Posted: February 01, 2013 in Cycling
As I mentioned in my previous post, 2012 was the first year I rode (or even knew about) a mountain bike ride called the MoCo Epic. The ride basically circumnavigates the entire county and encompasses 11 different parks (if you do the full ride), and it's 85% singletrack, so just a few bits of paved sections to connect the dirt. There were 25-mile, 35-mile, 50-mile, and 65-mile options. Me being me, I of course opted for the long one, which after all was said and done ended up being closer to 68 miles, and included over 5000' of climbing. My GPS recorded a max grade of over 40%, so there were some steep sections.
There were nine rest stops, all sponsored by different bike shops, which had various forms of food (and in one case, entertainment in the form of a hula dancer). I spend an average of around 10 minutes at each stop, so if you subtract that 90 minutes from my total ride time, you get right around 8-1/2 hours of solid riding. Needless to say, my thighs were pretty well baked by the time I finished.
I used my Jamis for the ride, which I recently upgraded to a Rock Shox Monarch RT3 rear air shock, an upgrade that's really woken the bike up and made it a whole different animal. I tried out some new tires too, finally losing the Panaracer Smoke/Dart combo for some Maxxis Ardents. They're huge tires, and barely clear the swingarm.
Here's a pic of how the bike currently looks:
It's got a few new bits that I added in 2012, including some Jagwire cables that I think are now my standard "go-to" cable. Words can't describe how much they improved the shifting. I don't have much left to do to the bike now, other than maybe some new brake pads, as the ones on it were toast by the end of the Epic. I'm thinking about Jagwire pads (yeah, they make pads too), so if you have any experince with them, leave a comment below.
Probably the biggest change (other than the shock) is my switch to flat bars. I have always been a huge advocate of my trusty old Scott AT3-LF bars, but I really wanted to try something wider and see what this wide bar trend was all about. After a few rides, I've gotten used to them, and they are better than the Scotts. But there IS a limit, for me at least, as to how wide a bar can get, so I did trim the ends a bit. Just have to watch my knuckles on the trees now, as I don't have the wrapped ends to protect me. In the end, these same bars went on my Trek 9700, so they couldn't have been too bad, eh?
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