Sticking with the current running theme, spent some time at East Fork with a friend running in the rain this evening. Typical fall weather on the menu; rain, overcast, chilly… perfect for a trail run. The original plan was to dust off the Surly and get a nice fall ride in, but since it had rained for most of the day, the New Balance Minimus came out to play instead.
We decided to run the middle section of the MTB trail, which as you can see in the blurry photo it was completely covered in wet leaves, which in turn caused me to bust my ass in a slightly off camber section. After the trail check to my knee, it gave me a moment to slow down and really look around while running, and basically see things off of the trail that I have never seen before. I will say it kinda blew my mind as to what I have been missing with my mountain bike tunnel vision, it was definitely nice to slow down a bit and take it all in.
Just keep running…
I am not going to lie, I am excited. If you have read this blog before, you know that I like random, craft beers. Bonus points if they are local. Anyway, I caught wind of a new up and coming brewery based out of Listermann Brewing Co. a while ago, and I have been looking for some of their products to sample. For some reason, maybe it’s my ADD when it comes to beer purchases, but I would get side tracked by another brand. Triple Digit was always in the back of my mind though, with the thought that if I ever saw a bottle, it was mine. Luckily, while out at a craft beer store in Kenwood, I laid my eyes on a bottle and the rest is history. Or at least just this review. Enter Triple Digit Brewing’s Aftermath:
The Aftermath pours a good looking dark copper brown, with a race car style head. I say that due to the head blasting out of the bottle, and receding quite quickly down to nothing in your glass. This all happens in a matter of seconds, which is a little odd in my opinion. The scents off of this one hit you like a strong Scottish style ale, sweet but with touches of alcohol in there too. For taste, this beer is interesting. I am picking up a bit of bitterness in the beginning, which fades to a nice malt sweetness. Rounding out the flavors is that high alcohol burn that finishes this beer in a great way. Who doesn’t like high alcohol content right? The carbonation level is pretty high, a little more than I expected. Not that it ruins the beer, the flavors shine though and make this one very enjoyable.
One thing to note; after my first glass, I noticed a recommended serving temperature of 50 degrees is written on the side of the bottle. For my second glass out of the 22oz bottle, I left the beer out of the fridge to give it a chance to warm up. This slowed the head on the pour quite a bit, turning it from a race car style head to more of a cheetah. Big difference in speed there. The flavors, once warmed kicked the carbonation back just a tad, and made this beer even more enjoyable. My suggestion would be to take this one out of the fridge 15 minutes or so before you plan on drinking it, just to let it warm up.
Overall, this is a solid representation of the style. A little high on the carbonation when it is too cold, once warmed a tad it is the bee’s knees for a Scottish style ale. As I stated earlier, I am really excited for this brand, and I cant wait to try more from them. Especially since I drive by their home base everyday on my way to and from work. Well done Triple Digit, cant wait to try some more!
Another trail down on the list, I finally made it back to Mitchell Memorial after around 4 years of not being there. When I first rode it, it was only a 3.9 mile loop that was interesting, but definitely not worth the 40 minute drive. My how 4 years can change a trail…
My friend Eric and I started out on the “A” loop, which is the part of the trail that I remembered. Very flowy, tight, well groomed single track is what awaits you with the “A” trail, but at 3.9 miles it leaves you wanting more. That is where the “B” trail comes in. At just a little over 4 miles, this section of the trail was quite impressive, and still relatively new. The trail splits into an upper and lower section, that still connects, so we started on the higher road.
The upper section was a little bit of climbing, but overall nothing too impressive. Once we started to head down the hill however, things got a little interesting. Rocks were everywhere on the lower trail. And by rocks, I am not talking gravel, but huge sections of pizza box sized boulders that make this trail absolutely amazing. Lots of off-camber rocky sections that you would normally not find in Ohio, that keep you on your toes. It was an absolute pleasure to ride a trail like this again. Well done CORA for putting this one together!
The sun dropped a little quicker than we had anticipated this evening, so we pushed the pace a bit to make it back to the car before it was completely dark. Well worth the ride, and even worth the drive from the eastside of the Cincinnati region. I highly recommend this trail!
Just keep spinning…
In the Cincinnati area, we are blessed with quite a few local breweries that are producing a great amount of high quality beers. My favorite of the bunch though comes from Mt. Carmel. For me, I have not had a bad beer out of their lineup, and a few of their beers are classics in my opinion. One of which that I have not had until now is their Harvest Ale, and it is quickly joining the ranks of one of my favorite beers ever. Yes… ever. That said, enter the Harvest Ale:
The Harvest Ale pours a nice dark copperish amber, with a very well pronounced head. It takes a while for it to retreat, but not so much to be annoying. The smells that come off of my pint glass remind me of fall, with a bit of earthy scents. Taste wise, you get quite a few malt flavors, some of which are mildly sweet, and finish with a slight hop hit. The hops make this fall seasonal very enjoyable, almost as it is the last hurrah for hops before their amazing Winter Ale hits the shelves. The flavors blend so well with this beer that I found myself drinking a few at each sitting. Now that I have finished my last one, I will definitely be picking up another sixer tomorrow!
If you are looking for a great fall seasonal brew, definitely look for this one. Well worth the money, and I would place it just behind their Winter Ale as my favorite Mt. Carmel product. Well done!
Quick ride tonight at Landen Deerfield park. Small trail, but a pretty solid one nonetheless. It is amazing how much trail that was squeezed into one small area, tucked inside a neighborhood. Definitely not a destination trail, but if you are in the area already, it might be worth your time. Only around 3 miles or so total, so it is a good system to roll some laps.
Here is a video of their tiny rock garden, next time I am there I will try to film the upper area of this section, which is a little tricky. The video makes it looks simple. Thanks to Eric for filming this spot!
Just keep spinning…
Lately, I have called the Troll into tail duty, which has been an absolute blast. This bike rolls so smoothly in the woods that I am having a hard time with the thought of returning it to the road. Anyway, the busy schedules of two people has finally come together, so I can now introduce my friend Eric to the wonderful sport of mountain biking. Good times indeed.
Big thanks to CORA for the new trail addition, which makes a great trail even better. Go ride it!
Just keep spinning…
If you have been cycling for a while, you probably have some sort of backpack that is made just for your cycling pleasure. I am sure that most of us gear geeks have a Camelback or two hanging out in our gear shed (Two for me!). My latest purchase needed to be a little more versatile than both of my Camelbacks, so I decided to try out another brand, which led me to my local outfitter, Roads, Rivers, Trails to check out the variety of packs. After talking over my wants and needs with their knowledgeable staff, I ended up going with Osprey. The bird geek in me rejoiced.
The Talon 22 is one of their Multi-Use packs, which focuses primarily on cycling. This pack is very versatile in regards to size, fitting in the 1200-1300 cu in. daypack category. This is a size of pack that I am desperately lacking (I am a backpack whore, I’ll admit) and primarily I plan on using it to carry my growing camera gear while on the bike. I also wanted a pack that I could load up for the day, and stay in the woods for a while. This pack fits right in with those thoughts. While it is on the smaller side of the spectrum, it still packs in quite a bit of gear, and I plan on trying to do an ultralight overnight or two with this pack, with minimal gear of course.
Some of the other handy features of this pack are an external hydration sleeve to keep your reservoir separate from your stuff; side pockets with compression straps, with one side having taller tie down points for longer gear, like a tripod; and the handy dandy LidLock, which holds your helmet in place when you are not wearing it. I am a bit confused as to why I need that concept, but it does work nicely.
In this price range of around $100, this is a solid pack so far. I have only had it in action just once, since I just bought it yesterday. Today on a small hike, I loaded it to capacity to see how it felt, and it was pretty amazing. We shall see how that first impression stands up to the tests of time. Stay tuned!
Osprey sums up the Talon 22 with this short video, as well as providing the monotone overdub:
Be sure to check out Osprey at the link above, as well as Roads, Rivers, Trails which is located in historic downtown Milford!