leave the comfort of your warm home and Netflix to spend a potentially dreadful night in the woods.

After a quick stop at the store for a warm up and a few supplies, including a flask of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum and apple cider, we continued on to Little River Rd. It eventually kicks up and takes you around the edge of the dam and into the park. We embarked on some unplowed roads, snagged a couple chunks of firewood and rode on to our camp. We setup before too long, changed out of our riding clothes and worked on warming up. I was pretty determined to have a fire this time after missing out on one last trip. With a bit of luck and help from Joe, we got something going and it was, if nothing else, spirit lifting to prepare for the cold night's sleep. Oh, and let's not forget the enjoyment of some spiked cider.

I wasn't properly prepared for what was to come so I had a rough night. I ended up leaving the interior of my tent and jumping up in the leanto with one last attempt to get some solid rest. I have learned quite a bit on this trip and will know better next time I attempt a winter S24O. And yes, there will be more! I still had a blast.

We finally saw morning light, got up and prepared some breakfast. Sitting there enjoying our meal, we got some morning sun coming up and life, at least for me, sprung back. We packed up camp and hit the road. It was decided that we would just hit Route 2 back into Richmond and then Cochran Rd. for a bit. The temps creeped up enough to stop and strip off some layers. We continued to ride in towards home and we split off from each other on River Rd. where Joe turned up to his house and I continue on to mine.

Very nice trip, all things considered. I look forward to doing more of these winter trips in the future and definitely a ton of them next Spring.

my body imprint - not all that insulated

packing up for the ride home

Joe's Taut Terrain

top of the Waterbury Dam