Whilst I was in Bike Source on Saturday, Bryan invited me to join him and a group of mostly strangers for a Heartbreak/Kitsuma loop... starting at 10:00AM on Sunday.
"You're never gonna get a big group to go up Kitsuma after Heartbreak with that late of a start."
"Yes, we will."
I lightly agree to go, assuming I can get someone in the car with me. I've promised a ride with a certain Charlotte somebody in the mountains, but I'm afraid this won't be his kinda ride. Late start, unknown individuals, Kitsuma probability levels below 40% (IMHOMO).
Then the start gets moved to 11:00AM. The ride start location moves from the lower East side Kitsuma parking to the upper West side. For those of you not from around here, this makes the bleak even bleaker.
I get Bill Nye to join me regardless of what might happen, and I'm scooping him at 9:00AM. A time that I would normally want to actually be starting this bike ride...
But when you jump in on someone else's plan, the only thing you can complain about is your own stupid ass for not coming up with a plan.
I manage to take the time to put the Minion DHR+ on the Vertigo because it's a lot easier than what I'd have do in order to make the Stickel rideable. I'm too lazy to swap the 32X18 gear out before I go to bed, but I manage to get up at my normal geriatric hour, and with so much time on my hands, I go ahead and put on a much more manageable 32X20.
Scoop Bill Nye, drive to Black Mountain talking about tiny homes, rally in the upper lot with most of the others, wait for the two people that still thought we were meeting in the lower lot, rolling by 11:30AM, if I had to guess.
Through Ridgecrest and onto Rattlesnake in a way that I've never been. Almost make it up without walking, but then get to the part I always forget about and end up hoofing it. From there, much regrouping, taking in the views...
Get to the top and wait.
Eventually, we head down and I take pretty much the backseat on the Fire Hose section from the top. On to Heartbreak proper and not too far down before Bryan puts a big dinger in his front rim. Out come a variety of tools, none of which were designed for the task at hand. Eventually, he has something that looks like he won't have to walk the rest of the way out.
We rally down, and I am much excite over actually getting to use this 3.0 tire for the reason I wanted it. So much rigid buenos. Inspired by the grippy confidence, I was able to clean the one switchback on Star Gap that I'm prone to walk... as I've fallen off the edge once in the past, and once was enough. So, so buenos.
Pop out at the bottom, make quick work of the climb out, get to the upper lot at 4:07PM.
Yeah, Kitsuma is not happening for me.
Eventually everyone rolls in and the only ones heading back out are the folks from Asheville. I'm jealous, but not jealous enough that I wanna get home after 8:00PM.
3,800 feet of climbing in 21 or so many miles* after the previous day's slog around town was plenty for me.
* There were Garmins and STRAVA for days on this ride. Bill Nye wowed me with data on the way home.