Friday, April 29, 2011

Amazing trails and technical difficulties

After leaving the MC Escher trail behind me, I headed up to Virginia for a night.  I got to ride on the W&OD trail near Leesburg.  My Facebook post summed it up...

"Yesterday I got a chance to ride on the W&OD trail. Almost 50 miles one way of two lane bike trail, framed by lush greenery, blooming dogwoods, redbuds, cherries, babbling brooks. I think I died and went to bicycle heaven... Or Virginia, as the case may be."

Then we headed to NC where I rode early one morning in the cold and rain.  I think I meee-e-e-e-lted a little, as any good Florida witch would.  I rode out feeling rather proud of my dedication, ahem (OK, I know people all over the world ride in much worse).  I had also forgotten to put in my contact lenses so in addition to the rain making my brakes sketchy and the mist reducing visibility, my own God-gifted vision left road hazards indistinguishable from puddles.  Sooo... I headed down every hill braking hard and then at the bottoms had to face nasty climbs with no momentum built up.  It was then that I got the memo about fixing that little gearing problem I have encountered in the past.  My chain wouldn't shift onto (and stay on) any of the largest rings in my back cassette.  In other words, no granny gear, not even an aunt Martha gear.  Can you say "push that bike up that hill in freezing rain"?....  yummy. 

When I returned to SC, I rode the Escher Trail again but this time, I was thinking outside the box (and I studied the map).  Somehow, the whole place made sense and I went thirty out of forty-five miles without being lost for a moment.  Around mile 25, I thought the bike handling seemed sluggish, but given the state of the bike, I dismissed it with a quick glance at my tires.  As my heart rate climbed, my speed dropped and no gearing in the world seemed to help.  Then I realized that my back tire, while not apparently popped was holding very little air.  Since I have changed that back tube roughly every thirty miles lately, I just rode home on low pressure and resolved that the bike needed to visit the bike doctor as soon as I got home.

Sure enough, the bike was out of adjustment and the tire was in desperate need of retirement.  So I venture out on the bike again today, and hope that Trigger will be feeling up to a fast, fun ride down the debris littered roads of Sunny South Florida.  Home Sweet Home.

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