Sunday afternoon ride on the Great White Hope

Now that I have my Stumpjumper HT 29er built back up after repainting it, I’ve been able to log in a couple of quick 1-hour training rides to get the components adjusted where I like them.  On Sunday morning I ducked out (unfortunately skipping church, which makes me feel a little guilty) and went on a decent little ride on the ridge above Mt Laurel.  I knew that Sunday afternoon promised plenty of rain, so if I was going to do anything it had to be in the morning.

I set out around 9:30 in what was somewhat cool temperatures.  Luckily my arm warmers kept me mildly warm on the short jaunt along Hwy 41, and then the Cat 3 climb up Double Oak Way definitely warmed me up.

My route took me to the first crest on Double Oak Way (the first rollercoaster hill before the cell tower), then down the long downhill towards Gate #1.  With my front end being so much lower than it was on the Bandersnatch, along with the rigid front fork, I had a moment where I almost ate it hard by putting too much weight forward on the screaming descent.  After that, I rode the brakes pretty good.  Plus it was still rather wet from the recent rains.

The small creek crossing that I normally pedal through was flowing hard, even creating some nice little bubbling whitewater just upstream.  It was at least high ankle deep at the shallowest parts, and probably 12 feet across.  I decided to turn it around and head back uphill to get in some more good climbing.

Once at the top of the trail and back at Double Oak Way, I headed towards the power line crossing at the southern ridge.  From there it was backtracking and a little climbing up the steep hill leading to the northern ridge trail.  Rain had already started and I was running out of time before a luncheon at church so I headed back home via Double Oak Way and Hwy 41.  All told it was around 19.4 miles with around 2100 feet of climbing.

The Great White Hope is really dialed in at the moment (except for a front tire that has been leaking air) and proved to be fairly fast.  I was able to post my best times so far on several Strava segments, so I look to only improve upon that as I actually start to get more riding time in this summer.

Some random photos from the ride are posted below.

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