OK, that’s not strictly true. I could overemphasize it pretty easily, to be honest. I could say something like, “The only way you will ever have fun riding a bike is if you wear a good pair of bibshorts! If you don’t wear bibshorts, you are bound to suffer horribly, even during the shortest rides! And people will make fun of you and your friends will never call you again!”
And I could go on.
But my point is, a good pair of bib shorts — whether you’re a man or woman — does some really good things for your riding experience:
- They don’t have anything cinching around your waist, which is really nice
- They keep the chamois snug against your butt
- They de-muffintop you, which is really really nice for some of us
- They make it so that you never have a gap between your shorts and jersey, showing off your no-doubt beautifully pale midsection.
Every pair of bibshorts I own are FatCyclist.com bibs. And they’re all fantastic. The ones I have that are four years old are still going strong. They’re comfortable and they’re long-lasting. I’ve been out on many all-day rides with these, and have never had a problem.
And while you’re at it, be sure to check out the other 2013 FatCyclist gear available for pre-order now.
After the Fire
Lambert Park isn’t all that big, as far as mountain bike parks go. But it’s close to home, it’s rideable about ten months out of the year, and it has an amazing amount of fantastic trail packed into the space available.
It’s where I filmed one of my favorite videos of all time:
It’s a great place to head out on a family hike:
And it’s also where the fire that scorched the mountain close to my house started. Here are a few pictures, taken from my back porch over the course of just a couple hours, as the fire worked its way across the side of the mountain:
The fire looks especially freaky as night comes on:
We were lucky, though. After just two days of the fire we got a good rainstorm, which — along with the amazing efforts of the firefighters — pretty much stopped the fire in its tracks. No (human) homes lost.
Of course, now the mountain looks like the Crack of Doom:
But that’ll all — eventually — grow back. And the smoke smell that dominated the area has faded nicely into the background. Or maybe we’ve just gotten used to it.
Anyway, with the fire mostly out (on a windy night earlier this week, we could see a couple of flare-ups), we wanted to see:
What’s Lambert Park like now?
Well, it’s pretty weird. And instructive and interesting, in its own way.
It’s So . . . Small
Until now, Lambert Park was always really thick with scrub oak, so you could never see more than a few yards ahead of you. Strangely, having those bushes and trees all around you made you feel like you were in a really big place. Because you couldn’t see very far — but everywhere you looked there was trees and trail — your mind tricked you into the feeling that they went on forever, in every direction.
Now, however, big chunks of the mountain and the trail are laid bare:
You can see the trail and the direction it goes all the way up — or down — the slope. Suddenly, instead of the sense of riding in a big forested area, you see how close the switchbacks are to each other, and what a short distance it is from where you are to where you’re riding to.
The illusion of “bigness” is gone.
I don’t normally spend a lot of time thinking about plants as living things. I just think about them as plants.
That changes, though, when you see a bunch of them together, burned and black:
It’s spooky. And sad.
Thanks to dividing trails and roads and — as far as I know — efforts of firefighters, there are big chunks of Lambert Park that haven’t been burned at all. Including my favorite parts: Rodeo and Spring. This is from yesterday:
When you’re in this part of the park, it’s like nothing ever happened.
One of the very oddest things about riding through Lambert Park after the fire, though, was seeing what the fire took, and what it left behind.
Something as narrow as a dirt road or a trail seems to have been enough, sometimes, to stop the fire, so one side of the trail would be completely burned away, while the other side would still be green:
The sudden changes, as we’d cross over these barriers between green and burnt mountain, was really startling, every time. Like when you jump into a pool.
But in reverse.
You’re in one world, and then you’re in another.