There’s a rule of thumb around here that I picked up in the MTBR forums – don’t go ride singletrack if you wouldn’t ride in your own yard. Saturday and Sunday – absolutely no chance that I’d ride in my yard. This afternoon – four warm days; there’s been a decent amount of melt and runoff, so I figured it was marginal to ride. Given that there was a new bike to be ridden, the balance was tilted in favor of riding.
So, after work, I made it over to Arcadia, 14,000 acres (or about 75% of Rhode Island’s land area), for a little bit of off-roading. I stuck to the ridgelines, and the riding was wonderful. The sandy areas were extremely loose, but the new bike is sporting 2.1″ tires, which seem to float. I used to be a big believer in skinnier tires for off-road, but today’s ride seem to refute that.
Mostly I stuck to two-track – new bike, new disc brakes, and a long time since I’ve ridden off-road, but the couple of sections of real singletrack I tackled were wonderful – classic New England – babies heads, roots, fallen branches, and tunnels through rhodendron. There was still ice in some of the low points, and I wiped out a couple of times, bike sliding sideways from under me, damp leaves crunching under my shoulder. Nothing finer.
Tomorrow’s back to running – 3 miles easy.
Postscript: New England will get its pound of flesh for a wonderful late winter ride – my front tire was completely flat by the time I got home, courtesy of a thorn.