Sunday, August 8, 2010

These Boots weren't made for walking

But that's just what I had to do.

I haven't posted a story in awhile, I've been so busy it's crazy. We have a Baby Girl on the way and I've been tied up with everything that includes. But.. On to the story.

Being so busy I haven't been able to ride nearly as much as I should be and in turn I'm still much fatter then I'd like to be at this part of the season. But I've been determined here as of late to get out there and get my riding on.

Yesterday I wanted to get out on the Mtn Bike and since we had no other plans it was a go. I went for a walk with the wife before hand then started to tune up the gears. Took a little bit as they were being extra annoying. They'd shift down perfectly but would grind on the mid gears going back up. Ajust one way one gear was fine .. adjust it the other and another would be but in conjunction they were still grinding a bit. A tweak here an F bomb there and WA LA! smooth shifting.

So I packed up my gear, loaded up the bike and headed for Loch Raven. The ride should be sooooo much better then the last. A couple of weeks I went for a ride at LR and it was 105 with about 80% humidity. I close to dead in there .. it was so hurtful. But this time it was low 90's and lower humidity and it started off pretty well. I'm not going to say I was riding strong but felt much better then last time. Right as I crossed the stream and was head left into the tech single track I rode past three guys. I nodded to them as I rode up and said whats up guys and was about to pass them by when I saw one of them give me a crazy look. I did a double take and I was surprised that I knew him haha. Patrick use to work at the bike shop I went to and I haven't seen him in probably 4 years now that I think about it. We BS'd for a little bit and someone else rolled down the trail and they stopped and also knew him haha. So I said good to see him and rolled on, as I was riding away I then thought damn I should have gotten his new number. But maybe I'll see him out there again.

So I'm off and riding. I ride my normal route. Doube in to the stream, over the stream then head left into the single track. Follow it down along the water and cut back up the double track and make a right on to the single headed up to mid. Snake down to Sams and on to the climb up to Provident. It's a long way it seems, well the fatter I am the longer it seems haha. You do get a couple of good sections and two small streams that test you a little bit but then it's the grind up to Provident road.

I made it up to Prov and took a little breather before heading into the speed loop. It's just a small loop with some log piles and is a pretty fun run. I'm about a quarter of a way into the loop and BLAMO! I'm just riding a normal section at a normal speed and then my legs are spinning at light speed. Damn, the chain popped. I get off and walk over to a log to have a look and yup, the SRAM quick link shattered. It couldnt have done it when I was climbing now could it! Haha It let me make it all the way to the top of Prov and to pretty much the farthest point from my car. But no biggy right? I'll just fix the chain with one of the master links in my camelbak. Well I would have if they were in there. A few weeks ago I cleaned the camelbak and it looks like those links didn't make their way back into their pouch because they most certainly were not in my bag.

So trudge my way out of the loop and think to myself .. road or trail? Which will be the easiest path back to the car. The road seems the first choice but I was thinking there is a good bit of downhill in the trail on the way back and that means a half broken ride through the trail will at least give me some fun. So off I went. And let me say, riding without a chain is an odd feeling, or maybe it is just me. I'm use to the resistance the chain gives and if I lean too far one way I'll use some pedal power to right me. I didn't have that option and soon found it unnerved me quite a bit haha. Maybe it was also that I didn't want to touch the brakes, the more brakes I used meant the more walking that would follow.

At first I was a bit annoyed at the chain and at extra links for not being where they were supposed to be (not me, the links knew what they did). But I though hell could be a lot worse, I could be busted up or a cracked frame or wheel and it would be 100% walk back to the car. So with that in mind I moved on, sometimes walking, sometimes riding or a combo of both. The only thing that sucked were my Sidi's. There were not made for an extended hike and that's what they got. I really do like my new shoes but I'll have to say my old faithful Nikes were pretty comfortable to walk in and when I did look at the bottom of the Sidi's the cleats were taking a beating.

I stuck to the double track for the way back, no sense going into the single track for a walk. The double track also runs right through the middle of the woods (which is why I usually call it mid track.. duh) and is quite lumpy. So I'd walk up and zoom down trying to tuck as much as I could to get the most out of my not walking time. Up and down, up and down .. I kind of felt like a DH rider, just without a ski lift. But while out on my hike I did find a sweet section of the double track that someone had built up into numerous jumps (well at least built up humps). I don't usually ride the double so it was a bit of a surprise and was quite unexpected. I was blasting down the section trying not to touch the brakes and I was flying! I was getting a ton a air, not so high but long and it was a blast. So I did at least get something out of my hike.

I was almost out of the trail and someone finally asked me if I needed any help. A friend and I have been talking about peoples attitude as of late. The last few years it seems that people have gotten more and more rude. People road by be without a word, I'm sure a person pushing up hill looks normal but pushing on the flat? Eventually someone finally did ask and that was cool, too bad it was so close to the end and I figured it didn't even make sense so I just walked it out.

All in all it could have been worse. Sidi's might be some awesome cycling shoes (though not as aweseome as my fifteen year Nikes - RIP) but they are most certainly the worst hiking shoes I've ever worn.

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