Thursday, July 22

The Van with One Red Shoe 1/3 Tour: Pt 1

Yeth, I'm back early.  I can't remember where I left off, so where do I begin?

Member that I got a new bike the day Bill Nye left Charlotte and headed west with all my stuff on his three week van life experience?

Member that he took the Vassago Meatplow V.8 with him but left the front wheel in my driveway?

I member.

I ended up taking advantage of an upgrade to a first class flight so I could bring my new bike in an EVOC case and my forgotten front wheel in a cardboard box for "free."  I was thinking it was better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.  I didn't tell Bill Nye that I was bringing it tho, as his van was packed to the gills already, and I was bringing my new bike... and the EVOC case.  He'd even disassembled the Vassago as much as possible to pack it as tightly as he could to make room for all my extra extras already.  I figured telling him that I was adding a wheel box would add to his stress levels.

So, up at 5:00AM EST, land in Park City at noon MT, and then I'm building a bike in a hot parking lot at the start of the Self-Shuttle Wasatch Crest Loop by 1:30 PM.  It's a nice 18 mile loop that gets close to 10,000 feet high... you know,  just to shake the legs out. 

I have to admit, it was pleasant to lock the suspension out, click through the gears, and ride relatively effortlessly.  It really felt like "being on vacation."

These poor Hostess Cupcakes never got to live up to their full potential.

Up the pavement to Guardsman Pass...

until we finally hit trail.  So strange to go up a section dubbed "Puke Hill" and be able to climb it seated at almost 9,900 feet above sea level.  Gears are so fascinating.

Bill Nye looking resplendent high above it all.

We finally topped out and got to the good stuff.  A single track ribbon that promised to deliver 2,500 feet of descent over the next five miles.  Bill Nye took off, I paused for a second to make sure my fanny pack was all zippered up, started to roll... and hit what was probably the only rock in the trail for three hundred yards...

Pfffftttt... pfffftttt... pfffftttt... pfffftttt...

Shit.  Pinch flat.  Come on sealant, do your job.  

And it did (BTW: I swear by TruckerCo Cream II sealant).  The tire was soft, but I figured I'd slow roll up to Bill Nye and borrow his pump.  No need to blow a CO2 this soon into the trip (my pump was attached to my Vassago... or it used to be... Bill Nye had removed the mount from the bike to ready it for the new bike).  Catch up to Bill Nye, let him know what's up, marvel at the huge clot of sealant between the tire's treads...

and that's when I see the crack in my crabon rim.  My new crabon rim.  Eleven days, five rides, eighty miles... cracked rim.  Day one of what was supposed to be a seven day adventure.  Shit.

Well, at least I have a spare bike, albeit it's in pieces in the back of the van.

So begins the best part of the entire ride, Bill Nye doing his thing, me babying my damaged wheel down the mountain.

Bill Nye riding the spine right before the turn down to Desolation Lake...

until he wasn't riding the spine.

He went down kinda hard on his left hand.  It was going to be "this kinda trip," I guess.  He did shake it off and went back and rode it successfully.  Then we rode all the way back down to the van.  It woulda been a shredder of a descent, but I didn't want my wheel to fail catastrophically... I dunno how a cracked rim should behave or not.

Back at the van and on the road and trying to coordinate with Matt McFee of Hermosa Tours about when he could join us for the Plunge to Palisade and heading into a remote camp spot where cell phones don't work and we barely squeak out a plan to meet him the next morning at his house in Grand Junction just before losing contact with the outside world.

My literal world of shit.  The bike that I just built out of the case hours ago now being broke down to fit in the van so I could bust out the single speed that had been disassembled to squash into a spot in the van so I could build it all back up and get it ready to plunge to be then shoved in next to Bill Nye's bike until the morning.

When you tryna tap the rockies but the rockies tapped you.


Paul Shin said...

You were in my neck of the woods. My favorite Crest loop is starting at Canyons resort parking lot. Ride the road to Park City resort to get the asphalt section out of the way. Up Armstrong, Pinecone to the top. Crest, then head down to the Canyons. Around 27 miles.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you take the wheel off the SS and put it on the shifty bike? Or is it not-boost?

Unknown said...

No homemade SWART recipe for broken crabon rims while on epic cross country ridecations?

dicky said...

The shifty bike has a DT Swiss hub with an XD driver and the SS has an Industry Nine hub with an HG driver.

Boost/no-boost no matter.