Lying in bed last night listening to the howling winds and teeming rain I thought dang you’ve really gotta love riding in the bush to plan a 20-30km single track ride when the forecast includes sleet, hail, storms, strong winds with a cosey temperature around ride time of 6 degrees to top it off. Either that or you’re just plain NUTS.
Pulling back the curtains after a night of wild weather the sky was… blue. Cold and windy, but blue. Awesome. Four shots of coffee and poached egg in the tank, I hooked up with MadHatter from Bendigo and we headed out to the Edge of the Burbs to get the ride underway.
One of the best things about the Baco trails is that they hardly ever get what you’d consider genuinely muddy – the terrain is just so rocky with minimal topsoil that water drains away rapidly. The trails might not have been muddy but after the overnight rain they were super slick and slippery. Combined with a balding Crossmark rear tire it meant that skid marks were the order of the day (I’m looking forward to putting some new rubber on and having some traction to mess around with). The varying level of grip really kept us on our toes, and also lead to quality time off the edge of the trail and in amongst the trees. I love it when trails are super tacky with endless grip but I think low grip conditions improves your riding much more – forcing you to continually adjust your pedal stroke and body position to maximize grip.
Amazingly the weather didn’t crap out for the entire time making for enjoyable riding conditions. I was surprised to read news of wild weather and related warnings for other parts of the state when I got back home. As Jim Carey said in The Grinch the sun was shinin’, and the powder was bitchin’. Ok well maybe the sun wasn’t shining any more but it wasn’t dumping rain and that’s bitchin’ good enough.
Mojo-wise, Squirt has been an awesome summer lube but I wasn’t impressed with how it performed in the rain the other day. Within a couple of hours the chain was seizing up with grit, making the bike only just able to be ridden home. Digging around in the shed I found an old bottle of Syncros System 3 Power Train Lube I’d had stashed in a toolbox since the mid 1990’s. It’s specifically for extreme wet and muddy conditions — a thick, sticky blood red goo — maybe overkill for local conditions, maybe good for lubing the chainsaw. The Bike Vault hooked me up with some White Lightning Wet Ride (cute name hey, Wet Ride) to try out. Thanks guys!
I guess today wasn’t a real test of how well the White Lightning heavy lube works as while conditions were slippery it wasn’t what you’d call a wet or muddy ride. It worked well enough though and I’ll probably end up using a more robust lube over the winter months. To be continued…
It’s bucketing rain ATM. You gotta get lucky every now and then 🙂