I was hoping to get out for another century this weekend, but my Garmin was dead(I think the battery is failing). So I decided to make a trail ride/gear test day out of it. I was testing my frame mounted winter hydration system, vaper barrior clothing, and my first real attempt to ride platform pedals in about 15years.
Started out at Dehns in Burlington. Unfortunately the trail is already an ice holed, hiker rutted, bumpy mess. And apparently the fourwheelers came back for Thanksgiving, as there's a whole new batch of wheeler ruts. Damn, I was hoping maybe it would stay smooth for the winter, but I think Shimek's equestrian trails are smoother right now.
So I did a lap, loaded up, and headed for Spring Lake in Macomb. I haven't ridden over there in a year or so, so I wasn't sure what I'd find.
Freakin sweet trail, as always, is what I found. Perfect conditions, minus the slightly icy bridges.
I chickened out on this one and took the hill next to it. The spiral bridge above the drop way pretty slick, and that drop ramp has paint on it under that snow. That thing is slick when it's dry.
So the results of my testing:
Frame mounted hydration system: works sort of. The hose is still the weak point, gotta be real sure you get all the water to drain back into the bottle.
Vapor barrior clothing: Also works sort of. The vapor barrior did indeed keep my insulating layers dry. All I need to do now is find some XL long cuff nitril gloves to keep my cuffs from getting soaked, and wear my RBH Next to Skin shirt next to my skin instead of leaving a base to soak underneath, and find some insulation layers with pit zips so I can adjust my venting before sweating out in the first place.
Platforms: Umm. I don't think I lose anything climbing as I can still granny spin and mash my way up everything. I do feel like I'm losing a little control on the tech stuff though. Place where I would normally be able to put the bike where I want it are a little harder to ride. It's been awhile, more rides should improve that. For really cold winter riding I may not have a choice, as they really are warmer than clipless.
On a somber note, cycling legend of Burlington, Dan Ring, passed away last week. Dan was a botany professor at SouthEastern Community College, daily bicycle commuter and advocate, and a super nice guy. The kind of guy that always had a nice thing to say and a smile on his face. I regretfully missed the ride to his funeral services last weekend. He died at a wisened age of a heart attack while riding his bike. I suppose there are worse ways to go. He was fit and functioning till the end, and died doing something he loved. I hope I am so lucky. I wish I would have known him better. Dan, you will be missed.