Not actually my first since I did go out with my youngest for a short trip around some of the main trail last weekend, but the first serious ride. It's been so much colder than normal for so long now and I usually don't start taking the bike out till its at least 50F (I never got a winter kit together and well, I'm lame). I procrastinated all winter and didn't get a new bike so I'm still on the 2002 Giant and I realized yesterday that the rear brake was rubbing against the disc. Turns out both rims are bent now and the rear brake assembly must have taken a hit because it was all out of alignment.
I just loosened the two adjustment post bolts (the ones with all the washers) and set the whole assembly to be as close as possible toward the brake pad which moves when you apply the brake (one of them is fixed and can be adjusted with a little red knob while the other one distends as you apply the brakes). It was supposed to get up to 52F today so I got everything ready to go by around 10am. I set out at a decent pace, but soon was starting to feel my loss of wind. The cold air and a possible cold/allergies thing I've dealing with combined to slow me down such that it took me 22 minutes to get to the first stop (almost as bad as my worst time ever). I got passed by a guy on a fat tire bike who was kicking it (never saw him again ;) but was doing all the black diamonds up to the first big hill (made it only half way up this one - foiled by the logs), made the second one no problem, then skipped the third. Someone apparently bought the land at the back of the park and looks like they're running a sand operation back there (or maybe just removing all the animal bones from what used to be the pet cemetery). I did boundary line, but since I was already at an hour by the time I hit Barlett I decided to just main trail it out. Only did maybe 7.5 miles, but it was a good hour workout.
Sun, Apr 14 ride: I thought I was really blasting away this time, but ended up making the first stop in 20 minutes. Terrible, but better than last time. First hill: 3/4 of the way up before I got hung up on that last hump, 2nd no problem, 3rd: attempted but bailed at the top. All BDs except Burn and Berm and Halloween Trail. All told about 8.5 miles but took me almost an our and 20 minutes. This is actual time (since I no longer have a cat eye which records ride time) and includes a bunch of stops where I was just stopped sucking wind for a while. Man, this stopping riding in the winter thing blows.