Saturday morning I woke up about 7 am. It FE06 day.
For the non-Kenwoodies, that's Fall Enduro '06. Meaning a silly long mtb ride all over the cities, done once it gets too cold for a ride of this length to be a good idea. It was about 30 degrees when I rolled out of bed and ate my 4 waffles for breakfast. At least I had been smart enough to get my bike and gear all set the night before, so I just loaded up and headed over to Minneapolis after breakfast.
As regular readers know, my usual 29'er is currently serving 'cross duty and I didn't want to hassle with changing that. My shoulder is still far from good, so I knew a ride like this on the 'cross bike wouldn't be a good idea, so I pulled out 29'er #2. That one has one of those new-fangled squishy forks on it and (gasp!) more than one gear! I bet you didn't know I had a bike like that.
I decided to ride that one in an effort to keep my shoulder in check, and because on every other enduro I've been the only one on a singlespeed, which is usually fine but right now I'm not in shape to keep up with a bunch of fast guys on pavement riding gears. It felt weird. I had taken the bike out for a little shakedown just to make sure it was still working right, and everything worked flawlessly, but it just felt different. I think it's the suspension fork, I'm just so used to the rigid fork. It also felt heavy, even though it's not really. It's a 23 lb suspended, geared steel 29'er, but compared to my rigid single it felt like it weighed 100 lbs on every climb.
We left the coffee shop about 8:30 after waiting a little be for no-show-tree to not arrive. It was Stone, WW, Thorny, Billy and myself. Of course after all that bike changing, Thorny shows up on a singlespeed (dammit). We roll down to Minnehaha falls and start in on the singletrack. There's a lot of pretty technical stuff in there, and I was actually feeling better about the squishy fork and big tires in there. Man I forget how good tires other than The Crow's hook up!
As usual things fell apart in there. We got separated (happens every time) but eventually got back together at which point Billy decided I was still hurting from riding too many laps at Wirth the previous weekend (25 laps). So he pulled the pin and we were down to 4 riders.
We rode the usual route, down the dirt all the way to the riverbottoms, then across to Bloomington. About halfway across though Throny decides to heat it up and goes full time-trail pace to the Ferry Bridge. I shot off the back as I wasn't sure I'd even make it home riding that pace, much less be able to do the 'cross race the next day. We all hooked back up at the Ferry Bridge and prepared for the return trip. While we were waiting this guy on probably an '89-90 Giant mtb flys by wearing garp which coordinated with the age of his bike, black tights, white knit long sleeve top and neon green fannypack! He took off into the woods and we headed out a minute or so later. About 4 miles in we finally caught up to him and he picked up the pace. We weren't slacking off to begin with and honestly I think we were pushing it keeping up with him. We all finally had to stop at the raft to cross 9 mile creek, so we got to talk to him. Turns out he lived nearby but said he hadn't ever ridden those trails before nor really mtb'ed much. His bike was sporting what appeared to be the original Farmer-John tires with absolutely no tread left down the middle. This guy was ripping it up as fast as us having never ridden the trail and hardly ever ridden a bike off road and he was on bold tires! tough. He tagged along with us for the rest of the riverbottoms, rode behind us, but never really dropped off.
Time was clicking by faster than we figured and everyone was starting to feel the ride, so we decided to hit the asphalt back by the airport then down to Fort Snelling and in. Amazingly Thorny seemed as spry as usual. I don't know how that guy does it. I was in full cramp mode on the last stretch of paved path, and it looked like WW was close as well. We fumbled our way back to the coffee shop and clocked in 5 hours from our departure. Not bad for a cold day.
I slammed down a big burger and a brat and felt much better. Which was good because I still had a lot I wanted to do that day. One the way home I swung in by Tomac's house. He had recently completed a paver project similar to mine and had some extra sand left. I picked up those and headed home. It was about 2:30 when I got home which meant there should be enough daylight left to finish out the pavers, I just hoped my body had enough left to do it. So I took a quick shower to warm up and headed back out to rent the vibrating compactor I'd need and start laying the joint sand.
This part went pretty well, I pack all the pavers down and they got nice and flat, then started sweeping in the sand. The locking sand is unique, it's a polymeric sand which actually bonds to iteself and the pavers once it's wetted. So I made several passes, filling in sand then running over with with the compactor, vibrating the sand into each crevice. Once I was comfortable that all the gaps were full I'd move onto the next area. I worked until dark and then a little more, but I did get all the sand down and packed that night. I couldn't do the wetting part because it was too cold, so that had to wait for Sunday.
Getting up Sunday I still had a little shred of thought in me that I'd do the 'cross race. However my shoulder was completely worked over from the Enduro and running the compactor the night before (don't worry, the doc assures me I need to keep using it as much as possible and that I'm not hurting it any worse by doing this stuff). I decided maybe a test spin would be good to see how I felt. I grabbed the cross bike and headed down the road. I had my answer within seconds. No. My legs were actually alright, but my butt and shoulder were telling me no. So I stayed home and felt soft for not racing, but what can you do. I sprayed a frame and did a bunch more yardwork instead, lower impact stuff. I filled in a bunch of low spots in the front yard and raked some area's out. Then went in and did a little work in the shop. It was a good recuperation day. I made it to almost 9 that night before falling asleep on the couch.
More 953 pictures coming in the next edition.