Rather than spend a bunch of time putting in miles on the mountain bike in an effort to boost my summer racing I've pushed alot of my focus to giving back instead of always taking. What I'm trying to say is I've been doing some much needed trail work. In the past 2 years my commitment to doing trailwork has been kinda slim, mainly due to my work schedule but I've finally found a way to work around this. I've been doing most of my trail work during the week and I've even found a few other folks with odd ball schedules to help out.
Trailbuilding can really be enlightening and fun, especially when you get to reap the rewards of your hardwork.
We've really made alot of progress with the new trail that's being built at Bays Mountain. Even though the volunteer turnout has sucked the excellent soil conditions have made thing flow smooth and very efficient.
Not only does trailbuilding make me feel good it's an excellent workout. It's not quite as fun as mountain biking but it is free and the reward for your work will last for many many years.
I can really only think of one negative thing about trailbuilding and that is the lack of help we get. With the HUGE potential that we have here in NE Tennessee for building trails and the large mountain biking population it's really sad to see how little others give back. We have a ton of opportunity for new trails right here in our backyard but we are moving at a snails pace taking advantage of it because the few who do show up can only do so much.
I can think of 3 separate projects that need our attention just at Bays Mountain that we could be doing but will have to sit on the back burner for a while. Just the other day I had to turn down a request for help building a totally new trail system because I knew we are to understaffed to do the work. I don't want to promise anything I can't follow through with and I knew it couldn't be done and I felt bad for saying no but it had to be done.
Enough of the negativity, this weekend should be a good one to stick around town for. Bike @ Bays is back again and this year will probably be the biggest yet. Really it gets bigger and better every year but this year we've gotten even more support from the local bike shops than we have in the past and we've added a new event, the Chainless Bike Race. A gravity fed race down Azalea where riders see who can get down the mountain the farthest without the aid of pedaling. Costumes have been encouraged so the spectator's view should be entertaining. I think a video recap will be a must for sure this year.
There has officially been a change in the tide in my bike room. A official attempt to sell the JET was made and the out come has been declared a failure. Some will say it was because my asking price was too high and that may have been the case but it was probably for the better. After 2 weeks on Ebay and a few decent offers one which I almost took I decided to pull the plug and keep the JET. I never disliked the JET in any shape or form, it's a great bike I just had a yearning for the singlespeed life again but I think those days may be past for me or at least on hiatus. With past back issues and Melinda's recent back injury it has gotten me thinking maybe the singlespeed gig just isn't what I need right now. The JET is a ton of fun and some of my reasons for trying to sell it where due to some drivetrain issues its had. I finally put in an order for a new rear derailleur and a chain guide to remedy any and all of the drivetrain issues I had. Another thing that kept me from truly falling in love with the JET was the lack of a proper fork, one that was meant to be on that bike. The JET is sporting a tapered head tube but since it's birth in my bike room it's been running a regular straight 1 1/8" fork. Today I officially ordered a new fork with a tapered steer tube and I went ahead and went for the thru axel. Why not go full bore and make this one bad ass bike. No more half ass building here. Vanna White is officially going to be sporting nothing but the finest duds I can afford.
I've always been a Rock Shox kind of guy but this time I went with Fox, I've heard good things about them and rather than buy a new wheelset to accommodate the 20mm Reba I'm keeping the Mavics and converting the hub to a 15mm which is what the Fox fork uses.
I looked around trying to find a good chain guide since I refuse to be normal and use a front derailleur. I run all of my bikes 1x9's which tends to hurt more on big climbs but makes me look tougher when I clean them. I gotta do something to be a little different.
The complexity of the JET9's frame due to a rear shock mount makes it difficult to run a simple chain deflector so I went with some a bit more fancy with the bottom bracket mounted MRP G2 mini. They come in a wide variety of cool colors but I decided to stick with black since I like my chains greasy.