Well, I've got some great news, for everyone. (Mainly for me.)
My aluminum frame repair seems to be holding very well. The braze shows no signs of any problems after a good 90 minutes of semi-rough trail riding. I even cranked up my tire pressure to 60 psi, just to see how the frame would take less cushion.
The verdict? Looks good, but only time will tell.
I went out for my maiden voyage today with a group fo friends to the local Banner Forest
. A series of Intermediate trails, lined with lots of roots, small logs, mini-stumps, and extremely winding turns with small steep hills/bumps.
To me, I'd say the trails we did were beginner to intermediate. Some of the areas of a few trails were a strong intermediate, based on the winding turns and heavy root base.
My personal experience?
Well, I took two falls at the beginning. Got a good goose-egg on my shin from falling on a root. I haven't had to manipulate a bike like this for years, so my balance took a good 20 minutes to regain in this type of manner. At first, very difficult riding fo rme, but in no time, I started getting the hang of it. Our leader was a seasoned rider, so I had to work hard to keep up with him. He knows the trails very well, and I had never been there. But none the less, I pressed on to to keep up as best I could.
What I found interesting, is even though I lift wieghts regularly, my forearms got a good workout. I actually got a much greater workout to my upper body than my legs. Being a roadie for years, has seasoned my legs quite well. On two ocassions, the other riders stopped for a breather and rest their legs. It takes me almost an hour just to warm up. So, my very slight, if any advantage, made me feel better after falling on my arse. I pedalled along with minimal to moderate effort. The real work was upper body movement and getting used to handling a bike this way.
All in all, I had a great time, and plan on going out weekly with my friends to traverse the local Banner Forest, as it's only 10 minutes away from my house.
(Sorry, I forgot my camera.)
Luckily, this does not cut into my valuable roadie time. It just happens to be on a day when I normally don't ride. So, if anything, it simply adds another day of riding. Benny for me.