Sunday, August 23, 2015

Bull Mountain

This also happened long enough ago to be a little fuzzy in my mind. What was it, a week ago, two? The 9th. That's two.

Ok, two weeks ago the frere and I felt like getting some good miles in at Bull Mountain. Mark, Marc and Eddie did too, so they met us there at about 9AM on Sunday morning.

Mark, Marc, and John Eddie

A crew of like 6 other guys also showed up. I didn't know any of them, but apparently Mark and Marc did and we all ended up riding out together.

On a side note, there were also some guys up there from Florida too, and I talked to them for a while about riding in Florida. Surprisingly, one of the guys had never ridden at Santos, despite having living there since before it was built. One of them also had a Litespeed Cohutta, which was cool because I'd been wanting to take a look at since it first came out.

But, that's a side note.

The main note...

Me and John and Mark and Marc and Eddie and the 6 other guys all rolled over to Bull Mountain together. We'd planned on getting in some long miles, so John and I both brought camelbacks with 100oz bladders. I don't know about his, but mine felt intolerably heavy. I mean, just intolerably. As I rode, I questioned the logic too. I rode the TNGA with two 24oz bottles and iodine tablets with no trouble finding water, and I knew every stream in the area. The water felt heavier than my bikepacking gear. Could it actually be? Either way though, I ought to be able to carry a load like that, and I eventually just gave up thinking about it, except when it would get sideways on me, and then I'd be like "Dangit Dave, how'd you get to be so soft?!"

At the foot of Bull, we all decided to "climb Bear Hare" which to me, Mark, Marc and Eddie meant circle around the back through Booger Holler, but I guess to the other guys it meant, climb Bull, descend the Whoops and then circle around the back, and they just quietly split off.

It was odd, but hey, we figured we'd meet them again eventually. Eventually, we did, but we did so descending Bull Mountain, which meant that they would be climbing Bull and descending Bare Hare. In retrospect, I'm not sure what they intended to do, but it's hard to have a bad ride out there, so I'm sure it worked out.

The new Booger Holler trail was as great as I'd remembered it from the last time, and this time I got to ride it the other direction, and get GPS data for it.

But, the climb up Bear Hare was difficult and I felt pretty bad doing it. I've said it before, and I'm sure I'll say it again. No amount of not climbing in the mountains can prepare you for climbing in the mountains. I definitely need to do more climbing, in the mountains.

It seems like I had some minor mechanical near the top, but I can't remember what it was.

I had a much more significant mechanical on the way down though.

Wrapped Up

I'd apparently cracked the parallelogram on that ride with Billy a few weeks back. It fatigued and failed, spontaneously, went flying into my spokes, and blew itself to pieces against the chain stay. I haven't seen a more spectacular derailleur failure, except possibly when Tim's took out almost all of his spokes.


Derailleur Carnage

I was still about 5 miles from the car, but it was fortunately almost all downhill. John volunteered to pick me up, but I managed to get all the way to the last little climb up to Nimblewill Church Road before I ran into him.

I'm not sure how the rest of the guys fared. Hopefully their rides turned out better than mine.

John had a spare 9-speed XTR derailleur at his place, for some reason, and I put it on my bike today. Hopefully I can keep from destroying it anytime soon.

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