I have had two freewheels disintegrated on me this year. After the second one I figured there must be something wrong with the hub or freewheel and so I decided to buy a new wheel. Today was the first ride with the new wheel. The rim is 28mm wide compared to the normal 20mm wide. I wasn't sure if this would be a good thing or a bad thing. The wider rim should give more stability, and prevent the tire from rolling over the rim at low pressure, but it is heavier and so may be worse for climbing.
I don't know if it was all in my head or not. Maybe I wanted the new wheel to be good and so subconsciously I just performed better, but I seemed to be able to climb through my technical mistakes that normally would have ended the climb.
Also I rode a lot of the ride with Layne right behind me. In an effort to keep moving and not slow him down I was going a bit faster than I should have a few times. The last time I dropped down the 20ft dip at a good clip and on the way back up I was a bit out of control and smacked into a large boulder to the side of the trail. I stuck
arm out to protect me from the boulder and ended bending two of the fingers backwards. Now I have two nicely swollen fingers.
I'm not sure if the moral of today's ride is: "Keep arms and legs in the vehicle until the ride has come to a complete stop" or "Don't let Layne ride right behind you."