Had a very nice Turkey Point ride Saturday morning. Trails were in great shape when I got out there as it was still just below freezing, as the day went on and things warmed up the snow was getting a little soft in spots. Some of the heavier used trails had patches of ice on them. Nothing that the fat bike couldn't handle with ease though.
I ended up riding quite a nice loop. I started from the West end of Mole Rd and did a route of Suadwinder, The Burn, Spinal Tap, Dizzy Lizzy, Earshot, Big Mike, Rum Runner, East Ridge, then up the road and over to Planet of the Apes. All the trails were packed in nicely and riding fast except for Planet of the Apes where I put in the first tracks since the snowfall. Hopefully a few other brave souls follow my tracks and pack it in a bit, but looking at the forecast it might not matter. Rain and warm temps are going to melt alot of whats down here in the next few days and turn it into a skating rink when it freezes up again.
Its been one of those weeks. Sick for the beginning of it then busy for the rest, trying to make up for two days of doing nothing. That gets me into a miserable / grumpy mood and I need to get a good bitching going. I can't tell anyone to get the fuck off my front lawn because its covered in snow. So, now for something totally off-topic but pisses me off.
People in drive thru lanes that don't know and / or follow simple drive thru etiquette. The concept of a drive thru is quite simple, it does not take a rocket scientist to do the order / pay / pickup routine but somehow people can be complete idiots and fuck it all up. Its not even like I spend alot of time in the drive thru lane, I like a bagel once or twice a week from Tims and its no secret that I enjoy the occasional cheeseburger. Anyways, here is the Bric's guide to not fucking up at the drive thru.
That pretty much covers it. If you have done / do any of the above, you are a drive-thru asshole. Time to change your ways for the benefit of others. After all, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.
Now, off to grab a cheeseburger......
I have to start out by admitting that due to work / family / weather I have not ridden in almost 2 weeks. I finally pushed myself out the door this morning into the cold crisp air. I thought about driving out to Northumberland Forest and doing the Substance Projects Snumbler today but decided against it. I headed out to my usual Turkey Point starting spot with the Nashbar in tow. I heard that some of the TP trails had been worked in quite well and are riding nice with the snow.
I was the first person out there, the dusting of snow we had overnight was untouched and I was lucky enough to make the first tracks in the virgin snowfall. The temperature was hovering around the -11 degree area, which is pretty damn close to my "fuck it, stay inside" limit. My poor dry and cracked hands can't take the cold and become extremely painful. I was cold right away but started warming up once I got a good rhythm going. I need to buy a nice wool layer for cold winter riding and some bar mitts would be nice on mornings like this too.
I was the only rider out there this morning, I thought I would have seen more out there on fatbikes but only stumbled upon a group of trail runners braving the cold. I managed to get in a nearly two hour ride before my cold toes had me pull the plug. Good timing as the remains of my water bottle had frozen into a chunk of wet ice. I drank what I could and headed back out the singletrack towards my truck. I snapped a few good photos along the way including a very rare Bric selfie. I've been trying to eat a little healthier this year and already feel better out on the bike, my wife says I've lost a bit of weight already too. I need to get riding more to see some real changes.
I got to work stripping the bike down. I found a few more small issues that need to be fixed up but nothing catastrophic. The frame is in excellent shape but needed the years of built up dirt and grime washed away. A little bit of surface degreaser and polish made it good as new. This bike is going to be so fresh when its done.....
Now that I've got a clean frame to build from its time to put together a parts spec and get the a-ok from the owner.
In my head its shaping up to be something like a Deore / SLX driveline with a OneUp 30t chainring, something big and meaty for tires, and some uber reliable Avid BB7 brakes with FR5 levers and Goodridge cables / housings. Should make for a dam fine machine...
This is part 1 of a multi-part Garage Files blog about rebuilding a friends Cannondale.
A few years ago I managed to convince a friend that mountain biking was a fun pass time. He set out with me in tow to look at new bikes and bought a 2013 Cannondale Trail 4 29er. Its a well spec'd bike for the price and he put 3 seasons of riding on it since, shredding singletrack at Turkey Point, towing his kids around in a trailer and a trail-a-bike, even a trip out to The Hydrocut where I might have gotten him in a little over his head and he cracked a rib. There has been lots of good times aboard this bike and it has an established story at this point, no doubt in my mind that the bike has taken on its own character in the owners mind.
After 3 seasons of use, its looking a little haggard and needs a facelift / overhaul. The front brake gave out this year and he has been getting by just using the rear (yikes!) and the shifting is getting sloppy, no doubt from the cheap Acera derailleur being completely worn out and the build up of dirt in the driveline.
He asked me to fix the brakes and driveline, I've convinced him to go to a 1x driveline for ease of maintenance and lighter overall package. A quick go over and it needs a bunch of small issues addressed, but could also use some upgrades to really "unleash the beast" that this bike can be.
The brakes need to go. The low end hydraulic offerings from C'Dale are complete crap, we will be most likely swapping over to Avid BB7's for ease of maintenance and ultra reliability.
Tires are shot. I'm going to set him up with something with more volume that he can really get aggressive with. Thinking something along the lines of the 2.4 Ardents.
The crankset is also hurting. The bb is nearly shot and the old Octalink Shimano isn't the stiffest option out there. Might upgrade him to a nice Deore crank. As far as driveline, most likely a 30t chainring with a 11-36 cassette, 10 speed of course. This bike is going to be awesome once its done.
Stay tuned for part 2, the bike will be stripped and everything inspected.
With some time to kill and a destination of Delhi in mind, I set out on my CX bike to do a little bit of back road pavement / gravel riding for the afternoon. The rain stopped and it actually started to get sunny out. The plus temps and rain had made a mess of the trails, but I can't complain about 8 degrees in January.
I've made a little bet with myself to see if I can get 100 days of riding in for 2016. So far I'm on ride 4 with 10 days down. Not doing too badly. I'm also trying to get some base miles in to get some fitness for a ride coming up on Good Friday. There is a group that leaves from Tillsonburg every year and does a back road / trail tour down to Port Burwell and back, I just need to talk to the right people to get an invite for it, luckily I know a few people who are in the loop for this ride.
Norfolk is home to some pretty spectacular road riding, there are lots of forest covered, paved back roads to ride on with next to no traffic.
On the South side of Highway #3 there are county forest plots dotting the landscape. These plots are anywhere from 50-300 acres each. I've spent alot of time riding in there plots of forest and there are old trails running though and connecting most of them. I was out here all the time back when I rode ATV's and dirtbikes. These forest plots also have natural gas wells and lines running all through them with a few compressor stations along the way.
There are not too many gravel roads in Norfolk County. For whatever reason, it seems nearly all back roads have been paved, which is great for road riding but isn't all that great for gravel grinding. I rode a familiar stretch from Lyndoch into Delhi, one of the few gravel roads remaining in the Delhi area. Even the old "Duke's of Hazard Road" as well called it has been paved, lots of memories out there too where my friends and I practiced to become world class rally car drivers.
Delhi is surrounded by farmland and bush with a few houses dotted along the way. Lots of memories of dirtbikes and snowmobiles out here, this isn't big city living thats for sure.
There is a lack of snow here on the South Coast of Ontario, but I won't complain. I'd rather not have the stuff. Got out for some fatbike action at Turkey Point this week, it was cold and I had the trails all to myself. The fair weather riders are really missing out on some great riding. I'm going to try to squeeze in a ride today to Delhi along the rail trail if the rain holds out for me in the afternoon.
Another great cold ride today. Not much to say. Went on a bridge hunting ride out to Waterford and back. Had a nice trailside lunch while freezing my ass off. Next time I'll build a camp fire. I'm two for two so far in 2016, might try to hit 100 days of riding this year. Closest thing to a resolution I'm getting near.
I had a few hours to kill before I had to meet my wife at Port Dover so she could do her New Year's Day dip in the lake. I set out on my cross bike towards Dover along the Lynn Valley Trail, smiling and wishing everyone a happy new year as I passed. The trail was pretty busy for a cold January day, maybe it was the holiday or day one for everyone's New Year's Resolutions, either way it was nice to see the LVT getting some use in the winter months.
The trail had a slight dusting of snow and the surface was mostly frozen. Temps were around -2 degrees with a bitter wind chill tacked on. The tree covered trail through the valley is nicely protected from the wind and was very quiet. Its been a while since I had heard the crunching of snow under my tires, even though it was very slight today.
Part of the way to Dover I decided that I wanted to do a little bit of exploring. I left the trail and rode East on one of the concession roads. All it took was an open gate to an abandoned road heading into the woods to fire up my adventurous spirit. I was off to see what I could find.
The old road didn't disappoint. There was an old bridge that was falling apart over the Lynn River that was my first stop along the way. The pavement is broken up and the concrete is losing its battle with the elements. An old foot path took me down below the bridge where an old pumping station sits, waiting to be used again once summer comes to feed water to irrigation guns.
Back onto the old road, I followed it to the end where it met back up with the concession road. My first explorative detour was complete. I pedaled West and was soon met with more opportunity. Another open gate near an abandoned section of a grave pit, it was an invitation to me to come and see what my back yard has to offer. Its funny how much you can find when you set out with no particular goal other than to find cool shit.
The old pit was a really awesome sight. The photos don't do it justice as to how big and deep it was. If I had more time I would try to find a way down to the bottom to photograph it from there, but I needed to get moving again, because of time and I was getting cold in being off the bike.
I had another road in mind to explore with a closed section and a bridge but I had to get to Dover to meet my wife. I pedaled out to a little back road that led to Dover from a "four corners" type of place. As soon as I started East, the wind hit me like a wall. I was grinding in my two lowest gears against the gusts, the occasional rest in the wind was a moment that I could build up some more momentum to take into the strong blasts ahead. I made it to Dover on time to meet Mrs. Bric. The town was very busy as everyone was there for the Polar Bear Dip. I loaded my bike into the back of the van and set out with Mrs. Bric towards the crowd at the Lake. I wasn't going in that water, no way in hell. It takes alot to get me into the water on a good day.
My brave (or insane) wife stripped down to her bathing suit and jumped in, lots of screaming and smiles. She looked cold. I'm glad I was somewhat warm and dry as the wind was bitter. Good for her I say, she thinks I'm crazy for riding my bike in cold weather but shes the one jumping into the freezing water. Maybe we are both a little crazy. At least we are starting 2016 off right by both doing something we love. Its going to be a good year, I can feel it.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.