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Discussion Starter #421
Biking

Last week was crap weather, but starting on the weekend it began to clear up and get warmer. I've managed to ride five days in a row now. I've added Mama Bear to my regular route as well. It's a little harder than Black Dog, with some tighter corners and a couple of minor drops. And one log drop that I don't really remember from last year. Maybe I'm blocking it out. Anyway, I'm still walking that one, although I may only be a few runs from taking a charge at it.

The crowds continue to be pretty bad along the main trail, but people are trying harder to distance. The message may be getting through, finally. Oh and the government has closed all the provincial parks for the Easter weekend. Not a terrible idea--it only takes a small percentage of assholes to fill the park with scofflaws. And judging from some of the comments on the Vancouver Sun website under the article about this--we've definitely got a population of assholes.

Anyhoo, I almost went down the Hett Creek trail today, but decided I shouldn't push it too much. Maybe tomorrow. After that, I'm going to branch out into some of the Starz trails. I really want to get a good cross-section of experience this season.

Oh, and one last thing. The power-line field was dry enough today for me to go and do a few techniques. Again, I took it very easy. Just a single circuit of trackstands and wheelies, enough to remind my lizard brain what it needs to be concerned about.
 

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Discussion Starter #422
Morton's Neuroma

Just posting this as a personal reminder. Neni brought this up, and I think I may have to visit a podiatrist. Symptoms match what happens with my right foot on occasion.
 

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Discussion Starter #424

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Discussion Starter #426 (Edited)
Biking

Today is Easter Sunday, and the province closed all the provincial parks, expecting people to converge on them en masse. Not an unreasonable expectation, I think. Of course the municipal parks are the second choice, so Coquitlam (or is it Port Moody?) has put up signs in Bert Flinn making the loop trail one-way. Again, not unreasonable, except they made it the opposite of what I normally do. Interestingly, I kinda like it going that way, so I might just start alternate.

The crowds weren't as bad as expected, though. Not sure if that's because everyone was going the same way or if it's because I was there early, when a lot of people are still at church. I did Black Dog and Hett Creek/Backyard Bikes today. I was intending to do Mama Bear and hit that rollover log, but changed my mind at the last moment. I notice that I'm doing my trails a lot faster than I was last year. And that murderous uphill part on Backyard Bikes, while still painful, didn't kill me (even on the first time of the season). So definitely ahead of the game. And I'm rolling over obstacles at speed that I was braking for last year. I even did that narrow section that almost sent me into the gully last year.

All in all, pretty good day. Not a long session, but it's still early days. And if I can keep up the pace, I should be in much better shape come next winter.

Camera

I've used the Insta 360 One X a couple of times on a handlebar mount. This is definitely a better camera in most respects than the Rylo. First, it doesn't cut out after 22 minutes like the Rylo. The Insta recorded one entire session yesterday. It seems to split the video at 30 minutes and start a new one, but the point is that it starts a new one--it doesn't just quit. Today, I think it quit a bit early, but then I don't think I charged it up completely before the session. The battery seems to be good for about an hour at spring temps. Probably less on the slopes.

The control panel on the Insta isn't any better than the Rylo, but you can get a hardware remote and the phone app acts as a pretty good remote as well. On top of that, you can preview through the app without requiring a cable hookup, which puts it head and shoulders above the Rylo. I haven't heard of any updates from Rylo in a while as well, so I think they're probably done anyway.

The one place where I think the Insta is a fail is with the form factor. The fudgecicle shape is exactly wrong for things like handlebar and helmet mount, since the height creates an exaggerated moment arm which causes excessive shaking in any kind of rough conditions. That's the one area where I thought the Rylo really shone.

Of course, now Insta has the One R which has a much more Rylo-like shape. And it's waterproof without requiring a bulky case, which puts it one up on both the Rylo and the One X. Does it sound like I'm working myself up to ordering a One R? That's probably not coincidence. Maybe next major royalty cheque.
 

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Discussion Starter #427
More Biking

We were up in Whistler for a few days, and didn't bring the bikes, so there's a bit of a gap in my riding this past week. However, I went riding yesterday and today, once we were back. Yesterday I finally cleaned that log roll on Mama Bear that's been freaking me out. I'm now rolling the entire trail without stopping, so call that one conquered.

Today, I did the usual trio, then hit Jo-Jo Finn's Green Spectacles. No, I don't know how it got the name. But if Mama Bear is a little harder than Black Dog, then Jo-Jo is a little harder than Mama Bear. Right off the bat, the entrance to the trail goes between two trees and is literally too narrow for my bars. I'm not sure if I can get through by turning them, or if I'm always going to have to walk it through. Time will tell.

Jo-Jo also dumps you out onto one of the Starz runs, with some pretty intimidating features. Fortunately you can go around them. But I think I'm at the point where I can start doing the Starz runs as well. I'm going to have to figure out a sequence, though. Maybe on the last one I'll go down the Backyard Trail right from the walking path.

Whatever. It was a good day for trail riding. The rest of this week, according to the weather app, is crap. But we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #428
A very little bit of MTB

It rained yesterday, but stopped long enough for things to dry out this morning, so I went for a ride in Bert Flinn. I ended up truncating the ride, though. It seems roots are a worse problem than puddles. Fucking slippery. Both wheels kept going zzooop in random directions. And lemme tell ya, that's not a good feeling on a bike. So after one round through Black Dog, I called it a day.

The weather is going to be 'unsettled' for the next couple of days, which is code for who the fuck knows. And sadly I am a fair-weather rider, especially off-road. Well, I guess I can always consider suiting up and going for a run.
 

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Discussion Starter #429
Rain, rain, rain

Man, it is wet. The end of April and all of May so far are turning into how I remember lower mainland weather from when I was young--great for ducks. And of course, we're getting pretty much the same in Whistler, so there's no escaping it. If it wasn't for COVID-19 I could at least go to the gym. But no.

This is what stir-crazy feels like.
 

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Discussion Starter #430
First street session

Today I pulled my street bike out and did my first road ride of the year. I intended to keep it short and not push too hard--maybe a half hour out and half hour back. I didn't quite make that because just after Function Junction, a cyclist on the opposite side called out to me that there were bears (note the plural) foraging on the side of the road up ahead. Well, I don't feel like having Yogi inspect me for picnic baskets, so I did a quick about-face. Ended up just short of an hour all-told, but still good exercise.

I have to get a few things set up for the bike, though. I can't find my taillight, and I still need a headlight. I haven't installed the Blendr mounts yet, and the front derailleur doesn't seem to be indexing quite right on the center sprocket. Jeez, it's always something.
 

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Discussion Starter #431
Second (or third?) bike

The gear whorage continues with bike-related stuff. I've finally come to accept that hauling the MTB back and forth is too much trouble, so I'm going to get a second bike for Whistler. Or for home. I'm not sure yet which bike will go where. Anyway, I'm aiming for something in the same price range as the Trek Fuel EX 7, as I'm really not good enough to justify some of the more high-end bikes. I started out with the idea of buying some other brand, just to expand my horizons, but that didn't work out well. Some of the brands are poorly represented in my price range, some have a small range of models period, and some (I'm looking at you, Norco) are already sold out until late summer. So in the end, I'm back to Trek.

Actually, I think I'm back to Trek. I haven't checked with the shop yet. For all I know, they may be out of stock as well. If so, the swearage will be epic, and I'll be back to waiting for a Norco Sight A3. But assuming Trek does a better job of keeping their stock up, I'm looking at the Fuel EX 8. It's essentially the same bike as the 7, but with slightly more upscale parts. There are also a few design changes between 2017 and 2020, but I don't think it'll make a huge difference to me.

The mountain biking is definitely making a difference to my fitness level, and I'm finally starting to lose weight and girth. Just moderate gains so far, but if I keep it up all summer and fall, I should be in good shape for snowboarding season. That means I should be able to actually do full-day sessions on Whistler, which means my skillz will improve that much faster. Win-win-win, as far as I'm concerned.

The COVID thing lends some uncertainty to the future, of course, but I think there will be at least some kind of season, even if with modifications.The most likely effect IMO would be fewer people allowed on each chair or gondola, which would mean longer wait times. Heh. Just occurred to me that on Seymour, that might mean one run per day. They really can't afford to have more of a backup than they already do.

I've settled on Rome Katanas for bindings for my Blur. Of course, they're completely sold out everywhere for this year, but I'll grab some at full retail in the fall. I'm looking forward to testing out the new board, and I'm looking forward to visiting the Demo Centre on multiple occasions.

Fun times will be had.
 

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Discussion Starter #432
And, new bike

154119


Trek Fuel EX 8. I got it in a size ML, which their sizing chart says is good for me. I'd be at the low end of the L frame, but the ML has one overwhelming advantage: they had it in stock 😁. Seems I'd otherwise be waiting until end of June for the new stock.

I took it out today for a quick run through Bert Flinn trails. It's not ultra-different from the 7, but there are some things I'll have to get used to. Or maybe adjust. It definitely feels bouncier, and I was having more trouble with low speed maneuvering. To the point where I almost fell off the bike a couple of times. That is probably just a familiarity thing, though.

The bike also feels livelier and lighter, although physically it's about the same weight as the 7. The gearing is definitely different, though. The 7 has 32 teeth up front paired with an 11-42 cassette. The 8 has 30 up front, with a 10-50 cassette. That gives the 8 a much lower low gear, and a very slightly higher high gear, which means a greater gear range when shifting. A couple of spots where I normally ride in 2nd, I was doing in 3rd today.

The 8 also feels slightly shorter, although it's hard to see any difference when they're side by side. But I felt like I could sit up straighter, just a bit.

Have to replace the handles, though. I'd forgotten how much the OEM ones suck. and the controls need to be moved around just a bit. All good, though.

154120
 

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And, new bike

View attachment 154119

Trek Fuel EX 8. I got it in a size ML, which their sizing chart says is good for me. I'd be at the low end of the L frame, but the ML has one overwhelming advantage: they had it in stock 😁. Seems I'd otherwise be waiting until end of June for the new stock.

I took it out today for a quick run through Bert Flinn trails. It's not ultra-different from the 7, but there are some things I'll have to get used to. Or maybe adjust. It definitely feels bouncier, and I was having more trouble with low speed maneuvering. To the point where I almost fell off the bike a couple of times. That is probably just a familiarity thing, though.

The bike also feels livelier and lighter, although physically it's about the same weight as the 7. The gearing is definitely different, though. The 7 has 32 teeth up front paired with an 11-42 cassette. The 8 has 30 up front, with a 10-50 cassette. That gives the 8 a much lower low gear, and a very slightly higher high gear, which means a greater gear range when shifting. A couple of spots where I normally ride in 2nd, I was doing in 3rd today.

The 8 also feels slightly shorter, although it's hard to see any difference when they're side by side. But I felt like I could sit up straighter, just a bit.

Have to replace the handles, though. I'd forgotten how much the OEM ones suck. and the controls need to be moved around just a bit. All good, though.

View attachment 154120
Nice!!!

...My bike has a chain & pedals, with knobbley tires. 😉😂😂
 

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Morton's Neuroma

Just posting this as a personal reminder. Neni brought this up, and I think I may have to visit a podiatrist. Symptoms match what happens with my right foot on occasion.
yeah,that sucks!i i too have one since January of this year on my right foot. bought a step on boot size 9.5 standard,,It was tight on the toe box and hoped to break it in,nope..it broke my foot instead:mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #435
Waiting...

I've finally gotten the new bike tricked up like the old one--bell, mirror, Garmin mount, fenders, light mounts. I'll probably take some abuse at some point for a few of those additions, something along the line of a suggestion to add tassels to the end of the bars. But I'm quite prepared to defend any of my choices, and I'm long past the point of needing to look cool. Although tassels are probably just a step too far. :LOL:

In particular, very few mountain bikers seem to bother with a bell, even those who ride trails that are dual-use. Over the few years that I've been riding MTB, I've had many hikers actually thank me as I ride by for having warned them of my approach. People do not like being brushed back by a bike that they didn't even know was there. And people do like having a chance to collect their off-leash dog who generally isn't as well-behaved as they'd like to believe. So I ding as I approach, and generally people move aside, and everyone is happy. I just wish more riders had the same level of consideration.

The tail light is more a case of me having to do a fair bit of road-riding to get to the trails. And I don't trust cars any farther than I can throw them. From the didn't-see-you careless types, to the assholes who think bikes don't have a right to ride on the road because we don't pay insurance (morons), riding street is probably more dangerous overall than riding trail. At least at the level that I ride.

Anyway, rants aside, yesterday was crap weather and today's not looking great so far. Although the predictors are for clearing, so I'm kinda hopeful. But looking at my ride history on Garmin Connect, there are more off-days than riding days. Some of that is travel, of course. On a day driving to or from Whistler, I likely won't have time to ride. But even with that, there are a lot of off-days. It seems to come down to weather. Granted, I'm a fair-weather rider and therefore a wuss, but there does seem to be a lot of crap weather this year. And it's cooler than average, I think. It'll be interesting to look back and see if this is a weather blip caused by the massive slowdowns in activity due to the COVID crisis. I say that with no actual evidence, but intuitively it seems likely. After all, China's climate improved dramatically the year they hosted the Olympics, just due to them making an effort to reduce pollution that year.

Lastly, I bought the second bike to have one in Whistler full-time, of course. But now I have to decide which one goes where. I can't honestly say that I'll be riding significantly more in one place than the other, so no help there. It might even end up being an insurance decision.

Oh, well. First-world problems. Must remember, the whole point is conditioning and weight loss. Everything else is bonus.
 
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