The pattern changed a bit this evening with the inclusion of Dave, who traveled down to RRCC after work for some 'crossing on his LHT. He removed the pannier and a few blinkies but still crossed with his rear rack and SON, which I think is awesome. I just realized that a better bike for the RRCC course might be his RaleighSS with some nice 30s. I rode the CrossCheck again, but with a tire change. I have been running monstercross Panaracer FireCross, 45c behemoths which weigh 10lb each, but which also engender an extreme amount of confidence. Not long ago I picked up some new Clement PDXs, which are marketed as mud tires but which have a nice raised center ridge for the pavement, so I mounted those up and pumped them to 60psi, right in the middle of the suggested range. A boy my size is *never* going to run 40psi true cross style, so be it.
Dave met me at the vehicle to stow his pannier and we followed my usual pattern. We rode over to RRCC and took an easy warm-up lap to introduce Dave to the course. We then hit our first hot lap in 6.53 for a 15.2avg. Not bad in the grass, albeit hard, beaten-down grass given our lack of rain. We then did a nice, easy cool-down swing before diving in to the next hop lap, this one at 6.58/15.1. The times are mas o menos, b/c the start and end points are ballpark but not exact. This time we took a little longer cool-down out towards the end of RRCC before taking in our last hot lap of the evening. We/I decided to do the course backwards for variety, but this put us (Dave) in a perilous situation of which I will elucidate. The western end of the course has a cross tie run-up, which also has a little worn path up the right side which I usually use; I can't remount for shit. In doing the course backwards we come at it from the high side of the steps. I knew roughly where it was and took the path descending and thought of whether Dave would remember as he was a bit behind me. As I rounded the tree and looked I saw Dave descending and thought, "cool", and motored on, finishing the last lap in 7.00/15.2avg again. Eventually I saw Dave moseying towards me through the field where he began to regale me of the fact that he did *not* descend via the path but had come straight down the cross-tie steps, but had managed to stay up. His bars rotated a bit down and he though the wheel was out-of-true, but that turned out not to be the case. They're Big Stairs! And I told him that if he could handle those then any mtbike obstacle was within his skill level.
We took an easy final cool down via the Cox Park path before returning to the car after a bit more than an hour of riding, well, for me. Dave commuted home as well so he's got me on mileage in spades for the day. I had a really good day on the bike, though, and the PDXs at a medium psi made for a nice tire for the conditions. I'll have to ride them when it's a bit more soupy after some rain and make a long-term review. They're a hell of a lot more supple than the FireCross's, that's for sure.