Jonathan and I rode a variation of the 25 mile Curse 2007 route today. I took out most of the dirt road riding on the race course and traded it for more singletrack and the powerline trail. We went up -and down, five mountains averaging 700 feet high. We began at Big Flat Parking Lot, rode down the Wildcat Trail on the south slope of the ridge, circled Long Pine Run Reservoir, rode the powerline trail to Lindsey Lot Road on the north side of the ridge, rode up Dug Hill trail, then down Canada Hollow and back up on Fegley/Gilbert trails. The trip length was 25 miles, give or take a little for walking the bikes, and we finished in 6:00 hours. The trails were smoother than the Maximus route I rode last Saturday, but we lost time with all the steep climbs. Overall the trail conditions were very good, with the Dug Hill climb probably the worst, as it was very steep, loose, and recently logged. The trail on the top of the ridge between Wildcat Trail and Long Pine Run Dam is a spectacular singletrack; five miles of gradual downhill with tight turns, nice rocks to drop over, narrow trees, and some fun logs to jump. The trail beside the reservoir was the same way, making a total of ten miles on perfect trail. The trail under the powerlines has massive water bars on a steep grassy trail, making really big air quite easy. Too easy, as Jonathan found out when his back wheel didn’t come down soon enough after a nice jump, and he ate brush at 25 miles an hour. His helmet had tufts of grass stuck in the air slots. No injuries worse than bruises and scratches -nothin’ broke that won’t fix. Moral here, always wear a helmet.
I got a Cannondale 29er from Merv’s Bike Shop yesterday; today was the first ride. I’ll post a full review later after I am more adjusted to it. The bike rode nice, and the front shock and hydraulic discs are really sweet. It weighs less then my old one, and this is probably most of the reason it seemed to ride a little better than my old Schwinn. I thought I had a higher top end speed-wise, but Jonny and I both topped at 38 mph. I am anxious to do some more riding and testing this week with a setback seatpost to lengthen the bike a little. Check back in a week or two for a full report.