Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Fake Camping at Pinelog

Yet another marginally blog-worthy after work ride!

Another trip to Pinelog! I had new grips - Ergon GP1's. I'd done a quick adjustment ride on the Dirty Sheets after getting them (which I didn't write about) but needed to see how they performed on more diverse terrain. I'd also adjusted my seat a bit. Pushed it back, and dropped the nose. Seemed a lot better in the driveway, but again, I needed to try it on some diverse terrain.

Onward!

Up the main road, past the last gate, up the Lezpedezious approach to Hogsback, and all the way up the mountain. You hit every single thing on that route: hard-packed, loose, and eroded gravel; doubletrack; hard-packed trail, slightly eroded trail, rock gardens, loamy trail, clean singletrack, rough singletrack, singletrack strewn with debris; roots, rocks, and downed trees. You name it.

At the top, the trail almost disappears for a bit as it passed through a campsite. There's a big fire pit off to one side, and I figured that'd be a good spot to do a fake camping test. I've slept on my pad a dozen times. The liner/bivvy/pillow worked well for me on that overnight I did a month or two ago. I wasn't sure about the tarp though. Nor had I unpacked/repacked that particular pack while still tired and sweaty, immediately fresh from riding.

Let's see...

The ground was so rocky, that it was really tough to find spots for the stakes. But that wasn't a gear issue.

Everything went up easily. I'm not 100% sure about the tarp. I have another one that I might try in my backyard. One side offers less protection than the other. You have to know which direction the rain might come from, and pitch the lower side in that direction. That's definitely an advanced move. Other than that though, no problems.

Well, maybe one problem. My base layer was disgusting. The first time I rode the TNGA, I rode with my base layer as a jersey. Back then, if it was humid, as it is prone to be during the height of summer in Georgia, my team jerseys held a ton of sweat weight. Like, more than 2 pounds of sweat, on just about any decent ride. I measured. The base layer held like 1.5 pounds. It was still a bit of a sponge, but better than any of the jerseys. These days, it looks like my PBR jersey is actually lighter, and better at shedding sweat than the base layer. Plus, I can unzip it. It needs a few modifications, but I think I'm going to give it a try.

I'd had to stop to adjust my grips a few times on the way up, and then had to stop again a few times on the way back down. I'm still not 100% sold on them. They get very slippery, compared to the Oury grips. If they're adjusted for maximum comfort climbing, then they're in a really bad position for downhill. One hard hit, and they'll wrench your thumbs off as you slide forward off of them. I hadn't realized how I place my palms against the back of the grips to take a hit until I couldn't do it any more.

I wonder if there's something that I can spray on them to deteriorate the rubber a bit and make it stickier.

Still testing...

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