2/27 Snow more!

Andy  approaching mile 9 marker on the local Boy Scout Trail the Kanawha Trace this past Saturday. This last little bit of snow has melted off now and wet muddy conditions have taken its place. Riding in the snow can be good clean fun, the other choice of riding without snow right now is mud. Donít be riding any muddy trails! It is not good for anything.

This has become part of what is now a two+ hour loop from my house.  A time that is skewed now by short trail maintenance  and/or some BS bushwhack sessions, clearing the trail the Winters downfalls.  So as it gets clearer it will get faster, and I will feel like I am making huge fitness improvements, without really applying any effort.   Efficiency in training - taking what I'm getting.

 

2/26 Lake Vesuvius

Open weather window - I caught the last of the exposed frozen trails before more snow moved into the area.  Nice trail ride on the Backpack trail.  Got to like that.  more   photos in this album.

2/4 Out Wayne

I made the run up from the Big Sandy River on Big Hurricane Creek Road.  Over to route 35 and back A five o' clock bolt from the brown box on some isolated roadways out past Out Wayne.  Queens Creek tour, visited Pappy and Maw maw's plot seeing how things have changed and things that have stayed the same, seems much smaller now.  Practice going up and down then up and down Wolf Creek Gap the five hundred foot climber seen above topping out.  Fifteen miles not so quick but pretty easy.

 

2/23 JRA

Just riding around checking out the cracks right in close, just in case some sweet road just happened to appear that I don't know about.  None did.  But I got in a solid two hours riding into the dark.  That is what it was all about.

2/21 What a day to ride a bike!

Sixty degrees and sunshiny skies, hope you got some of that!  We got a little mix of a little road and little KT (5 thru 11) with some wandering around the camp and some ridges, Adahi,  Blue Blaze and then a huge hikin' bushwhack and more of the like the same back.   Three man crew covering some ground in the woods and enjoying the day/exploring type of riding.  Twenty miles in too many hours with lots of little head and trail grooming, which makes it okay.  Dropped out of the KT at Howells Mill Road and Andy and Jay headed for the Mud river while I split off up into Canaan Lands, for my #2 head wall work out (and the funnest way home).   The legs doing what needed to be done to keep me on the bike this time around.  250 foot elevation gain in less than a half mile.  Doesn't really sound like much, or maybe it does.  Because it is about  as steep and as long as I can handle with the one two to one gear.  for now.

Jay in Mayhoodwood

KT techie tester finishes up

 

out on the goat (KT Mile11) all down/all single

Called the "goat" just for the reason that when we first started riding it, we seen a goat on it.  Not a "goat" from the movie Waiting variety, but of the normal animal variety.  Just a name for a point of reference thing that makes it easier for some people to know where they are going or where they have been.  And when I say some people I mean me.  After a while the mile markers sink in and are posted and all so really those are more precise.  But when you have a top to bottom run on all do-able single track, well it needs some flavor

 

2/20 This day was like that day

 

Hitting some different lines within a few miles from the house,  cleaning,  clearing, and just making tracks on one of the sweetest single track sections of the KT (a short flat technical testing section along mile 9). The end of Big Cabell has its accessibility issue down along the farm bottom that is, well a wet mud bog, if it is not froze over.  I have dreamed (and searched) for sensible reroute for years.  The word is there is supposed to be a foot bridge going over the last creek on the other end is some not so distant future.  That will help with one more dismount section,

but not here...

cheesy dismount

 

2/19 The way I see it

I don't know.  I like the shadow shots.  Crank the contrast way up, bump the colors up some.  It seems like oranges and yellow naturally come out.  Makes sense to me.  It's all warm and cozy.  But even in the original brown, after all the snow that we have had laying around could be considered a welcomed tone. 

 

    

 

It passes the time

 

 

2/14 Rolling On

It was the kind of ride that I didn't really know where I was going to go.  Not really wanting to ride the road, but the trails where in a state of slush that would not be any good for any thing.  Dropped out of the Heights and put the wind to my back.  Kilgore Creek would be the first option to loose some road lines and get off of rt 60.  Turned into a 30 mile loop with some snow and ice packed roads that are purdy flat.  Well except for those two headwalls...

there is some work to be done here

 

2/13 Thriving

The trails are just about like trails again, (for today) took the trails down to Andy's  and escaped the killing wind chill in the woods on the Boy Scout trails the Adahi and Kanawha Trace - Six mile downhill back to Wildcat. 

 

2/12 Safety Check

Installed the front brake for some more sensible off road control.  Spun it out and mostly down to Howells Mill, hit the blue blazes to the KT around mile 8.  Nailed the questionable do-able relentless steepness 10 steps before the top of the Canaan Lands paved climb.  No shame.  In Walking.  This time.  So close.  Mental lapses in the dark.  Full control descending freshness on the goat trail (KT 11 to McComas Branch)

just checking the rear-vis

 

2/9 Squeezing One In

Enjoying the longer days of light, with a little spinning at Barboursville Park.  Keeping it in the low lands and the river trail.  

 

2/8  In search of Limitations

With the bike set up still brakeless, I ventured out from out high on Mt Zion in Mason County for some crusty back roads and onto a little piece of the Kanawha Trace to introduce my bike to what it would be spending a good part of its life.  It was a little scary and I was a little timid, due mostly to not having developed a feel for the bike and what it/I could handle. 

snow braking to control speed

KT debutant

limitation found - respect gained

 

2/7 Wait for it ...

I have been waiting a long time for this one, even before that nasty crack  in the old  Bianchi frame appeared back in February of 09.  That lugged steel frame served  me well as a single speed with it's silly little 26" wheels and out-dated 1" headset.  When the chance any warrantee fell through my search for an updated bike was stepped up a bit. 

I have to thank Pete from Athens Bicycle for putting this bike under me and in my hands.  He made me a deal that I couldn't procrastinate my way out of any longer.  One ride on this carbon frame and the ride sells itself.  Not steel, true.  Just better.  This is the same frame that you can pick up at your local Gary Fisher dealer, if you are lucky!

I was holding off from the whole 29er thing due to certain limitations in the design geometry of most bikes out there.  Bigger/taller wheels means taller headsets which means your handlebars could not easily or sensibly be lower or even equal in respect to your saddle.  For a bike to be comfortable to my riding position, that is key.  The new G2 geometry on the Superfly answers that question very well.  I have a small rise handle bar on there now with a couple of spacers under that, so I have a range of adjustment to work with.  I have moved my handlebar position upward in relation to what I had previously run, which should provide some more control when things point down.

I was also very shy on the idea of any eccentric bottom bracket.  A single speed needs some way to keep chain tension adjustable, and I had heard mixed reviews on any EBB.  Horizontal dropouts  at the rear wheel is another option but can make removing the rear wheel with disk brakes a hassle, with the brake caliper needing to be moved out of the way, in some cases.  The Superfly answers this beautifully with its sliding vertical dropouts.

I also considered those big ole 29 inch wheels as liability.  Heavier means slower to bring to speed and less nimble.  Enter Stans ZTR 355  rims that I laced up to some very blingy Chris King Hubs for a light weight wheel set that is equal to my 26" wheelset, tires and all.  May be stupid light, but only time will tell on that one.

I rounded out the drivetrain with a Phil Wood bottom bracket coupled to an old XT square tapered crank from the parts bin.  I pieced together some of the discarded/saved pieces of a bunch of Seidi-Sachs 8 speed chains (the eight or ten links left over from new chain installations) that I knew would come in handy one day.  That drives a 16 tooth tomiCOG that bolts up to the King hub where the disk rotor normally goes for normal people. 

A race swag carbon seat post comes up a little short on the limit line and won't see any real action.  I have a longer tank of a post that I will run till I decide what will be holding up the WTB Rocket Saddle in the long run.  Bolt on Ourys and a one inch riser bar scavenged from the basement round out the cockpit.

So this was ride #1 on the single speed - my 45 minute cul-de-sac suburb spin to check out and fine tune the build.  Set up with no brakes other than what a 32x16 fixed gear can provide.  As it sits here -19 pounds and 14 oozes. 

 

 

2/3 The Good Dirt

 

Who would have thought that THE place to ride would be in nearby Athens, Ohio?  The trails there where spared from the last snow storm that blanketed most of this area here abouts.  Combine that with some frozen solidness for a couple of good hours out with Pete and Mer from Athens Bicycle on the old mountain bike.  Strouds Run out and hitting the Thunder Bunny, uh hmm. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Barboursville FAT Tire Brethren

Beech Fork Association of Trails

 

 

bFAT is an informal group of riders who appreciate the land and ride for a healthy well being.

 

 

Beech Fork is mostly a single track trail that follows around the lake leading into a combination of creek bed, hill climb, and fast downhill back to the lake.  Barboursville's Park has some nice runs from the top with  numerous scenic overlooks from the  sheer  cliffs and steep drops. The flat single track that follows the river and comes out behind the lake - is where the real fun can begin or end. Click on the link at top of page - above left to see a map!    The  Kanawha Trace and Adahi Trails are 32 mile and  17 mile multi user trails crossing over private land.  Check with the Tri-State Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America for trail information and registration.

      

bFAT email groupo<----click here  Become a part of an e-group forum that will let all subscribers communicate (free!). Send an e-mail with the word "join" in the subject or body and you'll get hooked up with other riders, to do fun group rides, get trail info and conditions, technical advice, etc.

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for more info  administrator at bike bFAT