On Wednesday I did the MMBA Stony Creek group ride. I went mainly due to the fact that my friends Erick and Katie were going to be there. Erick just got back into riding this year, and this was to be Katie's 2nd time ever riding the trails.
As I leave work at 5:00, and the group doesn't meet until 6:30, I had time to do a quick lap of the roller coaster and the pines before heading down to the high school. Despite the heat, there was a nice size group there.
We rolled up Sheldon road, and entered Stony. After a quick regroup we headed towards the Pines. Two of the more experienced women took Katie under their wings for the evening, while the rest of us did the pines, a lap of the roller coaster, and a 2nd lap of the pines. This ride was a nice "no drop" format, with periodic stops to regroup. This was a refreshing change of pace from Tuesday's solo ride, where I held a faster pace and only stopped a couple times.
The GT handled great... once I got used to it again. It handles quite differently than the Rig (26er vs. 29er, smaller frame, standard bars vs. Mary bars). I can throw the GT around easier, but the Rig is much less affected by small obsticles and bumps in the trail. The flipside of this is that the GT is twitchier than I'm used to. Running a 2.3 Vertical Pro in the front and a 2.1 Fire XC in the rear, both pumped to 28psi yielded a rather cushed ride, and the tires hooked up great in the dry loose conditions. I'm considering lowering the pressure on the Rig a bit: I usually keep them around 36psi.
Earlier today I spoke to Erick, and he said that Katie really enjoyed herself on Wednesday, and that she is starting to get hooked. This is really nice to see; someone brand new coming into the sport, and someone else picking it back up after a long absence. I hope to see more of those 2 out on the trail.