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Masters Racing (All Disciplines) Race on the track or road or on your mountainbike in the Masters Category? Want to talk tactics, strategy and training with your peers?

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Old 03-24-17, 12:40 PM   #1
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Racer Ex takes his new toy out

Given the record winter we have had, I figured we'd have snow here and wet trails well into the "summer". That makes it gloppy on a standard MTB. Not that I needed any excuse, but that seemed like a good enough one for a new bike. So:



Hello Bikes Direct. Didn't know if a fat bike was one of those things you'd buy then go "this sucks" so I didn't feel the need for a $5000 uber light carbon thing. On the other hand my unified theory of toys is that if you buy carp, you're going to be disappointed. Seemed like a sweet spot. 2 x 10 SRAM, hydraulic brakes, tubeless ready wheels, Etc. Came in a box, went out the door like this.

Couple of "adjustment" rides and threw it in the van and drove to the NV/CA border to tackle this:





The current road is mostly dirt, running 100 or so miles across the Sierras. My plan was to ride out to the Crystal Mine and back, provided the snow was solid enough. And I wasn't attacked by mammoths. Or got caught up in the Roop County War.

Now Henness Pass shows up on most GPS units. Not uncommon in states with a lot of dirt roads. Thing is it's not plowed, is quite steep in places, and can get a dozen or more feet of snow in the winter. The Donner Party used it to get the infamous lake where they spent the winter, watching it close down behind them as the snow fell.

This year the highway between Truckee and Reno had been closed several times due to avalanches and mudslides. So folks figured they'd just use Henness Pass. Much towing and abandoned vehicles ensued. As a result, all along the route to the start of the road you'll see signs like this:



"No through route to Highway 80!" "This road closed to winter traffic". Etc.

And this sign outside the first house you come to once you get stuck:



I guess they got tired of folks knocking at their door asking for a rope.

So away I went. Stopped a couple times to tweak the seat and adjust the derailleurs. For a heavy bike I was pretty happy with the way it climbed; low gears helped and those tires roll over just about everything.

Stopped to chat with a geologist who wanted to know about the bike. Got to talking about old MX iron. Words like "Ossa" and "Bultaco" bandied about. Onward.

Few miles up the road the snow started. Then started to get deeper. Then I passed the first stuck pickup. Then the stuck Subaru. Then another stuck pickup. Another mile and I was doing a lot of pushing through soft wet 3 foot drifts. Then a curtain of solid white.

No mine stop today.

On the way back down I made the discovery that the big low pressure tires not only provided a pretty decent ride, but a heck of a lot of traction. Pretty fun.

Stopped at the geologist. Helped him load some old carpet left on the side of the road for traction mats to help pull some of the stuck folks out. I wasn't dressed to shovel snow so I continued back down the hill.

I was left with a couple hours to kill, so I went exploring. See a trail, take it. With the fat tires you roll over stuff that would stop you on a regular bike. Big cobbles? No problem. Sandbars? Ha.

Found an old brick powerhouse. Rode down the Truckee river bed:



Found an old bridge on a trail that ended on an island in the middle of the river. Nice view:



The river was full and if not raging, at least pretty ticked off.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 03-24-17 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 03-24-17, 12:41 PM   #2
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Putted around the river bed some more then started to head back. Came across an old cemetery...







I've poked around a fair number of Gold Rush era cemeteries and what struck me about this one was the relatively old ages and lack of small kids buried here. Being somewhat isolated might not have been the worst thing for these folks.

Caretakers making sure the grass was mown:



Got back to the van and was going to call it quits when I saw another trail with a chain across it. Unposted, so I figured "what the heck" Rode around the chain, past a large substation, and down through some marshy area. And guess what I found?



No idea this was here, it's unmarked on the map, no signage.

Really wished I had a fly rod.

Maybe next ride.

Got in the van and found I had a nice skunk stripe of mud up my back. Went online and ordered a fender on the spot. Something to be said for technology.

Every so often it's nice to get away from "intervals" and "training". I'll go on rides where I'll just take the next street/road I see and just go explore. That fat bike definitely adds a dimension to this.

Last edited by Racer Ex; 03-24-17 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 03-24-17, 01:53 PM   #3
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Nice, Ex. Surprising how well-maintained that cemetery is. Hipster points for the matching water bottle in the first photo!
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Old 03-24-17, 02:35 PM   #4
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Awesome. I still think mountain bikes are just a passing fad, but it's good All Y'all are enjoying your time on them.
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Old 03-24-17, 09:11 PM   #5
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Sweet ride, Ex! Now you have a tank in your arsenal.
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Old 03-25-17, 10:14 PM   #6
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Nice. I guess with those tires, no suspension required. What kind of tire pressure do you run?
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Old 03-26-17, 07:53 AM   #7
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Wow! That was incredible, Ex!!
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Old 03-26-17, 09:02 AM   #8
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Nice Ex. When you are not riding it, you can use it for deadlifts.
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Old 03-26-17, 03:47 PM   #9
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Nice. I guess with those tires, no suspension required. What kind of tire pressure do you run?
Around 15 PSI. Not as bouncy as you would think...
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Old 03-27-17, 11:56 AM   #10
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When is the next ITT? :-)
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Old 03-27-17, 12:37 PM   #11
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I have clip ons for it....
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Old 03-27-17, 01:28 PM   #12
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I have clip ons for it....

That's what I did last year for the 26" TT bike

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Old 03-27-17, 01:44 PM   #13
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Sheer awesomeness.
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Old 03-27-17, 02:04 PM   #14
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It made for a decent LP test
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Old 03-27-17, 05:22 PM   #15
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Did I see what I thought I saw??

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Old 03-28-17, 09:13 AM   #16
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Did I see what I thought I saw??


What did you see?
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Old 03-28-17, 10:32 AM   #17
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What did you see?
An aero mountain bike! And I loved it....
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Old 03-28-17, 11:07 AM   #18
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You should see his track bike.

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Old 03-28-17, 11:56 AM   #19
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An aero mountain bike! And I loved it....
It was, and is a good workout. 30 plus pounds and a crr that's stupid high. 27:42 10 mile TT though so I had that going for me.
Anybody notice the USAC non-compliant PVC fork lockouts?

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You should see his track bike.

To quote Al Borland.... I don't think so Tim.

No need for a track bike here; nearest track is 3+ hours away.
I get on that I'd probably be doing the Fast Freddie Spencer laying the knee over and not in a good way.

Now, shouldn't that guy be a bit more forward on the saddle?
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