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Old 11-27-07, 09:20 AM   #1
ax0n
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Some fun singletrack last night

In preparation for the impending brumal maelstrom, glacial road boulders, dicey icy thoroughfares, and general chaos that's certain to hit Kansas City like a ton of bricks when we least expect it, I took my winter beater out to ride some trails in the dark last night.

I had the 15W halogen on my head and 200 lumen LED light on the bars, so seeing ahead wasn't a problem. What a great (and terrificly fun) way to sharpen my bike handling skills! I bought a road bike at the beginning of May and have all but ignored my hybrid and MTB ever since. I occasionally brought them out for fun, and used my hybrid when my wrist got tweaked. Other than that, I've pretty much lost my MTB mojo over the summer.

Anyhow, if you guys are breaking out the mountain bikes in preparation for snow and ice, and looking to get some practice in, I highly recommend hitting the trails. I'm definitely NOT a "mountain biker" at all, and I'd never ridden singletrack at night before. It was a blast. I was only out for about an hour, and I could already tell that my balance, ability to pick a good line, and ability to navigate or conquer obstacles was getting a little better. This will definitely help me once winter really hits us.

I know it's small and blurry, but here's a picture of what halogen and LED combined does out in the woods:

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Old 11-27-07, 10:56 AM   #2
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What trail system were you riding, Noah?
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Old 11-27-07, 11:53 AM   #3
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I was at Shawnee Mission Park.

More info here:
http://www.earthriders.com/trails/tr...s&file=smp.xml

Actually, I read the info from the above. It's a bit inaccurate, as they went in about a year ago and re-did the trails in a more friendly and erosion-safe manner. The map is accurate and up-to-date, but the description is not. Notice the lack of direct-descent lines on the paths. That's a new feature, mostly for erosion avoidance.

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Old 11-28-07, 12:15 PM   #4
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Cool. I've got a friend in Lenexa who needs to get out more, but complains that he can't take the MTB out much. Gonna forward that to him. Thanks!

Ever ridden the trails out at Blue River/Minor Park on the Missouri side? Went out there two years ago over Thanksgiving holiday. Had a great time.
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Old 11-28-07, 01:56 PM   #5
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I went out to SMP again last night, too. Truth be known, I'm not really a mountain bike rider, nor am I a roadie. I mean, I ride a road bike, and I ride a mountain bike, but almost all of my miles come from commuting. I don't train, I go 2-4 recreational (read: "slow") road group rides per month, maybe go bouncing around on the MTB once a month, and that's about it. I'm just hitting the singletrack to improve my skills in negotiating technical terrain, which will come in handy.

I actually just moved to Lenexa in July. He's more than welcome to come out with me to SMP sometime. My site (http://kc-bike.blogspot.com) has an email form on it if he wants to get in touch. I live near 87th and Quivira, about 4 miles from the park.

That was a really long way to say that I haven't made it BuRP (the endearing term local MTBers use for Minor Park), Landahl (in Lawrence) or any other real local trails yet.
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Old 11-29-07, 08:27 AM   #6
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Sweet! I figured that pic was from SMP since you're so close. I ride out to BuRP a lot on my XC bike, it's 6.5 miles from my door.

I'm definitely a mtn biker and since I built up this full susser I got from someone on earthriders, I've been driving it to the trails because it's not so fun to pedal on the road. But I sure love eating up the downhills and techy stuff.

I hiked BuRP with my moms Thanksgiving morning. It was frozen. Heading back out there to ride in an hour or so. It's an awesome trail network with variety in the city, though trashy.

Took the rear disc caliper off the XC bike so I could put my rear rack back on now that I have a dedicated trail bike. Also put on the front old man mountain rack that mounts to the dropouts and brake bosses. I'm preparing to tour self-supported, ultra-lightweight. I still have to sew up some panniers, I've been using military buttpacks for now. Which are heavy for their size, but tough and don't allow you to take too much. I'd like to be able to ride trails fully loaded (very conservatively) as well as put miles down on the road.

Minor correction, Landahl is near Blue Springs. Kill Creek by De Soto is fairly close to you and has some gnarly tech and an easier trail with moderate rocks.

Hope you continue finding yourself riding more singletrack!
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Old 11-29-07, 10:05 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
In preparation for the impending brumal maelstrom, glacial road boulders, dicey icy thoroughfares, and general chaos that's certain to hit Kansas City like a ton of bricks when we least expect it, I took my winter beater out to ride some trails in the dark last night.

I had the 15W halogen on my head and 200 lumen LED light on the bars, so seeing ahead wasn't a problem. What a great (and terrificly fun) way to sharpen my bike handling skills! I bought a road bike at the beginning of May and have all but ignored my hybrid and MTB ever since. I occasionally brought them out for fun, and used my hybrid when my wrist got tweaked. Other than that, I've pretty much lost my MTB mojo over the summer.

Anyhow, if you guys are breaking out the mountain bikes in preparation for snow and ice, and looking to get some practice in, I highly recommend hitting the trails. I'm definitely NOT a "mountain biker" at all, and I'd never ridden singletrack at night before. It was a blast. I was only out for about an hour, and I could already tell that my balance, ability to pick a good line, and ability to navigate or conquer obstacles was getting a little better. This will definitely help me once winter really hits us.

I know it's small and blurry, but here's a picture of what halogen and LED combined does out in the woods:
I'm lucky enough to have 6 to 7 miles of single track on my route. I do it all the time. We have 3" of snow left from yesterday's storm and I jazzed to go play in it tonight...and I have new lights! They are a little more powerful than yours

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Old 11-29-07, 10:12 AM   #8
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Indeed they are!
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Old 11-29-07, 01:43 PM   #9
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Hey cycco, that's sweet! I hit a bit of trail with the dirt bike on the way home sometimes. I'd probably love it out there minus the dryness. My bro has been in Boulder for a few months now. I want to ask you about your trails and my touring later.

I just got back from the trails and feel great! Learned some new stuff myself and rocked some new lines.

That thing above certainly is throwing some light! I'm happy with my L&M Arc hid, it's like wearing a mini-star on your head! I can read ahead on the trails pretty fast. And it commands respect from motorists on the street! I went with the cateye led lights for my first couple years, I'm going to use them for touring, want to dab into DIY high-powered ones. LED handlebar-mounted would be a nice compliment to the helmet light too.
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Old 11-29-07, 02:15 PM   #10
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Hey cyccommute, where'd you pick up the fusion reactor?
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Old 11-29-07, 02:22 PM   #11
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The huge pack on the back must be to hold the battery .
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Old 11-29-07, 04:47 PM   #12
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Hey cyccommute, where'd you pick up the fusion reactor?
Built it. 3 20W 12 V MR16 light heads overvolted to 14.4 V. Each lamp throws over 1500 lumens (HID is typically around 700 lm) I bought a set of Optronic driving lights from JC Whitney and I'm using a pin back track light from Home Depot for the other one. The batteries are 6 RC car batteries wired in 3 packs. Run time is around 2 hrs.

The track light which is currently on my helmet



The bar lights (they are both the same)



and what the helmet light looked like when I was using the Optronic



The track light is a little lower profile.

What it looks like in the daylight





I don't have a complete cost right now but it was less than $200 for the whole thing...including batteries.
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New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:48 PM   #13
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The huge pack on the back must be to hold the battery .
Cat litter bucket to balance the helmet on. The batteries are pretty small. About 6" long.

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New! Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
New! Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!
Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.
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