So it seems as if yesterday was the last best day of summer.
Kinda tied up for time, I decided to hit up Forest Park and get some good mileage in.
Since I had to make it count, I started my trek up Thurman to Holman gate.
I love Holeman, its a bit like a hike its so fucking steep but who cares, its rad.
It also makes for a great warm-up as well.
From Holman, I clik onto 53rd down to Firelane 1.
F1, as it turns out, was in really good shape depsite our recent wet weather so BOMBS AWAY!
The new brakes and wheels I've got mounted up are so noticable its crazy.
Leave it to Shimano to get their brakes totally spot on.
No noise like Im swinging a turkey by the neck and slamming its fat fucking body against a tree.
Hear that guys at Avid.....
Probably not since its pretty obvious that no one at that company probably even rides their own shitty product other wise they would have sorted this.
Just no drama what so ever and the modulation and stopping power is mega rad.
The new wheels, ( like most ) are round and they roll.
Amazing concept I know but combined with the really solid XT Hi-flange hubs, double butted DT spokes and good hoops, these pups are lively, smooth and fast.
Tracking and changing directions at speed, is not even on the same page as the stock wheels though the old ones were definitely not bad by standards.
Just different and a bit less dialed in their purpose.
I take a good visual on the exit of F1 to Erikson and all is clear to bank north and continue.
Well mostly, every ride in the park is punctuated by at least one " dog off the leash " incident.
No prob, I make the obligitory evasive maneuver, trim the fur and keep right on going.
The sun is out.
Nothing is going to get me into aggro mode today at all.
Pedal, pedal, pedal.
Just me and my bike.
Mile after mile to the junction of Erikson and Saltzman.
No break, just head west up the hill to Skyline.
Getting a nice change of pace, its amazing the richness of the canopy in the park.
The smell of Autumn.
Once I reach the road, I immediately hook a U-turn and hit Firelane 5.
I always forget this one is here, but its one of my favorites and a bit more techincal than its counterparts.
So down I go.
Im trying to catch this cyclocross dude who blew by me on the last part of the climb but he's cleary in way better shape than I am.
What Im amazed at is that he is getting down this trail so fucking fast on essentially a road bike with knobby tires....
Oh well, I do my best to close the gap to no avail but its super awesome anyway.
Back to Erikson, I get the lead out and head back south.
Its not the most challenging of rides, but then again, does it always need to be?
Not for me.
The freedom is all that Im after.
Weaving my way through a few oncoming riders and closer to the gate, the beloved " Im gonna stand in the middle of the road with my stroller, dog, and coffee with 10 of my best friends " crowd, I try to just be nice.
No really, I tried.
And for the most part succeeded judging by the fact that no cops were waiting for me anywhere.....
Jam through the gate.
Dodge some more folks, dogs and coffee sippers and down the hill I go.
By the time I reach the Rat Car, its so warm it feels like summer again.
Awesome and somber at the same time.
Not that the riding is over, but for anyone who rides in the NW, you know the warmth of summer is pretty exceptional.
Load up, and fire some good music into the Rat.
Something fun and summer-y.
Yeah, Motorhead works.
Back at the house, I figure, " what the fuck, its early ", so I open up location 1b and get to work on the urban assault vehicle which now sports some new hoops as well.
Time to get them true and straight, which I figure is part of the problem with its tracking and handling issues.
I pull out some of its guts as well and give 'em a good grease bath.
Wet weather around the corner so I figure I would rather do this on a nice day that when 1b is like 40 fucking degrees inside.
When its that cold, the old tattoo fingers are like bratwursts.
And about as useful since Im not going to eat them.
As the day winds down.
The warmth of the day still radiating off of the concrete.
My mits covered in grease and some kind of solvent that smells a bit like an Florida orange juice truck burst into flames, I sip my hot chocolate and just sit.
Watch the breeze blow the turning leaves off of the trees that line my street.
And say to myself, what an awesome way to spend the last best day of summer.