Wednesday, December 13

Simple kinda meh

Given perhaps the one notable thing I've ever done in the name of making great bike race involved riding in the dark for almost twelve hours, I sure am terrible at night riding nowadays.

I went out for my first, out-the-door, after work night ride since moving into the new neighborhood Monday night.  There's a loose group that heads out at the beginning of the work week, but for "reasons," I haven't been able to make it out since moving into the new place.  I didn't think I'd be able to go this past Monday, but everything started to line up for me around 5:45PM.  A mad scramble later, I had my lights, clothes, and bike ready for an evening spin.

Roll down the hill to Leaf Lyfe's house at 6:50PM, meet up with Jim and Burton, head into the woods.

I'm not sure what to blame my poor performance on.  Slick roots, wet leaves, poorly aimed lights, riding my JaBronson for only the 5th(?) time... dunno.  I was struggling.

It's not like we all didn't have our moments out there.  I don't think any of use escaped without touching the floor (or at least coming close) once or twice.  I certainly felt overwhelmed.

I think it had to do with a certain amount of over stimulus.  Not only was I constantly fiddling with my light position, I was screwing up on using the shifty bits properly AND kinda having a hard time with the handling of my bike cycle.  I knew the JaBronson wasn't really made to be THE bike for 7 MPH average trails with 90° turns every twenty feet, but that's how the Backyard Trails seem to work sometimes.

It felt like the first time I tried to play a video game that was one generation further along in the evolution of gaming past Super Nintendo.  That was the last time I was able to comprehend how to use a controller and understand how my manual input affected what was happening on the TV screen.

Okay, mebbe I could handle Wii Tennis, but I think that was designed to keep toddlers happy since kids are no longer allowed to play outside.

As much as I love my JaBronson and enjoy what it can do, I'll probably be going for my Vertigo Meatplow V.7 for future night rides, at least for the near future.  It's the closest thing I have to this:

And I was very good at Night Driver, so this is very much a crossover skill.

Anyways, I thought the forgiving suspension would allow me to run into things I can't see with fewer consequences, but for right now, I need as few things as possible to wrap my head around... if I want to stop rolling around in the wet leaves on my ass.


Eric Gadlage said...

And the balloon has started to deflate....

dicky said...

Nah, I still love the JaBronson. Even at the BYT (in the daylight), I have a blast. It's not 100% optimal out there, but I'm getting away with a lot more than I did on my hard tails.

And I did buy the JaBronson specifically for trails that more along the lines of what a slack, long travel, crabon shifty bike was made for originally. I just need to get my ass to Pisgah ASAP and often.

hellbelly said...

I don't know. My daily driver is 160mm travel 29er. I ride it on local cruisers, XC rides, in bike parks and all the craziness available in N GA, E TN, W NC. I think the concept of "too much bike" is bullshit. You simply find different ways to ride "easier" trails day or night. Maybe I ride faster, practice my half-assed trials skills along the way, whatever. It's all fun. Seems like your Brony is offering you a new challenge in your neighborhood, but I agree as I too need to get my ass to Pisgah ASAP more often.

Dream Plus said...

Put your light on your helmet.

Glen Evans said...

i am sure by this time next year you will be able to wheel the jabronson with the best riders in the area.

dicky said...


Not "too much bike." Just not exactly the kinda riding it's designed to do. Still fun and I don't really want some fast handling, short travel bike for one trail. I've ridden way "bigger" bikes for years on trails that don't merit it. My first ride with a double triple clamp fork was at Tsali of all places.

Dream Plus,

I had lights on the bars and the helmet. Just not wear I wanted each one because I don't have a 35mm clamp (yet).

Anonymous said...

You probably weren't enjoying trails beers when you were world champion.