Went out for a pre-turkey burner ride this morning at Great Brook Farm State Park. For the first hour, there was nobody there and everything was frozen. The wooden bridges were uber dicy, many glistening with black ice. The second hour, people with dogs came out of the woodwork and the sun softened things up a bit. I took my still almost new Titus Racer X.
I previously commented how I did not like the Bontrager XDX's because their utter lack of capability to hook up on anything but pavement or hard packed gravel. Now I have another reason to hate them. I pinch flatted. This is only the second time I've had to put a tube in a tubeless tire on the trail in many years of riding tubeless. The XDX's are essentially regular tubed tires Bontrager labels as "tubeless ready." Either they are tubeless tires or not. They had very flimsy sidewalls, yet this flimsiness offers nothing in terms of grip. The Bontrager "Super Juice", which looks a lot like Stan's, did nothing to plug the small pinch hole. I worked the pump a while to get it to seal, but no luck.
To think of it, I have never used a set of Bontrager tires I liked. My Ridley road bike came with Bontrager race tires and I flatted on the first ride I believe. After asking around, I learned others had frequent flats with them. Off they came. I will now add to the collection of barely used Bontrager tires that adorn the walls of my basement. A set of real UST tires came via UPS yesterday. I had planned to replace the worn Panaracer Fire XC Pro's on my singlespeed with them, but now they will go on the Racer X. I wouldn't race with the Panaracers, but they sure are great all-around trail riding tires.
As I was wrapping up my ride around the cranberry bogs, I passed a woman with a very large, loose, aggressive chocolate lab. The thing had a mean, deep growl. He got right along side of me, growled against my calf, leaving slobber trails on my tights. I'd yell at him, he'd back off, then come up along the other side. He did this three or four times until he nipped me and backed off. I didn't want to ruin anybodies holiday, so I bit my tongue and rode on as if nothing happened. But wouldn't you know it, about 15 minutes later my loop brought me past that woman and dog again. Rather than go through that again, I stopped. The dog was much less aggressive while I was stopped. I told the woman "you know, he nipped me the last time I went by." She was all like oh, really, with an attitude of serves you right. I told her it was a good thing I like dogs, and I didn't quite understand what she said as she pulled her dog back, but it was something like "well like your own dog then." Signs there clearly say dogs must be leashed. I don't fault her dog. He was just doing what dogs do. But lady, if you have an aggressive dog, it behooves you to restrain it.
We haven't owned a dog for a few years now. I grew up with labs and we've owned two over most of our 24 married years. The last one got very aggressive as he got old, snapping at young relatives on a couple occasions. A few years ago, my sister's family visited us here in NH. We put Boris in the basement told the kids to not go down there. One did, Boris attacked, leaving marks around the rib cage (Boris was big enough to get mouth around Ryan's torso). We decided to put Boris down a short time after that. My neighborhood is full of small children. Owning an aggressive 90 lb lab is a huge liability. I could not risk a neighbor child wandering into our yard with Boris tied up and having a catastrophe happen. Harsh measures, sure, and it was not an easy decision for either of us. But we felt it was the responsible thing to do.
Anyway, looks like the weather may hold up through Friday morning for the FOMBA Turkey Burner ride. I expect to see a lot of familiar faces there. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks for readin'.