Thursday, June 30, 2016

June 2016: A Month of Adventures and New Experiences

As I looked back at the month of June, I realized just how many adventures I had packed into the 30 days between May and July. It has been a month of great experiences, and I hope the trend can continue into the rest of my summer, and ultimately the rest of my life.

The first experience was graduating from High School. Twelve years of mostly hard work and dedication finally payed off, setting me totally free for the next two and a half months. 

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for always encouraging me to be my best! 

The second, and probably most notable in my book, was the return of my best friend from Saudi Arabia after about ten months. It is very weird when your friend lives right down the street from you one day and halfway around the world the next day. But now he is back, until mid-August at least, and it has been a blast so far.

Featuring Pathfinder Nalgene Bottle. Unfortunately it was turned and the logo didn't make the photo. 
This is a small one but it has facilitated many great memories throughout the summer: I bought a hammock! This thing is awesome! I take it everywhere and can put it up just about anywhere that I want!

"Currently covering my face with shame BUT IT'S OKAY"

Hammock at Sonic? Oh yes!

Hammock Camping!!
Something totally foreign to me: I got a Cannondale! I've never had a Cannondale before, and I've never even ridden a Lefty, so this but is totally new to me, but I'm incredibly happy with it! 1x11 is the bees knees! Thanks to Pathfinder of WV for this awesome ride! Be sure to check them out for all of your outdoor needs!

First ride/race on the new bike! Unfortunately my skills are a little rusty, leading me to crash about 10 miles in and forcing me to quit :(
Some photos from some random adventures this month!
Going to watch the sunset is one of our favorite things to do

You never know what you will find on the way to Ohio! 

I also recently watched Into the Wild, which is now one of my favorite movies. I'd like to end with a quote from Christopher McCandless, about adventure and experiences because I think it is very inspirational(don't worry I'm not going off the grid).


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Riding the Flint ridge into West Virginia

   After awhile of waiting i was finally able to get a set of the Kenda Flintridge Pro tires in. First thought when these tires were announced was that they were going to be a fast rolling gravel tire. Coming from the Happy Medium i was a little dissuade with much smaller cornering knobs. Though the lack of corner knobs that stick out so much should help with the drag on the road. This will be my first try going tubeless for gravel grinding.
                                                                                  The Flintridge comes in at 442 per tire and is 40g less than the claimed weight. Mounting them up on the Bontrager TLR wheels i have was a breeze, took a bit of muscling it to get it on. They weren't the easiest tires to mount, nor were they the hardest tires (where i would have to use tire levers). With a cheap floor pump i was able to mount them to bead up by 40 psi (10 below the max of 50 on the sidewall).

The first ride on them, was on the single speed. So i would have to carry more speed around some downhill turns, to carry more momentum into the next up hill; in the rolling hills here in western PA. At 40-45 psi these tires felt really stiff, making for a rough ride on the larger gravel, but on the road the took up the road noise perfectly. Now being new to tubeless for gravel riding i have to get away from my habit of running tubed tires 50+ psi, so that i can get a true feeling for these tires.  These felt smooth on the road, quickly get up to speed (especially on descents). Cornering felt solid on them, though bit tough to hold a line over really rough gravel at the high pressure i was running. Once i drop the tire pressure down, it should help them feel much better over the rough stuff.    
The Flintridge Pro (left) and Happy Medium (right)
Both 35mm versions
                    Look for a longer term review after i use these for the                                                     HillyBilly Roubuix and spend more time getting used to tubeless tires.