A short, but steep hike up Bamforth Ridge. I was going to summit Camel’s Hump, but ran out of time and legs.
I’ve made some changes to the IF for 2014. The latest has been test fitting some Vittoria Randonneur Hyper tires in 32mm from Jim. These fit great under the Portland Design Works Full Metal Fenders, and the tires feel like super sized Conti GP 4 Season 28s that I really like. So far I think they’ll be a great tire for my pave / dirt / exploring. But, in order to get tires of that size to fit, and even fenders of that size to fit, I had to swap the brakes.
I’ve been eyeing the Paul Racer Mediums for this bike for a long long time. I used the center mount version, as I didn’t want to get a new fork, nor alter the rear end of the Ti frame. These work really well – stopping power seems firmer than the Shimano ‘long’ reach 47-57s that were on there, and there is gobs of clearance. After the brake change I picked up some wider fenders. I’ve burned through 2-3 sets of Honjos and was going to go plastic – but I’ve read good things about the PDW Full Metal Fenders. So far they are rattle free and solid.
I’ve been skiing a very light backcountry touring setup all winter at Smuggs. Boots are Scarpa T4s (2 buckle touring boots), bindings are Voile 3 Pin Cable, skis Madshus Epoch (185s… way long for anything but breaking trail and touring!). These skis have a pattern on the bottom – so are a little slow on the gentler terrain – but great for chasing the kids around.
I’ve worked my way up to some blue trails off the top of Sterling and Madonna, including some rougher terrain connecting the mountains. It has been an interesting journey – long, relatively skinny skis with simple bindings and low boots. My technique has improved 100% or more since December. Still learning to ski through chop and mixed conditions – when the snow is groomed and firm, or fresh (up to about 4-6″) I feel very comfortable. When its really deep the skis want to dive right in, and when there is hardback with lots of fluff or chop across the slope I have to work really hard to stay upright. With the skis being so lite and flexy, changing conditions requires alot of body work and technique to keep an edge. So far I’ve enjoyed it all – but I can say after a full day my quads and calves and even my upper body feels like its had a good workout.
I could have used some bindings that release maybe twice this season – I took a couple of good falls on some steep, choppy snow. Feet stay connected – so I saw skis and sky over and over as I tumbled to a stop. No serious injury other than a tweaked ankle.
Enjoyed the 2013, and likely last* (for awhile) VT Fall Classic Brevet and Populaire. I rode the Populaire, with Greg. Felt great at the start, ended up coughing up blood and struggling by the end. Finished with a couple minutes to spare.
*I’m burned out from being brevet organizer… so I’m taking some time off. There is movement to continue with some of the VT rides, and I’ll post up any solid information as soon as I hear something.
I set out with a friend and a couple of online acquaintances in early November to do a bit of late fall bikepacking. I need to write up a full trip report – but here is a photo dump from the ride. We covered 56+ miles, much of it on trail and class 4 road. Machines were all Pugsleys – a single speed, an IGH Necro, and my white 2×9 all with bikepacking bags. We also had a first generation along (the first one sold in VT) with racks and panniers.
The start was in Pittsfield, VT. We crossed the Green Mountains near Chittenden Reservoir and made our way north to Silver Lake to camp, taking the Leicester Hollow trail in from the south. Fire, chatting, eating, and then sleeping as snow started coming down.
At 2am everything was white – but by 6am when I got up to start a fire everything was just wet. We left the park on the Leicester Hollow trail, which was the only dirt on the second day.
We stuck to pavement back to start, as the weather turned as we climbed Brandon Gap – we had rain and freezing rain and sleet coming down the east side.
The last 10 miles were truly a death march – I was a little sad we eliminated all the dirt and trail – but thankful to eventually be warm and dry.