When I woke up this morning for the highly-anticipated Massive Fallout ride it was raining, the ground was wet, and there was a threat of continued precipitation throughout the day. With the forecast calling for the dripping to cease at 9am I decided to ride the Salsa El Mariachi Single Speed instead. It was already a bit dirty, and I really prefer to ride a single speed when there’s the chance to ride sloppy trails and roads, as the simplified drivetrain really cuts down on wear and the potential for things to go wrong. A clip-on fender was added to keep spray off of my rear end, which is quite nice during longer days.
While I’d never really considered a single speed an appropriate bike for me to do long endurance-ish rides, I figured it was worth a go. Having been fitted with a suspension fork in anticipation of PSSWC this seemed like as good of time as any, and it worked out quite well. I missed the gears in a few places (slow climbs, dirt roads, the PCT), but it was comfortable and removed concern about grinding parts down with wet grit.
The group I was with ended up finishing the whole route, save for skipping the upper ridge and switchbacks in Bloomer as not everyone in our group was comfortable on those segments. We finished by riding over to the Stony Creek main entrance and visiting the Trolly and Fitness Trails before riding the paved path back to the main parking lot. My computer logged a total of ~60.47 miles with an ride time of 5:38:16 (out of 6:59:52 total). Unfortunately the wheel magnet was bumped early on so this is mostly GPS/GLONASS data and thus less accurate (as deatailed here for the GPS-only Edge 500) and full of false pauses, so the actual value may be a little higher. The data in Strava can be found here.
Massive Fallout is my favorite group ride. During my first year of riding (2008) I rode with Rob Ritzenhein and Jeff Wood, having an incredibly great time. It was hard, but I finished, and I enjoyed it. I strongly suspect that the friendly folks on that ride and the comfortable atmosphere are a big reason why I kept enjoying the social aspects of the local MTB community. For this year’s event I ended up meeting Wendi and Jered in Stony Creek and riding with them, adding Ian to our group for the final half. This was really fun, and exactly what I wanted out of today: a long, beautiful autumn ride on some of Southeast Michigan’s best mountain bike trails with friends.
Oh, and the rain that was threatening all day? It didn’t arrive until almost 10pm at night, long after we’d finished.