Thursday, July 23, 2009

getting lost and breaking bikes

After a day off and a quick spin on the new singlespeed on tuesday I got back to some solid riding yesterday. The plan was to start at the Sourdough Trailhead near the University of Colorado Mountain Research Station. Instead of riding my normal route on the sourdough north towards Brainard Lake and Camp Dick I headed Northwest up to the Niwot Ridge Trail, the goal, ride up and over Niwot Ridge (the highest trail in the immediate front range of Boulder) and then drop down and back via the Sourdough. After climbing for nearly 1.5 hours the retention spring in my brake broke and started sticking into my rotor making an awful sound.

I hopped off the bike at somewhere near 12,000 ft above sea level with no tree cover and clouds rolling in. Pulled the front wheel and pulled the brake pads out with the hope to mend the retention spring. Sadly it wasn't to be. After sitting there for a considerably amount of time and getting very cold (I eventually put on a fleece jersey, leg warmers, and a hat) I figured it would probably make more sense to keep going and come back on sourdough still as this would be less continuous steep descending without a front brake.

Turns out I missed the turn and ended up at the top of some mountain by a research building for CU. Ah well, guess I have to try and flow my way down the mountain with only a rear brake.

Overall the descent for the first bit wasn't that bad as the alpine tundra covered in Granite does not lend to a huge amount of speed. Then, the fast fire road came. It is seriously scary trying to descend steep, fast, and loose fire roads without a speed control mechanism and only a bike control mechanism. In the end I definitely wimped out and walked a few of the steeper pitches in order to avoid barrelling over the side of the trail into the creek beds.

Overall it was a sweet ride to get up so high in altitude and work on pushing the pedals without much oxygen especially over technical terrain.

Till next time.

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