Better Focus


Sunday morning I sat at the computer and wrote a blog post about Saturday’s mountain bike ride. Then Wifey came into my office with some sort of failing DVD workout drama and interrupted me. I never did get around to actually publishing that post, and it was probably for the best. See, Saturday’s ride on singletrack didn’t go so well in the back and hip department, and I aborted after about 7 or 8 miles of riding. This left me in a hell of a funk, swearing that I would not even attempt to ride singletrack the rest of 2016, that all that physical therapy was a waste of time and money, and that I should just spend my Saturdays sitting in a comfy chair watching soccer, drinking until I pass out, blah, blah, blah, blah. And most of that stuff is true (especially the blah, blah, blah part).

Regardless of how poor the ride was, or how disappointed I was, I decided there was no point in spreading that self-pity around, and to focus on the fact that I had three rides under my expanding belt before I headed to MMCC to ride on Saturday, and those rides were just fine, so just get out to ride instead of sitting around bitching about one ride.

So I headed out for a 32 mile dirt road loop… On the Fatterson. I never said I was smart.


I recently picked up some Bontrager Rougarou tires for the Fatterson. They’re lower profile than the Hodags that were on, making them a good choice for gravel roads and hardpack dirt, but mounting them up was a bitch. I tried upward of ten times to get the tire to seat on the rim evenly with no luck. I was at my wit’s end and had tried nearly every trick in the book with no luck. In my entire life I have never had such an issue getting tubed tires to seat evenly. I finally sent a ranting text to my friend Chris asking for advice. He suggested some Windex around the bead and pumping them up to 30 PSI. Prior to that I had been stopping at 25 and didn’t see what difference 5 PSI would make, but I would give it a go. With no Windex in the house, I went with straight dishwashing liquid around the bead, pumped them up to 30 PSI, and what do you know, it worked–even seat, and no wobble!


So with the new meatz on I headed south to ride dirt roads. I had no real plan for the ride, but figured I would probably end up with 30 or so miles. Which after a summer of riding the Boone cross bike, would seem a LOT tougher on the Fatterson.


And I was right, it did seem tougher! Despite having fairly good legs, the effort to keep the Fatterson rolling is quite noticeable; the roads south of town were no help either with several of the roads having long stretches of washboard ruts. Even with those girthly tires underneath me, my forearms were taking a beating! I can’t imagine how rough it would have been on the Boone.


One trick to avoid the washboard sections was to ride to the far, far right of the road where the it was just soft dirt an sand–something I can only safely do on the Fatterson. While that was smoother, the effort to keep speed up in the soft dirt was considerable, and I often just found myself opting to get banged around my the ruts.


I ended the ride with a smidge over 32 miles, tired legs, aching forearms, sunburn, covered in dust, and smile on my face. While singletrack mountain biking hasn’t been working out for me, I am still riding, and scratching that creative itch with my camera, and this crap blog.

I’d be lying if I said that I’m not still a bit upset about Saturday’s crap ride. I’ve gone to the doctor, had x-rays, an MRI, and ten sessions of physical therapy. I’ve stretched, rested, worked my core, lifted weights, stretched some more and have spent hundred of dollars to not feel like shit when I ride my mountain bike and nothing has worked. The only thing I haven’t done is to try a chiropractor again. I guess there’s nothing much left to lose other than a few hundred more dollars.


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