Tuesday, May 2

The Not-So Off Road Assault on Actual Mount Mitchell

Pretty sure I'm lactose intolerant.  Not like mega, but pounding 16oz of milk first thing in the morning is no longer buenos for me.  Diarrhea isn't normal, and it shouldn't have taken me so long to figure that out.  I shoulda known this long before I was miles and miles away from the bathrooms on top of the highest point East of the Mississippi.

Save yourself from telling me that humans are the only animals stupid enough to drink milk as adults.  We're also smart enough to make beer yet stupid enough to poison our bodies with it.  Also, vaping exists.

I let Türd talk me into riding to the top of Mount Mitchell this past weekend as part of our individual PMBAR related prep.  I coulda rode my garvel bike, being that this would be the kinda ride you should do on a garvel bike, but I didn't.  I grabbed my Vertigo Meatplow V.7 because... "reasons."  Also, burrito.

I haven't been on Curtis Creek Rd since the last time I rode up it in anger at the 2013 ORAMM (my very last ORAMM).  It was odd to ride it at such a leisurely pace.    

I'll always remember this rock cliff turn as my "all in" spot.  This of course was back when I was an "athlete."  I used to think if I got to the Parkway first, I'd win... I mean all I had left to do was get up over to Heartbreak Ridge, get down it unscathed, climb up to Kitsuma, survive, and then ride all those miles back to town without cramping.  Cake.

We went up and over the Parkway in the same way that ORAMM used to back in the day, down whatever road that is that doesn't even show up on Google Maps, down into the doldrums by the campgrounds, and then up all the way back up to the Parkway on South Toe River Road.  I've never ever ridden over there for "fun," so it was strange to have time to look around...

and it was nice to have access to a bathroom at the campground so I didn't have to restrain my bowels all the way up to Mount Mitchell.  There's a dope ass river next to the road that burbles you into a fine sense of communing with nature while bleeding through your eyeballs as you climb outta the hole.

I'm gonna say my Wahoo is pretty accurate since my bars are probably three feet higher than the base of this sign:

On the way back down the mountain and also coming down the Parkway, I found myself getting kinda sketched out well below the standard Fred Woo-Hoo speed.

Strange, as I can recall getting my very old road bike up to something stupid close to 50MPH (while wearing racing underwears) back in the day without getting nervous.  Mebbe it was the random gusts of wind hitting from whatever direction it might be going in this corner or that straightaway, but somewhere just below 38MPH had me dragging brake and noticing that my stoppers weren't feeling quite right... not adding to my confidence in the least.  FWIW: I felt much safer once we got back into the woods, on the garvel going down Curtis Creek road without all the Parkway "car enthusiasts"... but still with stealthy head-on motos to contend with.

At the bottom of Curtis Creek we were short of Türd's goal of seven thousand feets, so we climbed up into the Gateway Trails (despite Türd being on his garvel bike) and hit Betty Nugs.

Definitely need to get back out there and check out all the other stuff.


I decided to finally fix my rubbing rear rotor and mebbe get a clue as to why my brakes didn't feel so buenos when I got close to 40MPH (because there's so much of that kinda speed at PMBAR). 


Notice one pad is more worn than the others.  Figure out one piston is sticking.  Using the half brake block trick...

and I still could not get it out where I could clean it.  Go with a full bleed and...


Piston meet freedom.  While I'm down there, swapping out the uneven pads with fresh ones from TruckerCo (because I always tell people why second guess your pads when they're not that expensive from TC), and a fresh but less needed bleed on the front for good measure.  

I'll now have some peace of mind coming down Lower Black this weekend after eight to twelves hours of knowing at least my brakes work like actual brakes.

Saturday is PMBAR.  The Holiest of All Days.  The Dirtiest of Dirt Churches.  The best day of the year while also somehow being the worst.

Bring it.


Unknown said...

I need some new brake pads and some more sealant, and I think I may actually try the Truckerco stuff for both this time.

ET said...

What in tarnation, that mineral oil looks as dark as coca-cola.