16 February 2015

High Bridge Stae Park- Super Bowl Ride

Each Super Bowl Sunday for I guess the last 20 years, there has always been a Super Bowl ride up Flagpole Knob. I have never made that ride because it is just west of Harrisburg and I would spend most of a day in the car making the trip. Mother Nature was nice to us non-football watching types with highs in the 50's.

With a late start and a Super bowl party that afternoon, my riding partner "G" and myself head to High Bridge State Park. Pulling up to the trail head in Rice we are the only car. For what ever reason we do not get many takers to go with us to High Bridge. I think most people are bored with gravel roads or rails-to-trails. I think they are just missing out because I have had some of my best adventures on those types of trails. This ride did not disappoint!

On our way to the bridge we notice what looked like the cutting of an access road that takes you to Civil War gun emplacement. If you like Civil War history then go here and learn about the Battle of High Bridge.

It was not in our plan when we started, but we remembered that some single track trails were put in during the past year. I told "G" that I thought they were between the bridge and Farmville. From the time we left the car it took us about 50 minutes to find the trail head to the single track.

Now "G" and I were not on are normal trail bikes. He had brought his Salsa Vaya and I was riding my MB-1 Bridgestone. But we would give the Early Mountain Bike Loop a try at only 1.8 miles.

"G" on the Vaya

The Early Mountain Bike Loop is rated as a blue diamond trail. As you can tell from the pictures above it is in a pine forest. Bryan the guy who worked with the park and cut all if not most of the trail himself did a fantastic job of using the topography developing a fun flowing trail. I would rate the trail family friendly and for the beginner.

After that little taste we were up for doing the Burnside Technical Mountain Bike Trail.This trail is rated black diamond

Once again great use of topography and flow. My picture does not do the trail justice, but what you are looking at are 6 whoop-de-dos. If I remember correctly there are two sections of these. The second set are deeper at about 4-5 feet.

Bryan did a great job on both of these trails. I did take a crash on the Burnside and I did find it harder to ride but I think that was mostly due to the gearing on the MB-1

After we finished riding both trails it was time for some lunch.I had carried everything in my Wingnut Enduro.

I had been wanting to do a ride and a lunch on the trail for sometime and High Bridge is a good place to do this. During are time on the single track and eating lunch the temperature had warmed up and made for a hard ride back to the car. The top of the trail had thawed out causing the tires to sink a bit.

Maybe it was the trail or riding single track on the MB-1, but I felt like I had experienced mountain biking like it started out some 20 plus years ago. Riding then was about adventure and those that did not come out to ride with us missed it.

09 February 2015

Bikewright Workshop Project- Diamondback Apex

In the 80’s mountain biking was new and it was all about adventure. Back then mountain bikes had relaxed geometries and longer chain stays. You will find that most all of these bikes from that era had rack and fender mounts, some came with three water bottle mounts and many had mounting locations for low riding front pannier racks.

I was inspired a few months ago when I was on a couple of other blog type sites and saw what others had done in rebuilding and re-purposing bicycles. I would call them purposed built and they looked better in their resurrected state than they did originally.

My interest peaked on this subject and I wanted to see what I could myself. Do I rebuild a road bike or a touring bike? After searching many resources for a complete bike or frame to start with my project. I found nothing in size, price point or in the condition I was looking for.

Then I changed my focus. I started looking at older steel mountain bikes and frames. Call it what you will, but I started thinking about world touring, expedition or mountain touring. All of these types of bikes are based on the 26 inch wheel bike. Modern mountain bikes in the United States come in 3 different wheel sizes. That’s not the same case in the developing world. The 26 inch wheel size is what you will find.

With that said, this is how the Bikewright Workshop Project got started. I have now found that project frame.

This is a 1989/1990 Diamondback Apex. With Tange double-butted frame set and straight leg cro-mo fork. This bike met the requirements that I was looking for. It's steel, has rack a fender mounts, comes with two water bottle mounts and has a mounting point on the front fork of low riding front pannier racks

Diamondback Apex">

Straight leg fork. Good view of the mounting point for the low riding front pannier rack.
Diamondback Apex">

The Apex has a 1 inch head tube. I believe that is a Dia-Comp Headset. Just needs some cleaning and new grease.
Diamondback Apex">

Reinforced seat tube
Diamondback Apex">

No rust in the bottom bracket but the chain stay has a rock dig. Didn't see that online...But I can get that fixed!
Diamondback Apex">

Shark Fin chain stay protector.
Diamondback Apex">

The paint scheme is called "Smoke". What is interesting about the paint scheme that you cannot see in the pictures is that there is a pearl in it. When the light hits it just right you see a light purple and blue color in the "Smoke". The paint on this frame has seen it's better days. Since I need to have the rock ding fixed and I would like to put one set of water bottle mounts on the down tube, it will have to be repainted.

First up on my to do list will be to (1) clean and inspect the frame (2)remove the headset and shark fin and (3)fix the rock ding and add water bottle mounts.