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Nothing keeps me from pounding gravel during the week and lighting up the trails on the weekend. Winter is the best time of the year to ride. Most ones you have the trail all to yourself. You work up a sweat and stay comfortable. You don’t have the bugs in your eyes and teeth. The sound of your rig on the trail sounds better because the air is crisper and quieter. I am highly allergic to poison ivy so no trails in the late spring till the first frost. Let’s go eat some dirt.
I take a spill now and then. Nothing more than a bump and bruises. Sometimes a sprain wrist, elbow, ankle, or a knee. When I was in my early 20’s I took the crash of a lifetime. Four friends and I were pushing our limits on a well known trail. We had just rode it the week before. I was in front heading down to the river. A nice downhill section with some tight turns. We just got rollin and rounded the first turn when I saw a good size tree limb. All I could do is pull a wheelie and hope to control the rear end. Not the case. I was sent into a cartwheel flipping four times before coming to a stop with my bike on top of me. My friends pulled my bike off of me and was talking to me to see if I was still conscious. I did the systems check and didn’t feel to bad except for my left ankle. I had blood on my sock. When I took off my shoe and sock I saw that the axle had pierced the skin between the Achilles Tendon and the ankle bone. It went clean through. I was very lucky it didn’t hit the bone or tendon. My friend had some whiskey in a flask. I took a good swig then I put the flask on the hole and gave it a good squeeze till it came out the other side. I sat there for a few minutes more than put my sock and shoe back on. I walked around a bit to see if I was able to get home. Unbelievably it didn’t hurt that much so we set off to finish the ride after tweaking my bars and saddle back into place. My friends still can’t believe that I finished that ride.
I never ware them. Is just a matter of time before you end up hitting someone or something. You can also have someone hit you if you stop and can’t hear what is around you. The whole experience of trail riding is to see AND HEAR what is around you. Why drowned out nature, if you need all that noise stay home and ride your trainer. I have run over a opossum, raccoon, rabbit, snakes, and one bird. You might be next!
I have logged 2000 miles this year in 123 rides. Mostly on gravel, 20 or so on dirt. My farthest rid being 106 miles. I don’t log my commute due to it only being three blocks from the house one way. Working two jobs makes it hard to stay consistent. Short rides early in the morning before work and long rides on the weekend. Trail riding, fall through spring. Thanks to Strava I can keep track of all that info. Hope to do better next year if all goes well. Miles don’t matter a hole lot to me, it’s the thrill of seeing new places and finding off the wall sights.
It’s all about what is comfortable for you. I went with the Fuel EX 7. Fit my price range and it’s not more bike than I could put to it’s full potential here in Kansas. Talk to your local bike dealers they are the experts.
I’ve never owned a high end bike till this year. I didn’t think that they were worth the money. Now that my wife gave me the ok to go all out for our budget, I find that they are worth every penny. The ride is so much smoother and easier that it really brings out the best out of you. My Trek Fuel EX 7 was $2,800 and will be the only one she will let me have. I can live with that!!!!!!!