I haven’t been on a MTB without pain since early July and not on my MTB at all since early August. The first month of withdrawal was bad, but by month two I got used to the lack of shredding and focused my energies on fly fishing to keep me sane. All bad things must end so I was happy to finally be pain free in my left arm a month ago. I gave it 2 weeks of additional rest just to be safe and then embarked on my first dirt ride on Terra Nova Trail.
I’m going to be riding the Santa Cruz Nomad through the winter to keep the Mach 6 from all the wet/gritty wear ‘n tear. Having a great 2nd bike is a luxury. I’ve got to say I came away impressed riding my 6yr old middle of the road build Nomad. It compares very favourably to the brand new uber build Mach 6 – especially coming down where the extra 8lbs and wide tires just keep it glued to the trail. Don’t get me wrong. I love the new bike and if I had to keep only one bike the Nomad would be history, but it’s held up very very well. Nice work Santa Cruz. 🙂
I rode Terra Nova the last two Sundays. The first time because it’s a relatively easy ride with less tech so I figured it would be kind to my arm. The second time because there were a bunch of trees that had fallen down and some wet areas that needed draining so I wanted to do a bit of trail maintenance.
In the span of 7 days we went from moist fall riding to full on frozen winter. Often below freezing temperatures on the coast results in very coarse ice that’s super grippy and makes for better than summer conditions. This wasn’t one of those times and staying upright on the bike or on foot was a challenge. Luckily I didn’t fall as I’m not sure my arm could handle a bad crash right now.
All in all these rides were a success. I got to warm up my rusty tech skills and ease my gimpy arm back into the game. It was nice to be back riding with the Dirt Hombres and we managed to clear 5 blown down trees and one epic puddle. Terra Nova needs just a bit more work with a larger hand saw to get rid of a really big tree and some creative bridge building in a low swampy spot, but it’s looking better than ever if you are keen on slightly more XC ride than is typical for South Vancouver Island.