Night Rides have begun

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For me the official MTB night ride season has officially started. Yesterday after another long day in the car driving to see some amazing dealers I decided to scurry back over to Pittsburgh to meet up with the Thick Bikes night ride. I wasn’t sure what to expect and having recently ridden on some of the new Cleveland area trails on my Furley I figured not only would I use that bike as my “show” bike to remind dealers how cool this bike is but also as my mountain bike for the evening. Well I was very much the fool in this one. I have gotten spoiled by some of the new Cleveland trails that are very CX friendly and this trail in Pittsburgh was definitely not one of those trails. With that said I did manage to keep up in more spots than I thought I would however my SS gearing (39×18) proved to be a bit stiff for all the climbing we were doing and the narrow 700x35c tires were bottoming out on all the roots and rocks we were encountering on the trail. You would think from those last two concerns that my night would have sucked but au contraire mon frere. I had a blast. I worked on my climbing skills keeping the lower geared mountain bikers in close range (relative) and was able to polish my bunny hoping skills (though I still did hear my tires bottoming out on my rims) thru the rocks and roots. In the end the warm summer like evening in October at the North Park trails were enough to put a good sized smile on my face. I will say though the next time I head to Pittsburgh and have the good fortune to tie in a mountain bike ride you can bet I’ll be riding something a little smarter like a Gates Belt Drive driven XXIX or a Talus 29er Elite.

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If you do happen to find yourself with time to ride I can’t recommend these trails enough. They have some good technical sections going through rocks and roots as well as a good deal of climbing. If you are able to go with a local I would recommend it as it makes the ride that much more enjoyable when you don’t have to worry about navigating the trails. Should you go solo though check out the map below and here’s a link to Pennsylvania Dirt that has some great info.

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That’s it for now. Have a great one and get out and ride!!

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