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Messages - PKemppainen

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Rants and Raves / Re: platform vs. clipless
« on: December 13, 2012, 03:39:29 PM »
I've been riding clipless since I started on my MTB. I started with SPDs and moved to Eggbeaters, as I can access them from four sides. I've also ridden on Candy's, which kind of offer the best of both worlds.
Being a road rider before getting into MTB riding more, I was used to getting some power on the upstroke, which I now find can help on the hill climbs.

Rants and Raves / Re: New Trail at Obannon
« on: November 08, 2012, 11:03:00 PM »
Been riding there all summer. Chiggers were a nuisance at times, but some DEET kept it to a minimum.

The new trail is great, with many interesting features. The leaves make it even more interesting now.

Trail building and maintenance is ongoing. See the post on the Obannon page about a work day this Saturday, November 10 at 10am. Join the fun...

Tech Bench / New Wheels or Not New Wheels???
« on: September 10, 2012, 04:28:33 PM »
I have a set of 29" WTB Speed Disc Cross Country wheels that came with my bike, a Norco Nitro 9.1 hardtail. So far, the bike has been a great ride.
I was tuning it up the other day after a ride and noticed my back wheel was no longer running true. I made some adjustments and have it mostly back to true, but will probably bring it down to the shop and let them check it out, after I ride it yet this afternoon.
I am curious if anyone else has any experience with those wheels, and what those experiences may be.
I am a larger rider (6-3 and 205), so I am curious if my size may be any type of a factor on why the wheel has gone goofy. Other than logs and rock gardens, my rides are fairly generic. (No jumps, etc.)
If you are a larger rider, is there a set of wheels you've had that you'd recommend? I'd prefer not to break the bank, if you know what I mean.

Find a Trail / Ride Report: Grey-Bruce Counties in Ontario
« on: August 21, 2012, 02:04:27 PM »
To escape the summer heat in Southern Indiana, I have made two trips up to the Grey-Bruce area in midwest Ontario. To give you an idea of where that is, it's the opposite side of Lake Huron, from about the tip of the thumb to the top of the lower peninsula in Michigan. You'd cross over at Port Huron, Michigan to Sarnia, ON, and begin working north along the lake shore. If you drive all the way to the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, you'd arrive at Tobermory, near the Bruce National Park, a worthwhile destination for hiking and sightseeing. From here near Louisville, KY, it's an all-day drive, but when it's in the upper 90's here, it's 15-20 degrees cooler there.
A link to some of the trails I hit in Bruce County is at: http://www.mtbthebruce.com/
I had a chance to ride the Brant Tract, and had a great time. The beginner and intermediate trails were fast and fun on my 29er, with some twists and turns, as well as wooden bridges and boardwalks. The expert trail was much like I ride at O'Bannon Woods, without the rocks. The trails were well maintained and well-marked. I am looking forward to making another trip so I can hit the Lindsey Tract, further up the peninsula.
In Grey County, I've had the chance to ride West Rocks in the Owen Sound area as well as Sawmill Trails near Hepworth. West Rocks is generally a flat trail system, but has many rocky sections, where bike skills/management is important, while Sawmill Trails are hilly, weaving through hardwoods and pine trees. I recommend maybe stopping in at the local bike shop in Owen Sound to get some basic directions for the Grey County trails, as the local conservation authority is still working out the details. West Rocks does have maps at the head of the trails, and a power line running down the middle creates a central access point where the trails depart and return to.

Find a Ride / Re: Michigan
« on: July 25, 2012, 11:52:33 AM »
You didn't mention how far you wanted to drive. I grew up in west Michigan, and Petoskey and Traverse City are both good suggestions.
The Petoskey area puts you close to Wilderness, Wildwood Hills and the Boyne Mountain area.
Traverse City is a good sized area, and offers a few choices for rides, plus you'd be near Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Another possibility I suggest would be the Pentwater/Ludington/Manistee area on Lake Michigan. It's not quite as far up the coast, and you'd be near Silver Lake sand dunes, and Arcadia Dunes Trails and Big M are within striking distance from there.

O'Bannon Woods State Park / Re: O'bannon info please
« on: July 24, 2012, 01:47:29 PM »
According to my GPS, the last time I rode OBW,  I covered 13.1 miles. I rode the two trails, parking near and starting at the Fire Tower, without getting on the Adventure Trail, which I understand can be "hike a bike" in places.
The new Group Camp trail starts with a weave through the woods, some fast segments, then moves into a rocky, technical section as it crosses a series of dry creek beds, then switches to a mix of rock, roots and some fun rollers as it gets past the Group Camp. It's approximately six and a half miles out and back. I would consider it the toughest trail at OBW, but then I haven't been on the Adventure Trail yet. I haven't been to Brown County either, but I have heard other riders compare it to Walnut.
The Fire Tower Trail starts fast and flowing, with a nice elevation drop. There is one log across the trail that requires jumping, or hitting the brakes, which interrupts the flow. One rock garden hangs right along the edge of a steep hill, which is quite impressive, and provides a strong incentive to clear the segment. After another short mix of flow and rock, it meets up with the Rocky Ridge Loop. The Rocky Ridge Loop starts with a fast, rolling section, then drops into a rocky section as it crosses a creekbed and climbs out, before working back out to the Fire Tower Trail. It's got to be about six miles or so in total by the time you'd get back to the Fire Tower. There are some technical segments on the Rocky Ridge Loop and I personally don't consider it as tough a trail as the Group Camp Trail, but it is definitely not a beginner trail.
There is also an additional side trail that runs up from the start of the Rocky Ridge Loop to the Campground. I've ridden that a few times just to fill my water bottle.
In my opinion, it is definitely worth a visit.

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