Sunday, October 2, 2011


Oh! It's fall. Fall, fall, fall. That means 65 degree temps and beautiful weather. There's nothing better than doing stuff outside in early fall.


My folks are in town and today my dad and I took full advantage of the fall weather.

Full advantage!

I'd told him all about the race at Jackrabbit last week and how awesome the trail was and it piqued his interest substantially. I wouldn't normally ride the same trail two weeks in a row, especially if I just spent 6 hours there, but I've done it before at Dry Creek, and for a trail like Jackrabbit, it was worth making another exception, especially since my dad has never ridden there.

We got a late start but it didn't matter, there was still plenty of daylight when we got there.

 Getting Ready

I called Clark on the way up but he and Suzy had just finished riding at Yargo. Hah. I was up by his house and he was down by mine.

Every ride has its share of adversity and right off the bat we had a bit to contend with. My dad has lost a good bit of weight lately and his shorts are now sagging down in the front. That's probably the best problem you can have with a pair of shorts though. Tomorrow's his birthday, so maybe we can find a solution.

Jackrabbit is great. I'm not sure what I can say that I haven't before. It's fast, fun, swoopy and well built. Refer to my recent entry about the race there for a full description.

The next bit of adversity we had to contend with began as soon as we rolled out. My dad pedaled forward but his bike didn't go anywhere. The pawls just didn't engage in his hub. Then it worked fine a second later. He thought maybe it had dried up a bit and the cold weather compared to what they've been getting in Dallas was making the grease sticky.


We proceeded.

Jackrabbit delivered. The weather delivered. We suffered neither sweat nor boredom, nor lack of beautiful scenery.

The overlook.


Saba Beach.

 Dad at Saba Beach

While I was taking pictures, my dad was fiddling with his phone, also taking pictures. I should have taken a picture of him taking a picture of me.

There was a Persimmon tree out by the beach with the biggest persimmons ever dangling precariously from its branches. I picked a ripe one.

 Big Persimmon

Persimmons taste like that Dreamsicle flavor. Kind of vanilla-orange. My dad trusted me and ate part of it. I like persimmons because they're so big and sweet. Most wild edibles are either little berries or some horribly bitter shred of greenery. Even wild apples, or feral apples as they might be more properly called, are usually bitter. But persimmons are big, juicy and delicious, assuming they are ripe. Yum.

That problem my dad had with his hub earlier kept recurring. He'd coast for a few seconds and then it wouldn't engage. At first, he could just pedal quick and it would pick up. After a while we had to shake the wheel. When that stopped working, he had to fling the pedal around super hard to get the pawls to fly out. Eventually that would only work after trying a few times. I've had similar problems with the ring drive in a King hub and when it happens, the teeth wear down really quickly. If you don't stop and rebuild the hub immediately, it's all over. I suspect the same would happen with a conventional hub. We got all the way around to Sneaking Creek before things got dicey and from then on he had to ride the brakes to keep the pedals engaged.

We barely made it out without walking but we did make it out.

 Philadelphia Church Creek

Hey, these things happen. It would have been fun to ride another lap but we still had a great time.

It's too bad my dad's not a hiker or we'd have run up the road a bit and hiked Jackrabbit Mountain proper. Instead we headed out and grabbed some pizza at DJ's in Helen.

As old-school as my bike is with its small diameter stem, 3x9 drivetrain, 26 inch wheels, non-tubeless tires and 80mm fork, I am, at least, running disc brakes. My dad though, despite having a bike that is several years newer than mine, is still running V-brakes. Why? Kind of for the same reason I'm running all those old-school parts. They either refuse to wear out or randomly end up being super cheap to replace.

Destiny must be at work here though. In 2001 I bought a wheel set with King hubs, Mavic ceramic 517's and Revolution spokes. I got the hubs for like $100 because they were purple and the guy just couldn't sell them. I loved those wheels but I burned up a bearing in the hub way back, rode a pair of Cross Max while I waited for the bearing to come in and ultimately replaced those with a set of disc wheels that I'm still riding today. As much as I loved the Purple King/517's, it was just not meant to be and they've been decorating my various garages since 2003. Nobody else has ever needed them. Everybody else is running disc. Today I gave them to my dad, along with a box of spare spokes I've been hanging on to, just in case. He can use them as-is or rebuild his rear wheel with the King hub. On the upside, the wheels will be useful again. On the downside, I've helped postpone my dad's transition to disc brakes. Hah. Trade-offs.

He's leaving town on Tuesday and I don't know when we'll get to ride together again, but I'm guessing that the next time we do, it'll be at Jackrabbit.

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