Saturday, June 23, 2007

Tales of a Mt. Bike Junkie....

I will begin this story with a refresher- on one of the lunch rides a few weeks ago, I broke my swing arm on my Mt. Bike at the bottom of Jack Rabbit. This instigated a complete overhaul of my bike, including a new drive train, shifters, brake pads, shock service etc. Unfortunately, during the rebuild of the bike, it fell off my el Cheapo stand right on the brand new rear deraileur! Snapping my brand new deraileur hanger like peanut brittle. I used my old deraileur hanger from the broken swing arm and pushed forward.
I was proud to annouce the arrival of my new baby on Tuesays lunch ride. It was all put together and parking lot tested. Unfortuantely, about 200 yards into the ride it started creaking and popping like crazy. The shifting was far from smooth and the bike was a MoFo to pedal. I made the best of it and listened while Jeff M. continued to use these noises to sway me towards the purchase of a single speed bike. After going at least 100% over budget on the current rebuild, the idea of having a new bike for me is not on the horizon. But, just in case hell does freeze over, you will find me at the bike shop with my wallet out. Riding Jeffs single speed while my bike was down was a total blast.
Anyway, not to get off subject. That evening, after the lunch ride I did my best to get my bike dialed in. I adjusted about 90% of the brake drag out, and re-routed a shifter cable that I routed wrong the first time. Then I met Jeff P. and Jeff Moser for the Thursday afternoon ride in Ash Canyon. What a blast! We started at Jeff P.'s and climbed timberline. Then dropped into Baldy Green. This is where I really noticed that I had not solved my shifting problems. It was horrible. KA-Chunk! Chunkchunk! the bike was on autoshift. Anticipating the exact opposite of which way I would actually like to shift. I tried adjusting the cable lenght but nothing helped. No time to worry though. Just made the best of it and pedaled down the new trail that Jeff P. cut into the canyon. Sweet! Thanks Jeff! I will be recieving many hours of enjoyment from your hard work! We had a great time talking about the future of Mt. Biking in CC. With trails like that it won't be long until Carson City becomes a destination for Mt. Bikers.

When I got home that night. I was too exausted to put anymore time in my bike. I had done all I could. So Friday afternoon I took it to Bike Habitat, where Dennis, the owner used the drop down straightening tool to gingerly straighten my badly bent deraileur hanger. He also fixed the drag on my brakes and installed my new seat post. What a guy. He only charged me $15.00 and must have spent a half hour on it. Thanks Dennis. I also must mention that the Bike Habitat is totally stocked now, compared to when it first opened. There is lots of good stuff there...

Needless to say, It was Friday night. I have to work Saturday. Sunday is my 12Th Wedding anniversary. When will I be able to really ride my beautiful new bike.... This calls for a rock star energy drink and a night ride! So the kids hit the rack. I kiss them goodnight. I go to the map software on the computer. Print out the trail that goes from the top of spooner to "The Bench" scribble a note on it for my wife to read in case I dont come home. Prep and pack everything. Kiss the wiferoony goodby and hit the road. I was on the trail at 10PM. Headphones on and my 2 nightrider headlamps blazing through the woods. I climbed and climbed. 5 miles to the bench. The bike was shifting and handeling like a dream. I stopped at the bench on this warm evening and took in the half moon over Lake Tahoe view for a good 45 Mins.
According to my calculations, If I rotate the light burn times, I should have at least another 2 hrs and 45 minutes of light left. I was totally pumped up for 3 reasons.. The energy drink, The Rim Trail, and my bike was dialed in bigtime. I decided to pedal towards the top of Kingsbury for another 45 minutes. So I pedaled and pedaled, getting into the tunes. It was now almost 1:30 AM. Well, I thought, I better turn around because if I get home too late I will be way to tired for my Saturday duties and the wifey might worry.. So I did. Then, within about 5 minutes, my main light that has a burn time of 4 hrs stopped working at 3:15! ag! I charged it up! The way I calculated it, I only had about 40 minutes left on my back up light. So I kept on moving. 10 minutes later that one went out too... Hmmm. Lucky its a warm night... So I grabbed my final trick, which was an LED light and tried to ride with that. After nearly going over the bars I figured that was a bad idea. I will begin to walk. I have 8 miles to go with my little head light. It is now 2 am. So I made a note of the milage on the cycle computer.. I covered just over 2 miles in an hr. Time to turn this adventure into a camping trip! I opened my camelback, took out my leggings and put them on. Found a nice soft spot under a tree right next to the trail and fell asleep quickly. I awakened at 4:30 to find a bear about to have his way with me... - Just kidding. I awakend at 4:30 am and the trail was just lighting up from the morning twilight. I tightened my shoes. ( I still had my headphones and helment on to help keep me warm) and jumped on the bike. Whooo Hoo! The Tahoe Rim Trail RIPS. Perfect down hill roller slope for 6 miles to the car. It was a great way to start the day. I got home at 5:45 and my wife opened one eye to look at me.... "Where were you?" Well, the mt. bike ride turned into a camping trip.. Chalk up another big adventure for the history books!

7 comments:

Jeff said...

You are a bit nuts I'm afraid! I get cold in my sleeping bag. I can't imagine those arm warmers doing much for you.

Careful...I've heard Jeff P roams the hills in a bear costume.

Dennis is the Bike Whisperer.

Jeff P said...

Nice epic.

That would be bare costume.

Marcus said...

Jeff- it was 55 degrees up there. For a guy who sleeps nekkid it was the least of my worries. I was worried my wife would be mad at me. She was cool.

Potter- Either Bear or Bare would have been equally alarming...

Scott said...

You must be the guy who has stolen my energy. Nice story.

Marcus said...

I paid the price on Saturday. I was really tired. I kept on falling asleep at my desk. I came home for dinner and sat on the couch at 4 PM. I woke up at 6 PM to my daughter tapping me on the shoulder to wake up and eat. I would have preffered to start/end the ride earlier, but it just didnt happen. As an adventure junkie, I am sure I will have a similar story in the future...

Smudgemo said...

I'm thinking a space blanket might be a good addition to the camelback for these night rides.

Jeff said...

...or maybe a suicide pill.