(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.
This past summer, fellow mountain biker and uber volunteer Bill Nelson used his Ford Tractor to help CROCT, our local mountain bike club, fashion various obstacles in our new skills park area along our Sechler Park mountain bike trail. I soon became his apprentice operator and it inspired me to take on the role of skills park ‘dirt boss’ for the trail. More details and skills park photos in this CROCT blog post.
My three grown sons teamed up to buy me a GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition for Father’s Day, my birthday, and probably of couple-three Xmases. It arrived yesterday and I got a chance to play with it today for about 30 minutes. I think I’m going to like it.
I took the photo on the right above using its time lapse mode, set at .5 seconds. For the 30-second video clip below, I took the advice of fellow mountain biker Jon Theis at Entice Media Works and set the video resolution to 720p and the fps to 120, then slowed it down to 25% speed with software. Super smooth slomo indeed. I was startled to see my IMBA downhill jersey fluttering in the breeze.
I rode Leb a couple weeks ago on my 29’er hardtail. I had about 15 PSI in my skinny Maxxis Ardent 2.4″ tires, with rear tubeless. I’m 150 pounds. Since the intermediate loop was packed pretty well and reasonably wide, I thought I’d be fine. NOT.
If I didn’t stay in the hard center, the softer edges of the packed area would often derail me. I kept thinking “lean the bike more” and “keep your eyes ahead.” I tried standing up more, then sitting down more. Nothing worked. I then ran into Bob Shepherd and a small gang on fatties and told them my tale of woe. Bob and another guy squeezed my tires and said they were way too hard, and in a way that left no doubt of their convictions. I wasn’t as sure but I promptly began letting out air and as Bob got ready to depart, he asked me if I had a pump in case I let out too much. I did.