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Monday, June 17

Bird Dung in My Hand

Huh.  I needed to decide which bike to take on the van life adventure with Bill Nye next week.  

But I created my own problem.

I think I might want to go to Tour de Burg when I get back.  

But whatever bike I choose to ride on our trip will remain in the back of his van for awhile as he continues van-lifing around for a bit after I fly back from Bentonville.  Whatever bike I take on the trip, I can't have at Le Tour (viva).  I prefer my Radimus Meatplow V.... 8?  9?  (I can't remember and don't wanna look it up), but that's the bike I'm most comfortable on in the gnar and fun stuff.  I've said it before.  It's the bike that gives me the greatest joy when overall speed and efficiency aren't the goals.

So, I planned on taking the Epic EVO SS on the trip, mostly because it's the most "versatile," or so I thought, thus leaving the Radimus available for Le Tour (viva).

Run-on much?

Before this weekend, it had only seen forty miles in 2024, all in single speed mode.  Now?

I doubled the mileage this past weekend...

And I think I mighta decided to don't want this bike much anymore.

It's a great bike.  One of the fastest geared bikes I've ever had the joy to pedal.  So many PRs set and all my KOMs on STRAVA (if you believe STRAVA *cough* bullshit).  That said, outside of the trip to Colorado last year, I still don't feel the need or want or desire for gears 99% of the time.  The squish part is nice, except when it isn't.  This is the longest I would have ever held on to a full suspension bike since the 26" wheel days. so there's that.

So, poop.  Terrible time for rash decisions.  Seems odd that on my 55th birthday (today) the thing I want the most is one less bike... or at least a different bike... but that's another story.  A bike so similar to the other two that would remain, the redundancy is deafening.  Like, as in "which magic metal bike with either 0mm, 100mm, 120mm, or 140mm of travel would I like to ride today?" redundant.  So probably dump the frame... mebbe some pieces parts to enjoy something on the newer side?

Anyhoo, I'm outta town Saturday through the following Sunday, and quite possibly leaving on Wednesday after work for Le Tour (viva).  Don't expect a whole lotta blerhgage if I'm doing a turn 'n burn any time soon.  If I pull it off, expect a massive dump eventually.

And yeth, this would mean I'd be doing Le Tour (viva) on my 100mm travel Vertigo Meatplow V.7 (at least I can member that one), which would probably be some of the gnarliest shit I see all year.

I might be dumb, but at least I'm consistent.

The bird dung in my hand or the two bird shits in the bush?

Viva and also R.I.P.

Thursday, June 13

Mountain Cat '24

I hate any o'clock in the morning before 6:52AM o'clock. I'm not a fan of that either, but I have bills to pay and a mouth to feed.  I thought a 5:00AM wakeup would give a fully-prepared me enough time to choke back 750 calories of Entenmann's garbage food, sip 32oz of coffee, and take 1 morning constitutional.  782 successes and 1 fail.

We leave the BnB at 6:00AM, because we were only about a mile away, check-in was 6-6:30AM (I thought), and it's the most simple of processes ever before an event.  As soon as we pull up, I hear Emily calling out a small number of people, and I'm one of them.

"What did I do wrong?"

Apparently, I was one of the first to send in my mandatory Valentine's card to the trail crew and had earned the right to start whenever I wanted.  I could even grab a couple frands to join me.

"Watts... Dr Mike... let's go!"

Go we did... but Dr Mike had to grab his bike, and we didn't realize he wasn't with us until we dug our heads outta our asses much later.

The plus side was that we got an early start.  The downsides (of which there were many) was that we only had a vague idea where we were going, once others saw the early birds getting the worm, the fastest of the fast got on the trail and wanted around us outta towners ASAP, and I'm overwhelmed by the fact that I feel like I fell outta bed and into the woods.

My heart rate monitor is not working.  This shouldn't matter but it does.  I use it to keep myself in check so I don't blow myself up too early (spoiler alert, I will), and to make sure I keep up with the calories I'm burning (spoiler alert, I won't).

We had to correct our course a few times in the first couple of trail systems, but we make it outta Laurus Park and into Aid One in decent time.  You should never have expectations at this kind of event, but there were breakfast biscuits here last time, and now there are none.  I grab a handful of nuts and wait for Watts to collect IG content (that you'll see in a couple weeks... or not), and then we are off and rolling the long way out to Pocahontas Park.  Our taller than last year gearing has us not struggling to stay at the back of a pack but instead leading it. 

Which we don't like. 

We move to the side, drift to the back... and it always seemed like that would happen about thirty seconds from the next climb... meaning we would have to weave our way back up to the front and start all over again.

*sigh*

No matter how gassed I felt from taking 20MPH pulls on the road, the desire to go fast in Pocahontas is strong.  So.  Much.  Fun.  I love this place.

My only struggles are:

* I had memorized the trail order from the first route/email

*I had not memorized the trail order from the second route email or realized the second route I loaded was that different from the first.

*I knew we just had to make sure we rode all the trails listed.  Order didn't matter, but remembering all the trails when they all seemed like they're named Blue something or something Bell (or Belle)?

Either way, we are 99% confident we did it all, and our mileage matched up, so buenos.

We run into Dr Mike as we are leaving.  Apparently he'd passed us while we were titty-dicking around at Aid One.  He jumps in with us, and somehow I end up at the front taking pulls, which is something I'm terrible at, because I assume it's my job to go 110% or everyone behind me will hate me and leave a bad review on Yelp.  Our group goes from eight or nine to four or five on the way to Aid Four.  

Thorry.

More half beers are consumed.  Chain and pedals over-lubricated with Squirt lube (as well as my frame, rim, tire, and a large portion of the parking lot).  We head out through Richmond, negotiating the odd turns from alley to sidewalk to road to path to bum trail to the non-official aid station where Watts and I had our only honor of the day, first people to stop for a beer.  We are apparently at the back of the athletes and at the front of the party pace.

I almost missed the turn down into this happy beer stop.  Okay, I totally missed it... even tho I knew the map by heart... even tho Watts told me to member the creek crossing with the beers.

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
With an hour and a half of stopped time, we were definitely smelling the roses out there.

Over to the Poop Loop and the Saturday trail direction doesn't line up with the route, so my Wahoo angrily yells at me whilst Watts's just indifferently tells him that he's floating in two dimensional outer space for awhile.

Outta the Poop Loop, over the Yeet Ramp and the hot dog stop under the highway.  My favorite.

Then the slog over to the northeast side of the course, which usually has the most "urban" of all the trail connections.  Luckily, we fell in with a local single speeder and she guided us around all the trash piles, stacks of discarded tires, and rail road track bits.

The stop at Chorimbo was welcome, but I couldn't stuff any more hot dogs in me.  I settled for beer, Capri Sun, and chips, like an alcoholic toddler's lunch box.  I member the last twenty five or so miles from here to the finish pretty vividly from the year before, and it's a long stretch with punchy and also technical trails.  We got this... but it's gonna hurt something somewhere on my body.

Another loop in another park ridden in the wrong direction and back through Richmond to the punch(es) in the dick that are sustained on the slabby-do North Bank Trail back to Emily's house. 

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
Prison Doctor Mike "enjoying" his all over the body cramps and a Miller Lite.

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
Former PMBAR partner and Faster Mustache teamie, Zac.  He used to read this blerhg, but just to see if he got a mention and the associated Dick-Bump.  That's puke on his jersey.  His puke.  He won't see this.  lol

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
Watts pontificating his masterful plan to Instagram our way to 44th place.

Photo cred Tori Duhaime
I may look like a big (actually smole) old chode, but that is a genuine smile.  I don't think I'm doing enough of that lately.  I need to do it more.  I don't want to have to ride 109 miles to elicit such glee tho.  I'd told Watts earlier that we were having the best day of our year, and that just speaks more about how our year is going more than it does about that day.

Anyways, we did a thing.  We avenged 2023 Watts and Dick, and with great fervor and excite.  I am pleased and perhaps smiles will come easier for awhile.

Birthday Monday.  Fifty five. 
poop.

Wednesday, June 12

Mountain Cat 100 '24: The Pre-Dumble

Is the dumbling worth the dumble?  Dunno.  I mean, almost everything sent smoothly, except when it didn't.  I got to Greensboro in time to hear Watts answer a few phone calls at Revolution Cycles.

"Yeah... consignment.  Here's the thing..."

"Consignment... sigh."

"Sir, this is not a Wendy's."

And take some questions from live customers.

"I'm building up a bike and need parts.  Do you have parts?"

"What kinda parts?"

"Bike parts."

He offered me a beer, which I turned down. 

I chose heat with a side of humdity.

This was going to be "our year" at the Mountain Cat 100, and the earlier the beer, the worse the "our year" chances are.  Watts took the wheel getting us up to Richmond, as the Honda Fit of Rage has shit for AC.  Like you will be stuck to the seat and your nuts might get dragged under the brake pedal if you drive for three hours in 80°+ temps and direct sun.  We managed to squeeze his van into one of the spots that had rules that would allow us to leave the vehicle in place for the duration of our visit, which is no easy task.  You can go down any street in the area we were staying, and the rules changed what seemed like every five or so car lengths.

I can read that sign two ways, and one gets us towed, the other shot.

The very first thing we do is pull out our Wahoo data acquisition devices to confirm our routes are properly loaded for tomorrow.  I had some struggles earlier in the week when the route was slightly updated, and I discarded the original and tried to replace it.

And of course when I tried to pull it up, my screen flashed "YOU'RE FUCKED" or something just like that.  After some poking at buttons on Ride with GPS and on the device and Bluetooth and WiFi settings, something I did worked, and I felt confident that we could go out into that good night.  Don't know what I did wrong or right, but I have another year to figure it out.

Headed to the 821 Cafe, and just like last time, what looked like a straight shot somehow kept routing us in the most indirect manner.  I can't explain why Google maps has such a hard time navigating in Richmond.  I assume it's all the Mountain Catters choosing bad routes and messing up the data algorithm.

At least we didn't ignorantly go in ten minutes before closing this time.  Post food and beers, Watts wanted one more before heading back, so we stopped in at Gwar Bar.

Which is exactly what you would expect.
  
It looked like someone's very small, partially finished basement full of Gwar artifacts, costumes, headwear, and a large amount of phalluses and wiener-related items.  One beer there was enough to call it a night... and we picked up a sixer at a convenient store because why bring your own when you can pay a local vendor $16 for six beers so you both can have one more before bed time?  We still had prep-work to do before bed and a nightcap would be okay while we strapped things to our bikes.  We thought so, anyways.

Get back to the BnB, and the texts start coming in.  Burke has shifting issues.  Frands halp frands, and before you know it, Burke and his many beers came over, along with Dr Mike and Joy... and our tiny, completely finished, non-Gwar themed basement runneth over.

I mighta had two of them Burke beers which were not in my plan, along with staying up an hour or so later than I wanted, but how often do you get to hang out with your friends from Charlotte but in a basement in Richmond?

Lay down, sleepy head.  We Mountain Cat on the morrow.

A bunch of photos of the event are trickling out, so the whole tale will be told soon'ish.

Wednesday, May 29

Why so lack of blerhg postious?

Because this is the most exciting thing going on in my life:

Bearing in mind, I like buying bike parts as much as the next person.  These new parts only serve to keep some old(er) parts running, and I don't even get the "pleasure" of installing one of these bits any time soon.  Some might call it "hoarding," but wear items are ideal to have on hand.

Chains
Brake pads
Grips (if you run ESI grips and have a hard time avoiding trees)
Bearings (obvs)
Tires
Chain rings
SPD cleats
2032 batteries

I'd even go so far to say that I'm a tad bit uncomfortable not having a backup saddle, brakes, seat post, pedals, cranks, handlebar, bar tape...

Okay, mebbe a little hoardy.

I "like" working on my own bikes, to the same degree that I "like" cutting my own hair... which is not entirely at all.  There's some satisfaction in doing it myself, but I'm mostly just cutting down on expense and hassle.  I mean, did I wanna spend probably close to two hours swapping the bars on my Crux and "patiently" positioning the levers and dropper actuator, and doing my best to reuse the Supacaz tape as opposed to just using the cheap SRAM tape I bought last week?  

But I did it anyways... and it looks a little bit like ass... but so does my haircut 20% of the time.

This doth bring me joy:

The Meatplow V.7 is back to the way gob intended it, de-PMBAR'ed and ready for the Mountain Cat 100.  I'm excite to spend 8-10 (12?) hours in the woods and on the streets of Richmond with my old frand... and also Watts.  Being that I managed to finish my previous fail at Bootlegger in 2024, perhaps this is my revenge tour, and I shall have my comeuppance in Richmond on June 8th.  Mebbe I shoulda kept a list of all my utter fails and tried to knock them all off this year...

Wait a second.  The 2006 Lumberjack 100 would be on that list.

Never mind.

Tuesday, May 21

Plans-Sylvania Epic

Has life calmed down?  Dunno.  I'm too busy to notice.  I mean, I finally had time to catch up on my sewing...

Foster animals sometimes leave things like dog beds and fluffy toys in a sad state of disrepair.  Fortunately, I can hand stitch like a son of a bitch.

Normally, I'd be in the throes of TSE (the race, not testicular self-exam).  This year, nope.  I've been trying to find fun some bike cycle oriented things to do when I can devote a stream of conscience to the planning of stuff.

Mountain Cat 100 (108?) is coming in less than three weeks. I plan on being more prepared this year so I don't end up with another 107 mile DNF.  Many, many mistakes to learn from, I feel blessed to have such an opportunity to grow as a human.  I've got a power bank for my new'ish computer, and a 90° cable do-dad so it actually plugs in and plays nice with the stem.  I'm hoping we can keep Friday night in check this go-around.   

I've also made plans to join Bill Nye TSG on a Journey to the Center of the Mountain Bike Capital of the World van voyage.  Leaving outta Charlotte in late June, we gonna hit:

Sat 22: FATS 
Sun 23: Jarrod’s Place  (shuttle bike park day)
Mon 24: Coldwater Mountain 
Tues 25: Monte Sano  
Wed 26: Mt Nebo 
Thu-Sun 27-30: Bentonville

Ain't never been to the first four places, and they've probably built a thousand miles of new trails since the last time I made it to Bentonville.  No, I don't think that it's the "Mountain Bike Capital of the World."  That's kinda horse shit, but they do have loads of different types of trails, and since they were built with Walmart money, I wanna enjoy all the things my federal taxes paid for.

I'm really looking forward to getting (running?) away.  The only full vacation day I've taken so far in 2024 was to move my mom.  That was not a very relaxing or pleasant day in the least.  Lately, when I have room in my brain, I think about how I can make my mom, my wife, and my dog's life better... and that's about it.  I've still got a whole lotta vacation to use or lose, and I realize that's not such a terrible problem.  I'm just rather directionless without a stage race eating up a week.  

I wanna do something big (but not amateur homeless personning big), something with friends (but not so many friends that I have to deal with a bunch of logistics and agendas), something bike related (but not just watching people ride bikes or gravel oriented or tradeshow'esque), something that will make memories (but not be terribly expensive or require days of travel time).

You know... something.

Or I could just buy a new bike because spending = happiness?

Life is great.  I'm going places and doing things.  I am bless.

Just looking for some adventure that requires a little more planning than this:

Wednesday, May 8

PMBAR '24

Compared to the previous night's chaos, my morning could not have been smoother.  Up before my alarm, coffee, snacky cakes, constitutional, dressed, and at the front of the starting line when it was time to grab the passports.  

This is how I look when things are going "smoothly."  Imagine how I looked the night before.

Pretty sure I was the first one to get my grubby mitts on the details.  I quickly scan the rules looking for funny business.  Nothing more than a few roads that are (unfortunately) off limits.  I flip through the checkpoint pages.  I've gotten better at knowing where "so-and-so gap" and "such-and-such" intersection is, so I put the passport in my top pipe purse, and Nick and I are the first ones heading up Black Mountain.

Sure, shortly after our departure, the first team to pass us is Chris Joice and his partner Eric on single speeds.  Then came the usual suspect fast guys.  I'm very okay with all of these things.  The route is pretty plain and simple to me (although as always, tales told later that night always prove me wrong), but I'm very comfortable with every bit of it.

Up Black and bang a right on Turkey Pen.  It's a bit leafier than expected, but it's running pretty good.  South Mills out-and-back and run into most of the fast guys coming the other way.  Reassuring to say the least.  Same when he head into the out-and-back on Squirrel, although the oncoming traffic is getting old, as I Nick and I always respect the climbing riders' right of way while not always feeling the same love when it was our turn.  Laurel Creek was in the best condition I've ever seen it, like ever.

Then the first wheel fell off the bus.

Nick and I stop at Bradley Creek to filter water.  We both had filters to speed things up, but that was before my Sawyer bag started leaking profusely and his filter started squirting out the side.  At least we were left with one fully functional system, so okay, but I did think about all the brand new bags I have at home and also the treatment tablets that I keep in a short Bic pen that I coulda grabbed... you know, just in case.

Then the next wheel fell off the bus.

I don't remember after which of the dozens of creek crossings or hundreds of downed logs we straddled or ducked under when Nick shared with my how he feels about the "adventure" aspect of the Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race.  Apparently, not a fan.  I always think about Bradley Creek as the great equalizer, as no one can get through it in much of a hurry, and you just take your time and enjoy a slightly lower heart rate for a spell.  He found absolutely no solace or meaning in the endeavor.  

It's kinda like a friend asking you to move.  They tell you there will be beer and pizza, and it will be over pretty quick and lots of "fun."  Then you show up and find out they've acquired a bunch of stuff since the last time you hung out... like that expensive rich people furniture that's made of real wood... and a juke box... and a pool table... and a 3/4-scale reproduction of Michelangelo's David.  You stick it out because you're frands, but you're not really "into it."  Nick was never going to leave me hanging, but I could tell he didn't really wanna lift anymore furniture into the truck.

So there we are, about four hours into our eight or nine or ten hour "adventure," and I find out my friend that I dragged into this is "not that into it."  When you head to the Butthole of Pisgah first, and then start going to the dark places, it's never a good sign.  It's very hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel from deep inside a butthole.

Fortunately, at the bottom of the out-and-back up Laurel, there's a benevolent human with grilled cheese, tiny Cokes, and Coors.  We partake in all his wares and head up the trail.

The out-and-backs.  They're taking a bit of a toll on me, having to stop every few minutes to make room for one another.  I can tell that Nick and his good manners are taking a real hit.  He's never gonna be the asshole to his fellow humans, but his tolerance for the constant interruption is waning.

Leaving the check point on Laurel  Mountain after stuffing homemade cookies in our maws.

I give into all my feelings of guilt.  I offer up to Nick that if he wants to skip the short out-and-back up to Pilot Cove, it's up to him.  Then it starts to rain.  Then we run into like a million more riders coming up Laurel Mountain on our way down.

"I'm not doing any more  fucking out-and-backs."   

So there you have it.

Back down at the grilled cheese stop and the benevolent human had just finished packing up and was ready to leave.

"Can I still grab a beer?"

"Yeth."

Frown turned upside down with the news that we made last call at the Laurel Mountain Bar and Grill.

So all we have to do is a bunch more hours of riding in the rain to get the last mandatory check point.  Although I'm glad Nick will not bail on me when we get to a place where I know he knows he can just coast down (mostly) back to camp, I'm bummed he's not having a "good time."  What's not to like?  Dropping temps, steady rain, greasy trails, fading brakes, mud in the eyes, sopping wet chamois, a certain lack of desire to exercise self-care...

At the end of Gauging Station Roads, two magical sirens call us to the tent where they had pickles and chips and quesadillas and tequila.  Bless and thank.  Nick and I hadn't refilled bottles since Bradley Creek, and somehow we've both decided beer and tequila and rain and tire spray (with horse poop) is hydration enough to get by.

We come up on Colin on the Wheelchair Ramp.. and he's pushing two bikes.

Da fuq?

"Yuri's up ahead.  He's feeling pretty bad?"

"Anything we can do?"

"If you see a guy wrapped up in an orange emergency blanket, mebbe give him some encouragement or a hug?"

We find Yuri and spend some time with him.  We're not sure what to make of the situation, but when he laid down in the mud, I'd say we are more than concerned.  We offer him a rain poncho and another blanket, but he got back up and said he just needed to keep moving.  Nick and I ride off, stop at the top of Clawhammer (the nearest/best point he could be extracted from), and leave our "extra" stuff for he and Colin to use or not.  I send Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever a text... but I'll be honest and say that I have no idea what he can actually do.*

The rest of our day is pretty much either spent discussing really disgusting ways to aid a hypothermic person or spent in silence as we negotiated the slippery, worsening conditions, both of us doing so without the aid of our prescription glasses that were more hindrance than help at this point.  Nick didn't have to tell me, but I knew his brakes were becoming less "brake-like" and more just a finger exercise... mostly because I was in the same boat.

We finally end our day after nine hours and forty-four minutes in the woods.  With only four check points, it was only a matter of time as we slid down the results page as other teams finished with the two hour bonus given with the fifth, but I'm mostly okay with that.  My friend didn't disappoint me, coming in at the last minute to be my partner, getting through the previous evening when he coulda threw in the towel when his brake shit the bed at ten o'clock, and then all day long keeping his head down and doing the lorb's work of getting me yet another PMBAR finish. 

Bless and thank.

Glad I was able to do Nick's "last PMBAR" with him as my partner.  Also his last single speed ride in Pisgah.  Also his last (space being left open for any future "last" statements).

Stats:
4 check points
9 hours 45 minutes
63 miles
9,300 feet elevation
7,450 calories burned
3.5 bottles of CarboRocket Half Evil
5-6 handfuls of Trader Joe's Sour Swimmers
1 Zinger
2 chocolate chip cookies
1.5 Coors Banquet Beers
1 Mini-Coke
.5 grilled cheese
1 shot of tequila
4/4 quesadilla
2 handfuls of potato chips
1 innocuous but annoying crash
2 pairs of brake pads worn down to the springs


*Yuri lived and is okay BTW.

Tuesday, May 7

PMBAR '24: The Pre-Superdumble

This is one of the texts that came into my world as I was trying to do a leave work early turn-n-burn at 2:00PM on Friday.

I did not have the generation of Shimano pads Nick needed, but I did have a complete set of XT brakes I pulled off the Epic EVO a couple years ago, so I tossed them in the car with a bunch of zip ties.  Worst case scenarios and all.

The floorboard, aka the catch-all for everything I grab last minute before heading out the door.

Aside from trying to coordinate the three vehicles all heading towards Pisgah with our Charlotte crew in some efficient manner through what has turned into the worst traffic to the mountains ever, I had my camp set up and well arranged before meeting up at Ecusta Brewing for limited pre-race libations.

Back at camp just before sunset, it was time for people to take to the task of doing things that if I was doing them at 9:00PM the night before PMBAR, I'd have no hair on my head.

Dr Mike putting sealant in his tires, I assume for maximum sealant freshness in the morning.

Nick sanding rotors with 60 grit sandpaper and installing the new pads he managed to acquire from The Spoke Easy before leaving town.  Once he got it all sorted out, he pedaled around a bit to bed the pads in.  He leaned the bike against a tree, and thinking mebbe I could make sure they were thoroughly bedded in, I took it for a spin.

*grabs lever*

Good.

*grabs lever*

Good.

*grabs lever*

...

Not good.

Buried into the grip not good.  Not pumping up at all not good.  Something is definitely awry not good.

"Hey, Nick..."

He takes a look, grabs the lever, feels around... there's mineral oil gushing out at the lever.

*sigh*

But also fine because I brought a spare set of brakes... like you do to a one day event.

Grab the box off the floorboard, pull out the rear brake... and the lever is still in the box... because it's not connected to the caliper... because I pulled it all out of an internally routed bike and never thought anything of it.

I'm now one barb, one olive, one bleed cup, and a little bit of mineral oil away from having a partner with a functional bike.  It probably only takes me about two minutes of pacing and head scratching to realize I can't piece what I have into something that works.

Nick and I ran across the road to the start/finish to see if Eric "PMBAR Honcho" Wever or Greg or anyone had pieces-parts or a bike with an externally routed brake we could pinch.  No dice.  Eric suggested I reach out to an enthusiastic local or mebbe drive to his house and rummage through his basement bikes, but honestly I'd had more beer than I would drive with inside me (which is more than one).  I texted Shanna.  She's my only hope.

No buenos, but...

"Try Nico."

I've all but accepted my fate.  There will be no twentieth PMBAR for me.  This ends it... well except that I tell Eric I'm gonna take a passport in the morning and just head out pointlessly or ride with some friends or whatever.  I'm here, and so is my bike, so f___ it.  This is just how my 2024 has been going.  Afraid to be too excited about anything, because the rugs keep getting pulled out from under me.

I sigh a lot.  It halps.

We get back over to the campsite, and I crack a beer.  Then my phone rings at 10:16PM.

It's Nico.

Not only does he have a brake that would/could work on a bike at home, he's out and about and willing to swing by his house, grab it, and deliver it to our campsite.

A one-braked Waltworks single speed waiting for new brake delivery in the dark.

Nico swings by, hugs are exchanged, and a brake is mounted up and ready to go by 11:05PM.

And so I went to "bed" filled with loads of leftover anxiety, and I enjoyed several hours of fever dreams full of panic and angst.

It's gonna be a good day.