Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Saturday Showdown

I have been wanting to go around the horn for a bit now, I knew it was a hike a bike over the mountain and I guess I put it off for some reason. So Saturday I had the big bike and rolled myself happily on over to Hawes on a cool cloudy afternoon to tackle this sucker. I hit Hawes a little after 12 and got moving. On the bike bike I was thrown off as usual, it felt her pedaling like my legs just could not do it but they warmed up as I went on. Then when it got to climbing up to twisted sister I remembered the greatness of gears as I stayed seated on the saddle my legs could push up anything with the traction and gearing. I will say for steep loose climbs I will take this bike any day, despite 160mm of travel and 30+ pounds it does it extremely well! As I was loving on my bike and thinking of how amazing these machines are compare to what they use to be I was happy I got a good one. In a few years I will want a newer bike but for now I am in the moment. Made my way into Twisted Sister and went thru it's technical bits before I could descend on a pretty fun but too short descent. From there it was onwards to Wild Horse, this trail I have ridden a few times and it was comforting as it's a straight forward mellow trail. It was then my crank arm was feeling funny, I continued on a 1/2 mile and found it worse, I knew the crank arm was loose. Flipped the bike over and got to looking at things, the crank arm was indeed very loose, I looked at it's locking nut and found that it was a huge allen key that I was not carrying. The other crank arm had a size that I had but it was of no use since it wasn't the one loosening. I managed to use my two tire levers to tighten it up but was far from tight. I was now 8 miles from the car and as it loosened again after a mile this was going to be an issue. I was pretty frustrated I could not tighten it fully and as I moved off Wild Horse and onto L'Alpe D'Huez it became a greater issue, loosening after a few minutes. Soon the trail became hike a bike, very steep at times as I went up the mountain, but I liked it! As I crested a part the trail narrowly loosely dropped and hugged the hillside. This part was sketchy but I had enough grip and skill to ride it. One last 200ft hike up Goat Trail and I was at the top. The view was pretty dang good, what I was looking at kind of scratched my head, I knew where it was but surprised to facing so South. I dropped into Cactus Garden and happy to be moving downhill without silly steep climbs. It was smooth sailing from then as I hit Hawes it became quite fun to rip down the trail. I never get going fast enough around here, this allowed me to let loose a little. I want to take this bike to the bike park so bad! Made my way easily back to the car and somehow the crank arm felt after the 10th time that it was going to be snug for the rest of the ride. That proved to be true as I got to the car stoked on that ride and crank arm in tact, now off to the bike shop!. It appears I lose a part of the tightening nut on the arm, apparently an allen within an allen, why Race Face...... makes sense to have a smaller allen so one could tighten with a normal multi tool in you pack, but allen within and allen, this I have to direct for it's reason.

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