I went down to the Kettles today with the intention of making it hurt by riding every loop. Oh, and to take pictures with every pair of sunglasses Cale and I own at different points in the trail system. You know, typical training stuff. I started out and quickly realized my rear tire didn't have enough pressure in it. There was some squirm, but I didn't want to waste a CO2 cartridge on it, so I did a white loop to pump up back at the car. After that it was an out & back, over to the Emma Carlin parking lot, with an extra little loop in over there.
I wasn't focused much on technical stuff- just wanted to put in some hours, but I couldn't resist trying the one thing I've been eyeing up. Wonder of all wonders, I got it on my second try. Ta-da!
The other stuff weren't no thang.
Only problem was, I started running out of sunglasses, because the other half were back at the car for the smaller loops at John Muir. All of the sunglasses are back at the car, I thought, no more sunglasses. But then I realized there were plenty of sunglasses out there... they were just on other people.
Wonderful and rare prescription flip-downs, even!
The day was not all sunglasses and rainbows, though. On the way over, I noticed a little rubbing in the chain (on the watcher) when I was in the higher gears and putting down power with my right leg. It didn't think much of it (or just plain don't think much) but it certainly caught my attention when the chain fell off. The chain has never fallen off on the 1x9. I looked down to find...
The chainring had been flexing, rubbing the chain against the watcher, until it dumped it off. Of course, I was just about the furthest I could get from the car, about an hour and a half out, with two loose aluminum chainring bolts. I thought to myself, what would McGyver do? I channeled the Medieval Chain Guide V2, but couldn't figure out how to fashion two chainring bolts out of rocks and sunglasses. My only stroke of genius was to move one of the bolts opposite the other. Luckily, I had two multi tools along, so I could tighten up the bolts. Much better, but I was still worried about folding it over.
I made it back and got in four hours all told, which isn't bad. My knee was bothering me on standing climbs and the bike wasn't in top form either, so I called it a day. Sadness, I didn't get to wear the other half of the sunglasses. Some other day.
It's not been an easy Spring for the geared bike. First, there was the derailleur incident, now a couple of chain ring bolts have been sacrificed to the mountain bike gods. Heathen, heathen gods. There was that Elite bottle cage that broke, too, but I take responsibility for that. I think the frequency of my awesomeness vibrating through the frame shook it apart.
Some people have asked how the gold rotors have been holding up. Here they are, after a good amount of use. They first changed color (getting a little darker on the brake track) in NC, with its sustained descents. Nowadays, they're looking a little worn, but I'm not overly upset about it.
I think everyone will be happy to know the Avids are gone, replaced by some one-off Stroker Trails.
We'll see how they perform after they bed in, but so far they're quieter and working just fine.