I went out for a night ride Thursday with the boys from SMBA. We did an 11 mile route in about 3 hours, but only about 2 of actual riding. The venue was Lake Glendale, which is pretty good for night riding because its not as rough. Our destination was the Fist of God, a secluded box canyon with a large chunk of rock that resembles a giant fist. There were 12 brave souls on the ride.
- It was soft and muddy in places
- It was exceptionally warm
- I kept up with the fast guys for awhile
- My first night ride on a rigid.
- I buried myself on a climb and recovered fairly well.
It was soft and muddy and I usually don’t ride well in those conditions. My heavier weight sinks in and I have a hard time keeping moving. I could definitly tell it Thursday night, but it wasn’t as bad as usual. It has been unseasonably warm for February lately, many of us were wearing shorts last night, I really wished I could take off my long sleaved shirt that was under my summer jersey.
We had a real good mix of guys, some newer, others old veterans and a few guys that race. I found myself up front with the racers after the first climb and hung on with them until the first regroup stop. I stayed with them for a couple of miles more but when we hit a very soft longish climb I was no longer able to hang on. I fought my back to them a few times but would spin out or get hung. It was exhasuting.
I’ve never ridden a rigid at night and found it was much scarrier then riding my dually. With the big 150mm front fork you can pretty safely run most stuff over without to much fear. On the rigid line choice becomes paramount and since its harder to see down the trail and plan out line choice I suffered a bumpy ride. Finally I was very proud of hanging wiht my buddy Elam up a long tough climb on the way back. I have walked parts of this climb many times before. With Elam’s steady grinding pace we caught up with the racers near the top and hung with them until the end.