Paul Andrews

Posts Tagged ‘intense bicycles’

Today’s Ride: White on White

In Mountain Biking, Today's Ride on February 26, 2009 at 1:50 pm

True to forecast there was fluffy white stuff all round this morning. I guess in Seattle we still consider it a novelty, although we’ve gotten mercilessly dumped on this winter. Hopefully today’s spritz will quickly disappear.

But having promised to get out and ride, and having a rep to uphold, and not wanting to disappoint my fan base (photo below), I ventured out on the Intense 6.6 for some x-sno games. It was slippery, but hey, I had my matching white Lopes pads to protect me.

I popped over to lower Woodland Park, ready to rock. The first problem, of course, was the iced-up derailleur:

Snow fun: Clogged drivetrain

Snow fun: Clogged drivetrain

Eventually if it’s cold enough, you get to the point where the derailleur won’t shift. Today wasn’t going to be a problem, the snow was too wet. I tooled around for awhile, then headed for the jumps down below.

Note white matching pads

Note white matching pads

C’mon. That’s a joke. I was on a bike, not a snowboard.

Where the snow wasn’t melted it was fun. Where it was it was mucky. I got a nice wet brown stripe down my back. Soon enough my fingers went dead so I decided to head back home. Not a great ride, but given the conditions I’ll take it.

In any case, the elements showed off the custom pearl paint job on the Intense, which I call White Flite.

White on White

White on White

The main thing was not to disappoint my fan base. Who could break this heart?

Also white on white!

Also white on white!

Today’s Ride: Lower Woodland Mellow

In Mountain Bike Trail Reviews, Mountain Biking, Today's Ride on February 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm

I’m fortunate enough to live close to Green Lake and Woodland Park, so ride time is just about any time. When the weather is threatening, I stay fairly close to home and practice stuff. Lower Woodland Park, with some rollicking trails, a jump strip and log rolls, is a good place to get in a workout and work on skillz. Since I no longer do the annual Chilly Hilly (having put in a good half a dozen years in the ’80s when I was road cycling), I missed the Bainbridge Island festivities today. The Seattle P-I reports things went well.

With light rain falling, I cruised on over to the park for an hour and a half of fun. There’s a drop-in above the jump strip where you can do a couple of ledge hops and pick up good speed, then fly off a lip on the upside. I really nailed one run but got a little higher than usual and almost nosed the landing. Fortunately I kept my tail end back far enough to maintain control. It helps to have a coil shock, too, on my Intense 6.6. I’ve got good pre-load and the bike tends to stay put even on off-camber landings. The rear shock, a Fox DHX 5.0, has saved my bacon on more than one occasion.

On a little grassy knoll I like to practice manuals, track stands and hip turns. This is harder than it might seem. You need a measure of upper body strength to maintain control of a mountain bike, in addition of course to balance. Doing these drills keeps you on task for when the challenges come.

Then I dropped down to the jump strip. I’m not a great jumper, partly because I’m too big and tall, and too old. The reflexes aren’t what they used to be, and I can’t afford broken bones. So I keep things pretty tame. There’s a lower-level run that I like to do, but the big stuff I lay off of. I will say that the Lower Woodland jumps aren’t the greatest. Only really good jumpers can maintain enough momentum to clean the whole line; most mortals run out of speed mid-stream. The runs at Sea-Tac are much more gravity-driven. At Lower Woodland you have to pump way too much.

If you want to see it done right, here’s Kyle of Transition Bikes nailing a run.

Wish I could do that! Still, it was a lot of fun. There were a couple of other guys there feeling their way, so we compared notes and commiserated on not being better. The point, though, is to leave with a smile on your face, and that we did manage to pull off in spades.

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