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River Bends Trail Closed?

Tonight I fitted my bike with a 185mm front rotor (Avid G2 Clean Sweep; upgrade from 160mm), so I set out towards River Bends to try both it and a new (to me) CamelBak Podium bike bottle. For some reason both the paved and dirt paths through River Bends were closed off, leaving me no place to go. I continued on past the closed sign on the paved path for a bit, but just as my light was illuminating some heavy machinery I heard a loud CLUNK come from it, similar to a door latch, so I turned and headed back. I’ll try and remember to call tomorrow and see if I can get some information about the construction.

Being only a few miles into my ride I considered heading up to Stony Creek for some night time single track riding, but as it was getting late (just before 9pm) I instead headed over to downtown Utica, over to Clinton River Park, through the park’s paved path to Clinton River Road, out to Schoenherr, 19 Mile to Hayes, then back home.

During this time it seems that the rotor has begun bedding in and starting to work better. Due to its larger diameter I’ve found that I get an occasional rubbing / chirping sound when turning tight corners. So far it seems that this will work out well, and hopefully it won’t fade as fast during extended bits of downhill stuff, which is a problem I was particularly noticing while riding the North Country Trail (NCT) over Labor Day.

The CamelBak Podium bottle also worked out very well. I’ve been having a problem with HEED, my preferred electrolyte / sugary drink while riding, leaking out of bottles and getting on my frame. Even worse, when on the NCT enough spilled that it dried on the shifter cable guide, sticking the cable in place, and making shifting very difficult.

After reading a bit of Fat Cyclist’s blog I’d found that he particularly liked these bottles, so I’d wanted to give one a try. Due to a series of interesting circumstances I ended up with a barely-used one yesterday while cleaning up the trail, and I decided to take it home, wash it out, and use it. While I only took a short ride on relatively smooth surfaces (save for a few curbs and potholes and hopping random things), I had no problems with leakage. Liquid flowed quite rapidly through it when squeezed, and it fit snugly in my bottle holder. The wider-than-my-other-bottles neck also made pouring in a scoop of powdered HEED very easy. I think I might have to get another one of these.

If you’re interested, here’s a few cycling-related photos from the past week or two:

· Fern-lined downhill part of the NCT. Riding up this was terribly hard.
· More fern-liked trail along the NCT, this time in a nice stand of trees.
· Inside of the tent where I slept over Labor Day at my grandparents’ house.
· Bob trying to hit me in the golf cart that we had for setting up the Addison Oaks race last Friday.
· Cones, set up to divide the two-way paved path and bridge connecting the single track with the start/finish line.
· A very dirty Rob with a bent-up hand and scraped arm after a fall on one of the very last turns at Addison Oaks during the race.

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