Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Dirty Sheets

Again, an after-work ride wouldn't usually be worth mentioning, but in keeping with the recent trend of them actually being worth it... I rode some Dirty Sheets with Justin and Flynn last week.

It's worth mentioning for several reasons. The first being that absolutely ridiculous traffic that I had to deal with on the way over. It usually takes 40-odd minutes to get to Cochran Mill. Maybe another 10 to get to PBR in Serenbe. Not that day. I spent 20 minutes getting through the lights to turn onto Fulton Industrial, and another 20 getting through the light at Charlie's Store. There was nothing going on. Just tons of slow moving people.

I was supposed to meet Justin at Glen's at 6:00. Instead, I was turning on to Cedar Grove. 5 minutes later I was getting a ticket. 75 in a 45, no less. It doesn't generally pay to argue with police, so I didn't bother, but there is no way I was going even 60. I'd been following a guy for a while, both of us going 45. Near Rivertown Road it goes up to 55. I wasn't paying exact attention, but he sped up, so I figured it had turned to 55. I sped up too, but capped it around 60 while he pulled away from me. I saw an officer up ahead, checked my speed - hair under 60. I even laughed out loud because that guy was definitely getting a ticket! Nope. I was. I'm pretty sure the cop clocked him and just pulled me over because it was easier. Turned out also, that it didn't become 55 for another few hundred yards. Dangit!

I haven't gotten a ticket in like 7 years, and haven't gotten a speeding ticket in like 10+. Now I have a super-speeder ticket, of exactly 30mph over. Just what I need.

I got to the shop 30 minutes late. Justin and Flynn were ready to go. Glen was closing up. His family was there waiting on him. Everybody was waiting on me. I pull my bike down. Flat rear tire.

Garbage!

Justin juiced it while I changed. We were riding 5 minutes later.

Flynn's got a beautiful gravel bike that can't weigh even 18 pounds. I've been riding my full bikepacking rig for months now, every ride, and Justin pretty much always does that unless he's racing. Flynn was murdering us on the climbs, but I was happy that I could more or less hang with Justin.

We did an odd lollipop loop that I'd done something similar to before. It's like 20-odd miles, but you never have to cross South Fulton.

The ride was fun, but my bike was giving me a little trouble.

The first problem was the seat. I'd been riding a RavX SpeedX forever, and loved it. But, the leather was deteriorating to such an extent that I'd been trimming and super-gluing it down for years, and needed to replace it. Badly. As fate would have it, Glen just happened to have an old RavX SpeedX (slightly newer than mine) in a box of old parts, that Randall Stauffer had tried, hated, and given him, years ago. I'd replaced mine with that one, and then promptly destroyed it in my last crash, having only ridden it a hand full of times. Ebay was short on SpeedX's but did have a SpeedMax, which is lighter, more modern (though by no means fully modern), but a little different. I'd ridden it at Pinelog, and by the end of the ride, it felt like it was trying to split my pelvis. By the end of this ride, I could tell that the rail on one side was slightly looser than the rail on the other side, and it made a hot spot on my right butt. I also felt like I wasn't getting full leg extension.

The second problem was the grips. I'd bruised my hands pretty good during that last crash, so they pretty much perpetually felt like they would after several days on the bike. The Oury's are great for shredding singletrack all day, but I'd even had trouble with them on that overnight I did with Eddie and Shey. My hands had felt tired pretty much constantly during the last few rides. I was glad to be done with this one, just because I was tired of leaning on the bars.

...Things to work on.

Post-ride, Flynn took me to this great restaurant in Serenbe called Halsa. No idea how to describe it except as "vegetable-forward" which I got from their website. That may sound terrible, but it's freakin' fantastic. I got a bowl of "forbidden rice" with black beans, corn, and chicken on it. Forbidden rice is almost black, apparently difficult to cook, and has a great texture. The bowl was endless too. I ate for like 30 minutes and only managed to consume a little over half of it. Flynn had some kale tacos with peppers and stuff in them, and some soup. I think I'll stick to the rice bowls in the future, but I'll definitely eat there next time I'm down there at dinner time. So good.

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