Fun hike/DH session today at Left Hand Canyon with Young Skywalker.
Featuring: Finding your optimal arousal level.
Plus: Bike vs moto AND first ride on Specialized Butcher tires!
• Good ol’ fashioned work getting up the hill. A good mix of pedaling and hiking.
• Alex is racing Sea Otter in six weeks. His fitness and skills are very good. Time to help him find his optimal intensity level: as aggro as possible without turning stupid. For me, that’s an 8 out of 10. He needs to find his own optimal arousal level. To turn up the dial, I had him chase me with intent to pass.
Alex rode the gnar very well at his own pace, but he kept making mistakes while chasing me. All good. That’s why we practice going as fast we we can. On the final 2X down the dirt road, I missed a line. He made a clean pass and stayed in front the rest of the way. Great work!
Photos by Farid Tabaian
Young Skywalker pins this chicane. It’s about 1,000 times steeper than it looks.
I enjoy a faster/flowier section. The Enduro eats this stuff up.
The Butchers hook up. Should have gone faster.
Steeper than it looks! Dipping into a nice rut.
Bike vs. moto
We were surfing icy ruts along a sidehill when I caught a slow moto rider. I hit the brakes, both tires locked and I slid right at the guy’s back tire. Yikes! I let go of the brakes, hopped into the slush and made the pass.
Ahead, his faster buddies were waiting for him. I stopped to say hey and wait for my crew. They said something about how crappy their friend must feel because he got passed by a mountain biker. I was like, well, when it gets this technical, bicycles can be easier to ride fast. (I’ve ridden these trails on bike and moto; on the gnarly stuff I feel faster on a bike.)
As I started to go, they were like whatever and took off ahead of me. Alex and I pinned it. Pedal pedal skim pump along the flat road and through the rock gardens. We caught the moto riders right away.
I yelled on your left. The guy glanced over and rolled more throttle. Awesome, a dice session. I sped up too.
Pretty soon he was in the way again: sitting on the seat, blipping the throttle on and off, looking sketchy. I suppose he missed the lesson where you stand on the pegs and maintain constant throttle (sort of like on a bike). Oh well. I saw a clean line through the big rocks and pumped even with him. At this point, the Code of Braaap says he should have either:
1) Pinned it and dropped me, or
2) Let me complete the pass.
Maybe he was looking at me, and his gaze pulled him sideways, but home boy on the KTM started leaning into me on my Enduro. We were clattering over rocks elbow to elbow, and it was clear he was choosing option 3.
Race Day Lee felt like laying down some power and getting this thing done, but Daddy and Coach Lee backed off and let the motos go. I guess my arousal was at 11. I had to dial it down to 8.
First ride on Specialized Butchers
In other news, today I ran a set of 2.3 Specialized Butcher DH tires.
• They measure about 1/8 inch smaller than the 2.5 Minion DHF and High Roller I’ve been running.
• They roll pretty well, considering they’re soft downhill tires.
• They got very good braking and cornering traction. Compared to the Maxxi, I did not notice any loss of braaap.
Stay tuned for a fuller report.
Know more. Have more fun!
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