Monday, February 19

Quality Packaging

A weekend that turned out (mostly) how I planned it?


I was up unfortunately early on Saturday... oh yeah. The Pie had an early eye appointment on her birthday.  The unexpected premature start gave me the opportunity to get out and mebbe do more than I expected, given the threat of rain that afternoon.  Dressed and out the door for some assploring.

I wanted to ride the entire proposed Tour duh Charlotte route, mebbe check out the race stage that I'm "in charge" of, and look for some possible neighborhood chut-thrus.  Everything was going pretty well... previously muddy spots were dry, connectivity full buenos... get out to my stage.

Some of it isn't entirely Tour ready.

Mebbe we need to do some (a lot) of clearing pretty soon.  Yeth, that's a trail.

I decided to make one run-thru of the entire course, despite the fact that there would be some pushing and shoving through the brush, limbs, briers, etc. strewn about certain parts of the "trail."  I got mebbe a quarter mile in and...

Yeth, that's my brand new Forekaster that's mebbe four rides old.  Shit.  Since the trail has a certain "bum quality," I'm pretty sure I ran over a good chunk of glass that was hidden in the tall weeds.  I never got over 5mph at that point, so I really doubt I smashed it on a rock or something.

Lonely but peacefully tranquil flat repair and then resume the ride-thru.  Finish riding the rest of the proposed Tour route, check for the chut-thrus, get home and try to document all the stuff I saw for posterity before I forgot it all.

Out that evening for The Pie's birthday.  Up the next day to a slight headache at 6:40AM to head to the mountains.

We headed up to ride Heartbreak Ridge and Kitsuma.  In the interest of time and energy, we decided to push directly up Heartbreak to ensure a Kitsuma loop.  Too many times in the past, Kitsuma has been lost because people ended up feeling like a can of busted biscuits going the long (but much more rideable) way around up Old Toll Road to the top of Heartbreak.

I felt pretty weak pushing up Heartbreak and had to stop well before we got to the top so I could eat.  I'd been saving this fruitcake since Christmas for a mountain ride.

I wish I could say it did not disappoint.  I can't.

Once we got turned around at the top, I could tell it had been too long since I'd been to the mountains.  My ability to read trail at speed and keep a thousand yard stare was just not there.  A whole lotta pants shatten moments and reminders of how much I hate exposed trail riding.

At some point, whilst reminiscing with Bill Nye, he mentioned out last trip to the mountains... which was both our last.  I had thought it was back in late November, but I was wrong.  It was late October.

Good dog.  I almost went four months without getting to the mountains WITH THE BIKE I BOUGHT TO RIDE IN THE MOUNTAINS.

I must say, getting to this point on Kitsuma with twelve gears is much easier than with one, even after a push up Heartbreak in my legs.  Cleaned it, but I really leaned hard on my friend Eagle.


photo cred: Bill Nye
I should mention that The Dude is hucking the tracks at the bottom of Heartbreak on a 26" wheeled steel Surly hardtail with a 2X drive train, Marzocchi Bomber fork, high post, and many other period correct components.

It was a bluebird day.  Suns out, guns out.  Trail conditions was almost perfect.  The bike and I being much better friends as the ride was ending.  We were all feeling a bit wasted, but after consulting Bill Nye's slightly flawed data collection, I didn't feel so bad.  Close to 5,000 feet of elevation gain in less than 25 miles.


Just ouch.

1 comment:

hellbelly said...

Pushing up Heartbreak is not something I look forward to doing again. Toll road is a long soul crushing mutha, but str8 up Heartbreak is just no fun. Considering that the last time I did this it was raining, with 90% humidity and I ran out of water, how I did not simply find a precipice from which to leap to my doom is beyond me. I suppose having dealt with the endless paperwork the dead leave behind in a former job makes me less inclined to foist this on someone for me.