Saturday, December 23, 2006


Friday nights before a big ride are always a bit stressful. Finding all your gear, checking the bike, trying to decide if you should make that repair or leave well enough alone- you know the drill.

My night went like this, cram at work because I've procrastinated for a month and now we'll be on break for a week, leave late and need to do a quick hit of Christmas shopping and K has called an requested a bottle of wine (the in-laws are up for dinner), jam home, hang with the family, eat a good meal, chat politics with my father in-law, say good-bye, clean the kitchen, read the kids stories, and now it's time to get my crap together.

I go down and find all my snivel gear, and sooner then I think my clothes, pack, helmet, lights, food are all ready to go. Now time to tweak the bike just a bit. Really the only thing I need to do is tightend the chain via the EBB. To make a long story short in the tightening of the ebb I manage to snap the tension bolt, but for some stroke of genius I think it'll be ok (?????) Finish cleaning the bike, work on the rear break, clean drive train, go to bed before 11pm.

4:55am, I'm up and soon eating and having coffee. Take care of all the morning rituals, look outside to see the downpour with a 35 degree temp. Should be good. Roll out with no HID, instead the tiki mounted to the bar (for some reason this also seemed like a good idea). To be honest I couldn't see squat, but we'd be on road or dirt road and we'd have real light in about an hour so no worries. Roll to A1's house. Guess what it's him and I and that is it.

From his house we cut through about 50 feet of "trail", I roll up to a downed tree, but can't see that well so choose to just run into it with my front wheel thinking my BIG wheels will roll over it. Did I mention it's 6am, low 30's and rain/freezing rain? Anyway I hit the ground hard and unexpected, smash my elbow, hip and hand. Good, we've been at this for all of 90 seconds and I'm in paid.

Pick myself up and on we go, both with very little light. Get on Old Mill Road and realize that the road has slush on it, no worries. Head up to Davis and start climbing. Half way up my bottom bracket falls out.

Ponder that for a moment because it's sort of a strange feeling. I've broken a crank before, I've broken pedals before, but I've never had a BB fall out. It can only happen with the wonderfully annoying contraption called an eccentric bottom bracket. Now mines not the one you can see at that link (that's the one that will soon replace the stock one in my bike)- but while it's very useful in tensioning a chain on a singlespeed it can also be a pain in the ass and also impacts your for aft positioning (but that is a whole other story). Anyway I turn around and glide down and A1 then tows me home. So we rode for 15 minutes. I considered grabbing another bike, but something was telling me that my hitting the ground and my bike falling apart were good indicators that maybe it wasn't to be.

Instead I grabbed the keys to my wife's truck, picked up A1 and we went and bough coffee and donuts at Leavitts and drove the route. The good news- the route is very doable and both A1 and I are fired up to ride it (planning to go tomorrow morning- same time as today- 6am). We did a bit of four wheel'in in the recon and at one point A1 had to get out and walk beside the truck as I was backing down off of a pretty steep hill that was covered in ice- he guided the rear wheels to the only spot that there was any traction- right on the cusp of the ditch. I've gotta say that wasn't my favorite part of the ride.

So there you have it. Fate said no for today, but thanks to Aubucaun (sp?) I've got a bolt that works and I think my bike will hold together (I'll take duct tape just in case). Any takers for Christmas eve?


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