Chicopee jammin

You were cheated if you spent today indoors. What a great day of bonus weather!
I celebrated by putting off my last javascript quiz to go riding. OF COURSE I WENT RIDING, DUH. I was at Chicopee before noon, because I knew parking lot real estate was going to be disappearing fast. The ride was freakin awesome. I’ve been experimenting with lower and lower air pressure in my rear shock, so today I was running a plush 130lbs. After a fairly tame first section, I couldn’t talk myself out of doing the Red Trail extension, so I did it. The Red Trail is such a slow grinder of a climb, but as you go up, you can see almost all the way to the bottom of the entrance, so you feel all manly when you realize how far you have climbed in such a short distance. After the Red Trail descent, I kept pushing all the way til I got to the top of ChamPAIN hill, with no dabs or rests. Yeah I was feeling pretty freakin good.
At ChamPAIN hill, there were a couple of guys stopped, and after a quick breather I headed out as the third of a group of four. We ended up dropping the last guy pretty quickly, so the other guys stopped to wait for him, and I pushed on through. It was kind of beat because I really want to ride WITH people, so I was glad to be part of their group, but I was having such a good ride I just couldn’t wait with them. The rest of the section was spent scaring the hell out of myself, trying to run a taller gear than I usually do wherever I could.
I had decided early in the ride that I was going to “see how I felt” when it came time to do the long creek crossing to the washed out channel climb. No need to slosh through the creek if it has ben a bummer of a day, but of course, this ride was going well, so I opted IN. The crossing went well, but of course I started to lose traction on the way up the ridiculous channel climb right after the creek, so things grinded to a halt.
There are some benches at the top of the channel climb, so I settled in to wait for the guys I was with earlier to show up and see if any of them were going to make it through this incredibly tough section. Soon enough, folks started popping out of the woods, but they were different riders tan the group I had been with. I didn’t feel s bad after every single person who tried to climb ended up stopping at the same place I did. By the time the folks from the first group showed up, there were about 10-12 of us just sitting at the base of the gravel road climb.
The gravel road climb section went -okay-. I tried doing it with my rear shock locked out and honestly, I don’t think it really helped. Also, I logged the distance of that climb because it seems like it’s a zilion miles, but you know, it realy is less than a half mile? Still, that is one tough half mile. Well, it is a half mile fr me anyway…a couple of guys passed me  on the way up (they always do), but all of them turned off te climb way earlier than I did. A few folks took a path that must be a different way back to the parking lot, but a few of the guys just transferred back onto the earlier section of the Outer Loop to go another round. Have fun fellas.
I ended up finished my loop with the rear shock still locked, which actually made the last portion really fast.
I was still feeling pretty good, so I decided to pay around with my shock setting and emptied it out to about 110lbs and headed back onto the start of Outer loop. The route I did was pretty short, taking the Outer Loop to the first place where it intersects wit itself to go back to the parking lot…prolly about a mile and a half. I -really- dug the shock with that low pressure, but the front shocks having no travel and basically sucking in the worst way, it made the plushness of the rear contrast in a bad way with the harshness of the front. I want the bike to feel BALANCED suspension wise, which is never going to happen til I get some air sprung forks.
A great awesome ridiculously fun day at Chicopee. I really wish I could have stayed with that group though…riding alone all the time sucks, but I was having “one of those rides’ where you just don’t feel like waiting. Happens to everyone at some point.

Overall I did about 3.5 miles more than I usual and the intesity level was up a few percentage points as well! Fun times.

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