It's tricky to make both turns of this narrow boardwalk skinny (at @morcpics Theodore Wirth mtb trail) without hopping the rear wheel. But I discovered yesterday that my improved ratcheting and track stand skills gave me more precision for placement of my @advocatecycles fat bike's front wheel. I could run the wheel partially over the edges of the boardwalk which gave my rear wheel more room to make the turns without hopping. My next challenge is to use a rocking technique to reposition both wheels for both turns. That might take awhile! 40-sec vid:
That’s not a typical headline for reporting about a ride on an electric mountain bike, or more precisely, a pedal-assist eMTB. But that was my frame of mind last week when I spent 3.5 hours demoing a Specialized Turbo Levo FSR 6Fattie at the Lebanon Hills Mountain Bike Trail, courtesy of Rob Stepaniak at Erik’s Bike Shop.
I’m not in the market to buy an eMTB but I’ve been curious to see what problems I would experience on one doing the type of technical riding I like to do. When Rob saw my Facebook post about my wife’s purchase of a Pedego Commuter ebike, he contacted me to see if I was interested in a demo. Oh yeah.
(Yes, I’m fully aware of the controversy on riding eMTB bikes on singletrack mtb trails. This blog post won’t be about that but I did engage in discussion about those issues when I initially posted the photo of me and Rob on my Facebook profile here. Feel free to chime in there. Warning: I enforce civility.)
My first expectation going into the demo was that I’d appreciate the pedal-assist boost for riding uphill interim sections of the trail, i.e., those sections that don’t have any particular challenge to them. I’m rarely a racer and seldom interested in my Strava times for long segments so I’m not often in great shape. And I don’t much like riding long uphills when it’s hot and humid.
A 30-second vid of me on my @advocatecycle fat bike (Watchman) last week combining some elements I've learned recently to get up the vertical face of this boulder: track stand, 3/4 pedal stroke, lots of rear wheel unweighting while not pedaling. The trickiest part is to pause pedaling once the front wheel is up on the rock. My reptilian brain: "KEEP PEDALING! YOU'RE GOING TOO SLOW, UPHILL! YOU'LL STALL AND FALL OFF THE ROCK! YOU DON'T HAVE ENOUGH MOMENTUM! PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL!" The pause in pedaling is so that the pedals can briefly be level, providing a stable platform for the vertical unweighting (leap! explode!) that helps to carry the bike up and over the rock. It's not intuitive but most of us have a neo-cortex, so it can be learned. 😉
Some of my fellow Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails (#CROCT) board members met at my house this past week to phone, text, email, and message our 'contacts.' We're recruiting 75 volunteers to march banners in the upcoming @defeat.of.jesse.james.days parade which will net our chapter $1,000. It's not exactly glamorous work but that money will help to fund more construction of local mtb trails and bike park features. @murraygd13, @gar_brindo, Sarah Jansen, Aleasha Markley, Jeremy Bokman, & Carl Arnold (not pictured)
I'm a Cannon River Offroad Cycling and Trails (#CROCT) board member, as is @martini_ss. On August 26, we signed contract (MOU) with the City of Northfield, Minnesota for our MTB trail in Sechler Park. It took a while but the right amount of persistence and civility paid off in the end. Props to City Engineer Dave Bennett, Streets & Parks Manager Jasper J Kruggel, the Northfield Parks & Rec Advisory Board (PRAB), and the Northfield City Council for their unanimous support. And a tip of the helmet to @man.drews at @imba_midwest @imba_us for his behind-the-scenes consulting.
I was joined in hooting/hollering while riding this segment of @morcpics's Theodore Wirth Singletrack trail this week by some guy named Mick. I was riding my @advocatecycles fat bike, The Watchman. So. Much. Fun. The flowy segment that follows the drops is among the best in the Twin Cities metro area. FYI, this trail system is within two miles or so from downtown Minneapolis. 90-second video: