Monday, June 26, 2006


It has been a long time since I've been on my mountain bike, the Jekyll. There are many factors that contributed to this lapse. I will name only two:

1) Bad timing of a broken spoke. It broke right as work was getting really really busy, and then winter hit. I got the spoke fixed, but there was too much snow to ride at that time.

2) I got my new Synapse. I rode said Synapse whenever the weather turned nice. The more I rode it, the more I forgot about my beloved Jekyll.

Recently, it started to really get under my skin. I've been craving the trails and the Jekyll. I find myself staring up at the mountains with no idea as to the trail conditions.

Actually over a month ago, when it first started to hit me, I bled my brakes in eager anticipation of returning to the trail, but it didn't go so well. In fact, they ended up worse than when I started. (Note to those that might think of asking me wrenching advice: I'm no good.) I ran out of time, and didn't have more time to return to it until last week.
I finally got the brakes set up, the shocks pumped up, and checked that everything else was working properly.

Then I headed out.

Besides the handlebars were too wide and the seat the wrong shape something else was wrong. I couldn't seem to get the grip I wanted. Mostly, I attributed this to being accustomed to pavement. It hadn't been that long, though. I mean, I remembered much better control off road. I didn't remember bouncing all over. After-all, I've got about 5" of suspension--front and rear.

The problem is that it was starting to mess with my mind. I mean, I've never been an outstanding rider, but I was riding really bad.

Suddenly, it occurred to me, "I pumped up my tires to 30 psi before starting. I NEVER run my tires that high." I think all that high-pressure road riding has altered my sense of right and wrong in tire pressures. I promptly dismounted, let out a TON of air, and got back on my bike.

That was it. No more bouncing. Traction and control were much improved. Everything started coming back. Everything felt just right.

I love mountain biking.

1 comment:

James Sharp said...

i've done the same on my 'cross bike. I remember thinking, "70 psi ought to do it" only to bounce around too much. On the other hand, when I've spent a ton of time on my mtn bike, I tend to under inflate my cross bike trying to get that smooth ride out of 35mm tires.