A bit of envelope pushing at Wakefield Park for some evening trail riding. My friend Jonathan is a serious mountain biker and we've been musing about hitting up this park which happens to be roughly in between our two homes for some time now. Call it a Polar Vortex miracle but we finally pulled the trigger this week and settled on Thursday. Great night to be outside, the vortex has removed the typical mid-summer humidity and heat from the region and left us a warm but very comfortable setting.
The ride gave my my first real opportunity to test out the new bosco handlebar setup for the MB-5 as you see here. While I hadn't gotten the bike out for a serious test my friend Ryan's son had borrowed it for a scout trip and he apparently had a great time with it. He also left it with two broken rear wheel spokes, a flat tire and a busted shift cable but all of these were easily fixable. I had a 'spare' 135mm, 26" wheel w/ 7 spd freewheel laying around by chance and managed to get the bike back in tip top condition Wednesday night in prep for the ride.
No pictures from the ride itself I'm afraid, suffice it to say that we were out for about 1 1/2 hours returning to the vehicles around 9PM as it started to get dark. I was fully prepared to be left in Jonathan's dust both from a conditioning, experience and equipment perspective. Aside from his significant mountain bike saddle time he was riding a cool double suspension bike (carbon?) that sported a hydraulic button operated seatpost lower-er-er... pretty spiffy! The MB-5 looked a bit antiquated but it aquited itself extremely well.
I believe that Wakefield is considered to be a very easy mountain biking course, i.e. not to 'technical'. But it had some thrilling rides as far as I was concerned, I"d been there several times before but this time I had the benefit of merely following Jonathan's lead as he picked our route through a web of ~8 miles of single track, double track, slaloming descents, some mild bumps, creek crossings and wooded trails along a creek.
I managed to stay on the bike for the most part, no catastrophic instances in any case. I was thrilled at the leverage and comfort that the 55cm Bosco Bar's gave me, the 2.1" knobbies picked up second hand last year worked great giving me just a bit more grip especially on some of the wide embankments in the slalom section. I did my share of hoping off the bike to walk in several steep sections and found that I would very easily 'wheelie' the bike when ascending. I also had plenty of brake squeal. The only immediate equipment change I'd make on the MB5 is to replace the brake pads.
I'm anxious to get back out on the trails sometime soon!