Today On A Bike

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I joined some friends for a fun summer day riding mountain bikes at Brown County in Bloomington Indiana yesterday. We had a great time enjoying the weather and trails.

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We all stopped for a great dinner at Upland Brewery before going our own ways. The restaurant and brewery have expanded since I was last there a few years ago, but the quality and atmosphere was as good as ever.

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Driving home listening to good music, watching the bugs accumulate on my windshield in true summertime tradition, and taking in the warm glowing summer sun was the perfect ending to the trip. It was one of those great kinds of trips that I’ll remember for a while.

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Today On A Bike

2016-05-30 12.20.14-2

I’m sitting in a plane on a runway in Texas thinking about riding and the experiences it provides me. I spent the last bit in Photoshop editing a few pictures from last weekends St. Louis mountain biking trip with friends. Chubb in St. Louis is a great trail that I fall more in love with every time I ride it. It’s got the most tech within three hours of driving that I’ve found. It’s not a long trail but it packs a rocky, techy punch in terms of midwest terrain. I love it.

I stared at the “staircase” at Chubb for what feels like the fifth trip without taking the drop line. I took the rollable line yet again. I had intentions of trying it but bailed on it again based on how sketchy the run up is, being filled with foot size rocks sprinkled everywhere.

While we were there, we sessioned the “staircase” a bit and I caught a friend going for a ride over his bars, but he’s alright.

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This trip confirmed the I thoughts had from my Alabama mountain bike trip earlier this year, I love my Ibis HD3. It’s perfect in every aspect from what I’ve ridden.

The parts I swapped in the spring were great changes. The change to a one by drivetrain is amazing. For trail riding, the gear range allows for a slow crawling gear to get up about anything and the top end is plenty fast for my needs, all without ever needing to change front chainrings. What’s not to love? The mix match of Sram XX01 cassette and XX1 chain paired with the Shimano 11 speed XTR shifter and XTR 11 speed rear derailleur works flawlessly with the help of the Wolf Tooth chainring and Goat Link. All of that wordy jargon translates into an experience on the bike that when pedaling at any cadence shifts without any fuss. It has all the range I’ll need, and also allows me to grab a handful of gear changes at once. Need to throw the shifter three clicks after cresting a hill, no problem.

The Slaughter rear tire rolls far better than any all mountain has a right to while also maintaining a vicious ability to grab the ground when asked to corner hard. It’s the best of both worlds. The riding experience on the tire even avoids the one thing I was worried about, a harsh transition from the small knobbed fast rolling center to the big knobbed biting outer knob section. As far as I’ve been able to tell, it’s seamless and the traction is linear, it doesn’t get loose and then bite in a big way. Say what you want about Specialized, but they know tires and on top of that, they mount tubleless without any fuss and are cheaper than most alternatives. Win, win, win, I’m sold.

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It was a great trip with great people. A great way to spend a sunny Memorial Day.

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Today On A Bike

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My wife, my amazing wonderful wife, got me a GoPro Hero 4 Black for my birthday It’s been fun learning how to best use it for what I want out of it The mountain bike pictures are from yesterday riding Wildlife MTB trails in Peoria Illinois with friends The trails are rocky and offer both tight tech as well as flow, a great time if you’re in the area.

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Bonus pictures from last week on the road bike I bought a couple of K-Edge GoPro mounts on the advice of a friend I bought a saddle rail camera mount as well as a mount for under my Garmin mount, allowing me to shoot video or take pictures facing forward or backward.

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I’ll post more thoughts about the GoPro and mounts as time goes onFor now, I’m enjoying summer.

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Today On A Bike

2016-03-06 15.13.53

I went in search of some different riding today. My time on a trainer, rollers, and riding pathways left me hungry for a gravel adventure. The gravel roads around Mackinaw, IL were the setting for a good day outside. Mid-ride I took a wrong turn from what I had loaded into my Garmin. Luckily, even riding off course was enough to have a good time.

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