Sunday, November 13, 2011

11-11-11: Morning at Liqiud Logic for some Community Service from Obie - Thanks a million for patching up my creek boat. My next creek boat will likely be a Hefe Grande! Then onto Kitsuma to check out the latest Trail changes: (my rant) No more steep section, how can that be a good thing?

On 11-11-11, I woke up on the couch about the time the Late Late Show was finishing up and watched some rock & blues concert videos as well as drank some cold India Pale Ale beverages before waking up the family to torture them with more music at an insanely early hour. I have come to the conclusion that the Rolling Stones were at their best when they had Mick Taylor on lead guitar and that "LADIES & GENTLEMEN the Rolling Stones" from 1972, supporting the album Exile on Main Street (I think the best album they ever released) is one of the best live concert movies ever made - after that era they moved a little away from the blues and into following the fashion of the day: Disco. Just my opinion, like more below, there are plenty who would disagree.
I digress, but I wanted to share.
Anyway, after I got my shit together, I headed up the mountain, stopped at Ridgecrest, laid across the bench seat of my truck to chill and get my head together, debated riding Kitsuma (it was really cold), texted Obie and got the OK to head onto Liquid Logic for a lesson and demonstration in kayak crack repair. I cracked my creek boat at the Green and was in need of some charity work as I am in no way ready to buy a new boat right now. Obie obliged and thank goodness Woody didnt throw me out on my ear for bringing a non-Liquid Logic boat into the shop. They truly do a community service looking out for peeps like myself and for this I will make every attempt to support the company by making my next new boat purchase a Liquid Logic, hopefully after the Tax money comes back and hopefully I'll be able to find a good deal on a Hefe Grande or better yet a big Stomper. I do not think I personally could have gotten this treatment from any other boat manufacturing reps, at least none that I know. I even came away with a new paddling magazine: BOMB FLOW, which is very cool. Obie's handy work:
After I left LL I headed back past A'Ville and onto I-40 but couldnt help but stop back at Ridgecrest. I was feeling much better than when I stopped there earlier that morning. I had heard from G-Moh and Johnny Calhoun about the very recent changes at Kitsuma and wanted to see if it was as drastic as they mentioned. Last year the trail builder had made the uphill switch backs much easier which I understand is very "nice" to a lot of people but to me it took away the challenge of making the tricky switch backs. I had probably only made all of them a few times cleanly during a ride but that was the challenge. Since the changes it is easy to make them all, and I have every ride and I have been meeting JC and others for after work rides frequently this past spring and summer. If it is kept in this condition, I am sure there will not be anyone pushing up during the ORAM in years to come as I had witnessed the 2 times I participated in that event. Hopefully erosion will eventually make it challenging again, we'll see. The literal downside/downhill was really abused last year when they put in some deep water bars that really slow down the momentum. It used to be really fast but with the dips there now as Gerhard says "it is really dangerous to bomb down it", maybe not his exact words but the jist of it. One of my friends, Chris met the trail builder and asked why he had put the big dips in and his reply was "to slow you guys down", he was successful. You cannot carry nearly as much speed through anymore.
As if the trail builder had not done enough last year, they now had done away with the steepest section of downhill from the Kitsuma peak and routed the bike section around the side of the mountain to hook up where the steep section had ended. I remember studying that section back when I was riding the NRS with cantilever brakes. After repeatedly sliding off my bike, dragging my foot down beside me and finally being able to see and ride a line cleanly on the old NRS I felt I had conquered a goal. Another challenge that will only be memories now. To steal JCs comment, they "dummied the trail down", made it more accesible for the masses. Not good in my opinion but it is what it is, there are plenty who like it better post changes, as usual I am in the minority. The only improvement I personally see out of all of the work is they cut back some of the branches that were in yer face on the downhill - the only benefit to all the changes that I see. End of rant. At least the views are still good:
Amos' Epics