Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fall Weekend Riding, and a Quiz

Fall is the best season for riding in Ohio. In addition to enjoying the beautiful trees, the trails are usually in pretty good shape, I'm usually in pretty good shape, and the weather is often ideal, cool and no bugs.

For various reasons, I haven't done any mountain biking in the past month, so I set out to fix that this weekend. Saturday after soccer, we were talking about what to do for the rest of the day, and Jodi asked, "why don't you go riding?" No need to ask that question twice, I headed out with the Ritchey for my first lap of P1 this year:

P1 was quite a mess all spring and summer, so I've been avoiding it until now. It's a nice change of pace, and nice to get back to, but man is that a bumpy, rooty trail! Almost, I was wishing for full suspension, but I'm not there yet. After all, I still have my fatbike:

Those big tires do a pretty fair job of shock absorption, as I found out on a ride this morning to Chestnut Ridge. Peter, Jesus, and I met there this morning:

Jesus, on maybe his second mountain bike ride, had little problem keeping us in sight. I'm going to have to work to stay ahead of these young guys!

On this ride, I experienced my personal fat bike fear: a flat tire. An inch long thorn punched into my front tire. As I feared, a mini-pump takes a long time to pump up a fat tire. I had to ask Peter to spell me on the pumping. One of these days, I'll attempt to make the fattie tubeless.

Tire inflated, our ride was otherwise pretty drama free. Peter is fat-curious, so he borrowed the Mukluk for a few miles, and came away impressed. I enjoyed the Muk as well: I don't think I could make a fat tire bike my only ride, but it does make for a nice change of pace.

Near the parking lot, we tried out the new pump track. It was the first time for all of us to try a pump track, and you can see the amazing air we were able to get:

(I can only get air because I have clipless pedals)

Saturday, I had two other rides: I took my then-29er slick tire shod Mukluk out for a pre-dawn ride (no pictures, it was dark), and Sam and I took the Cheviot on a Kroger run:

Sam is always up to go to Kroger, since they usually have free cookies in the bakery. The Cheviot did fine with this rear load, but I'm not really warming up to this bike. The mixte frame still looks awkward to me, the brakes are just adequate, and the various details strike me as kind of foppish. Also, for the money I spent on it, I could instead get, for instance, a Soma Wolverine frame, a CL sport touring bike, AND maybe another CL find. Or almost pay for a new Vassago Verfatten frame. What? At least Rivs hold their value well.

Rewinding back to last weekend, instead of a big ride, I took everything in the stable out for a lap around Avery Park. Here's the quiz part of this post: identify two themes in these pictures:

In a pathetic attempt to drive up my comments, I'll ask that you make your guesses there. Winner gets a Bike and Playgrounds T shirt! (not really).

Lastly, and not at all bike related, some pictures for my mom of kids that also like fall:

I didn't even ask Sam to rake, he just started doing it.

I need to get my fall riding in while I can. Even with a fatbike to look forward to snow riding with, I know it won't equal what we have now.


  1. I'll take a stab (Halloween pun)...
    Your bikes and that water tower?
    And my boys thank you for the idea to rig the trailer behind the trail-a-bike.

    1. Hi Pat,
      Thanks for guessing! The water tower is one, but something more specific about the bike....

      Have fun with the bike train combo. We got a lot of mileage out of it, though we've barely used either the trailer or the trail-a-bike this summer.


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