18 June 2012

Bad Feet

Last week's 'group' evening ride had me on the Ridgeline Trail in Castle Rock for the 1st time. Fun, fast & flowy, especially fast if you were in the lead group, which I definitely wasn't.

Jaydude's mechanical issue
I tried to hang for ht 1st lap around, and was glad to just keep them in sight. We stopped to re-hydrate, then headed back out in the opposite direction. Never saw the fast group after they left the parking lot - the 3 of us in group 2 had no idea of which turns to make. Supposedly all rights, except for the several rights you had to avoid. Due to our casual pace, we were able to turn on our lights for about 15 minutes & finish in the dark.

Rolled out to Bailey on Saturday to volunteer for the Hundo. PBRMe!, slow & I rode sweep for the single-track portion of the ride - starting at west end of CT & eventually (only 2 of the group) ending at the Platte River.

All smiles
Slow & Dangerous
About 16 miles in, I felt something strange on my left shoe
While rolling over a root on Charlie's Cutoff, I felt something weird & thought my left foot had unclipped. I checked it out & found that the sole of my new left shoe had cracked. It was still usable, but was pushing against my foot the entire time - not painful, just very annoying. 

We kept on moving, & on our way up 543, we came across this strange sight.

This bird was skewered through the neck. Our CSI skills concluded that it must have been swooping down on a snack & misjudged, taking itself out in the process.

We then passed the Meadows campground are & headed CCW on Green Mt. While climbing a relatively smooth surface, I felt an eerily familiar feeling on my right foot. I looked down to see this.

Feeling left out, my right shoe gave out at mile 33

This time, the entire cleat surface had given out, making it impossible to clip in again. I was just able to keep my foot balanced on the pedal, but any bumps sent my foot flailing into the air, plus the cleat was being pushed straight up into my foot - on the verge of being painful this time. 

Fortunately, we ran into The Chad a bit after. He was parked at the 543 lot, so I limped my way to his truck to get a lift back to the finish line. While waiting for him to finish his ride, the sky opened up - big time! It dumped rain, hail & brought heavy lightning down on the area. It was brief, but violent & had me worried about my fellow sweepers, who should have been around the Burn area, or across 126 completely exposed to the elements.

Rolled back to Bailey & saw a slew of finishers come through, congrats to all!! Tried again to reach my compadres, but still no luck.

Sean rocks it for the 3rd yr!

About 90 minutes later, I was relieved to finally get a call from Kevin telling me they had made it to the Platte, narrowly avoiding being struck down by Zeus, but unable to avoid the hailstorm. 

It was a great ride, until my wardrobe malfunctions, and I ended up with a good feeling of helping out all those who suffered all day in the Buffalo Creek area. 

10 June 2012

It's not a job, it's an adventure

The day began OK-ish at best, and went downhill from there.

Hit Silver Creek to begin, dabbing over & over, one time barely saving my ass from going over the cliff when my bar tagged a tree. Enjoyed SC despite the non-existent skills, then rolled down Silver City Rd & worked my way toward Empire.

Jeep road
Those must be some big frogs
Rainbow Rancho Fish Hatchery?

 Started climbing Bard Creek Rd & passed the quick way back to G-town, instead heading up & up on my way towards Silver Gulch. 

Wrong choice! After I turned onto 778.1, it shot up, and continued up for what seemed like days on end. I put my new HaB shoes to the test today! As I stopped for another breather nearing the top, I noticed that I had trashed yet another sidewall. 

778.1 never let up
Not this shit again!
Chill time

Sat atop Democrat Mt & Macguyvered my rear tire with everything I had with me, hoping I had patched it well enough to allow me to limp down to town: either chancing it in Silver Gulch, or u-turning it back down the long, steep & rocky jeep road to Empire Pass. I rolled the dice & gambled, keeping with the original plan.

Queen City?
The best conditions I saw going down, and it sucked

Waterfall at Sceptre?


Wrong choice again.  After descending a steep several hundred feet, the trail pretty much disappeared, washed away over the years. I had no intention of hiking it back up to roll back down the jeep road, so I scrambled up/down/over/across rocks, finding my way across the contour & keeping an eye below for any sign of ride-able trail (this never happened). 

While inching my way down, I was reminded of our time trying to follow Bard Creek Trail on the West Empire Death March a few years ago - only remnants of a former trail existed in most places, then you'd see something for 100 yds, then back to almost nothing again. 

Got below the washed-out sections & saw a trail (or was it an animal trail) & followed this down as much as possible. A bit more rock scrambling, and a lot of HaB & finally popped out at the car.
I was able to get a few pedal strokes on occasion, but overall today was a big hike w/a big bike.

Damn, that was ruff stuff!
Oh yeah, my tire boot survived. I was pleased.

06 June 2012

Better than Nothing

Today's plan was to twofold: 1st - see if the the locals had finished up after where we quit last week; and 2nd - see if I could put together the lower section.

No progress on clearing trail, so I just headed up to Crystal Meth cabin. I first tried to follow Waterline, but I spent way too much time climbing over trees only to find another jungle 50' ahead.


Oh well, another out-n-back. But I ain't complaining, it's 1,000x more fun going back down that H-a-B section.

Found my way down here, so part of the mission was accomplished.

Doin' wheelies in them thar hills!

04 June 2012

June is here!

With Saturday came another National Trails Days, so the plan was to head to GM straight away & sling some dirt: however, Mally's car decided to act up again on her way home early in the morning. This meant back to the garage and more reading up in the Subie forums, all before 6am. After a bit more researching & testing, it seems (hopefully) that I left an air pocket when filling the radiator after replacing the thermostat a few days before.  (Car ran fine for several days, then tried to overheat Friday evening on her way to work, but returned to normal quickly. Saturday early-am it decided to stay in the red zone.)

Believing my efforts were successful, I threw my stuff in the car & headed to GM to join in the dirt-diggin' fun, about an hour behind schedule. Hiked up near the top & grabbed a pick & dug in for about 2.5hrs, till storm clouds brought thunder & lightning. Dropped the tools, & hiked it back to the lot, where I pulled my 1st beer @10:34am. 

                Dear COMBA,
                              Thanks you for supporting me in my ongoing efforts to drink before noon.
                                                                                                                   Cheers,  lubes

Carrie wrote an article about the day
New single-track section instead of the road up top of GM + my 2nd trail day this week = Sweeet!!

Recently replaced the bent chain-ring on the Monkey, so decided to get back on it & give the Honzo a rest & hit some mellow smooth trails. Hooked up w/some of The Usual Suspects at BC & rolled out for a long-ish day. 

The Chad rockin' wheelies
Itchy down there?
Sean in training mode
Turned out the normal front-runners were on a race-pace & put the hurt to me quickly.  Broke my chain heading to Chair Rocks, 2nd snappage for that chain so looks like an after-work trip for a replacement.
The one time they stopped enough for me to catch my breath
Michael & Glenn
Bobby (not going slow)

About 35 miles total, 33 of which seemed to be heading uphill with almost no breaks. After my quads started trying to cramp on me, I decided it was time for my trail beer, despite what the Strava-ites were doing. Laid around for about 15 minutes, with my legs trying to cramp the entire time - finally was able to hop back on the bike & finished it up.  

Painful, but good fun (after it was over & we were in the lot drinking cold beers).

Oh yeah, the subie has been rolling smoothly since Saturday am.
Wheelies, y'all!