Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The tour continues, explosions abound.

Another ride today and I decided to take the lower single track at Fumee. It is shorter than it's northern cousin, but shares many of the same characteristics. A little bit rooty, some decent climbing, and occasional rocks that all flow together well because of good construction. I have to back up here and talk a little bit about the ride I took when I first got here with my wife. She had mentioned a slow leak when we were putting her bike together, but I didn't really pay attention and it bit me in the ass in the middle of the trail. Although I had a spare tube and tools, the CO2 inflator I had either never worked or got broke at some point, because the ping that should engage the valve on a schrader style tube was totally gone. I don't have any bikes with schrader valves, so it's possible it never worked. At any rate we were stuck in the middle of a great trail with only one working bike and no way to reair a tire. I ended up time trialing back to the Mortl's (the LBS) and purchasing another pump and a presta tube for good measure. By the time I got back she was just walking out of Fumee. We fixed her flat and spun home.


Two days later on a ride to the same area, I could see what looked like a lump in my front wheel. It preyed upon my OCD all the way home where I finally checked and found that, sure enough, a section of my wheel was in serious need of truing. Today was extra special. Partway up a switchback climb, my chain exploded. Anyone that has ridden a bit knows that occasionally it happens. What wasn't normal was that when I stepped back to pick up my chain, there was still a section of it on the ground. My chain snapped in two places, which isn't at all normal and required undue diligence with a chain tool to fix.

Normally that would be the end of mechanical mishaps for the day, but I continued to get my Trogdor on. Once back to town, I was rolling up a steep curb when my seatpost clamp exploded. Although it didn't actually break, it did send the nose of my saddle searching skyward and forced me to stand the rest of the way home, because although I had a multitool, I didn't have the will left to straighten it out before getting back to the house.
The day's saving graces were the fact that the singletrack was just as good as the rest I have been riding and that when I stopped at the LBS to get a new chain on the way back through town, I got much better service than the last two times I had been in there. It was an actual mechanic that helped me and it gives me hope for the place yet. Tomorrow I am heading up to Marquette, which although smaller than Fairbanks, sports something like twice as many bike shops, including one that purportedly specializes in downhill rigs. There must be serious trailage up there to support that kind of gear. Maybe someone rents?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What ...You rent a bike that isn't yours? For downhilling? Listen bango, bongo, whatever you call yourself...don't go breaking something important...you need to get back to your job in one piece. :)