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From the daily archives: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

by Paul Ruchlin In this winter of our discontent… or at least frustration with the seemingly never ending cycle of snow and soggy trails, Spring shone through for one spectacular day on March 22 for the EX2 Adventures 6-Hour Cranky Monkey at Rosaryville. 11 miles of sometimes hilly, sometimes twisty, a bit of technical and often fast and flowy single track in southeastern, MD, Rosaryville is a mountain biker’s delight and a great race venue. And EX2 are champs at putting on great races. As we did last year, superstar THWT racer Michelle Faucher and I teamed up for the 2-Person Coed division. Neither of us having been as faithful to Winter conditioning (See the first sentence of this report for our lame excuses) as we would have liked, our expectations on entering were somewhat on the low side. Just days before the race, it’s running was in serious doubt. But, having shed the 7.5 inches of snow from the Monday prior and somehow nearly all of the moisture as well, the trails ended up in fantastic condition. cheap adidas uk A few damp spots and tiny mud puddles, but overall, really good conditions. Race start at 10:00 am saw mostly cloudy skies and temps in the high 40’s. Not bad for racing, but a little chilly for sitting and waiting for your teammate to complete her lap. New Balance Pas Cher As the pack came by from the start for lap #1, Michelle was nicely positioned in the middle and I settled in for the hour+ wait for her to complete her round. It ended up being close to 1:20, but much of that was due to the ever present trail crowding at the start of such races. And so off I went on my first lap. asics homme One reason I like going second is that it really helps my tendency to start out way too fast. I don’t have that contagious urge to sprint it out for the first several miles and burn myself out. So I was able to set myself up at a comfortable pace that I could maintain. And I clearly needed warming up because for the first 2-3 miles my legs felt like blocks of concrete. I told you I wasn’t in great shape, and I have a metric boat-load of excuses as to why my legs are tight and lazy, yada, yada, yada…. Finally, the quads stopped resisting and I got more comfortable, especially in the climbs. Now I could begin to be concerned about my bike problem. These days I’m sporting a new Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon Hardtail. nike air max pas cher THANK YOU SPOKES, ETC. for the awesome new ride.

One Smooth Operator

Over the past week I’d been attempting to switch out to ride tubeless, but had some issues and was still tubular on my rear wheel. It was a total surprise when race morning I loaded my bike on my car, to find the rear tire flat. Uh oh. I had no time to switch anything out and knowing it had held air for nearly a week, without my riding it, I figured I could fill it and make it through my laps for the day. But, as a precaution, I also loaded up my Stumpjumper FSR as a back-up. Just as my legs loosened up, I glanced down at my rear wheel to see it was significantly lower than when I’d started. At this rate, I’d be flat by mile 4 or 5. I did have cartridges with me, but no spare tube. nike pas cher DUH!!!! That was pretty stupid. I hoped, if it continued to leak that I’d be able to fill it with a cartridge to get me back to the T/A and either fix it or switch bikes for lap #2. A couple of more miles, glancing at it every few hundred meters (How European of me. I think we should switch to metric, though that will totally F— my golf game), I realized, it was low, but had not gotten any lower. Well that was interesting. At this point I started thinking I might stop just prior to where the course enters the inner and much more technical portion of the course, with several log obstacles. The tire seemed to be holding up on the outer trail, but I was concerned the jarring over logs and things might be the proverbial “camel.” I finally decided, not wanting to stop and lose time or the position I’d made, having passed several riders, including at least one in our division, that I’d see how it goes and only stop to fill the tire if I had to. My decision paid off as I completed my lap without having to stop, in 1:10:53. Lucky? Or steely-nerved strategery? Hmmmmm……… Somewhere along the way here I’d contemplated a whole plan for correcting my dilemma. I’m not sure how I was able to do that whilst racing, bumping, jarring, and pedaling, but by the time I got to passing off our timing chip to Michelle for her second lap I had it all worked out. Instead of trying to change tires, I would simply swap my back wheel with the back wheel off my other bike. Easy! Oh wait, I then remembered that earlier in the week I’d tried putting that wheel on this bike and for whatever reason, despite both having 160 mm rotors, the Avid brake disc wouldn’t fit right in my Magura caliper. Ah, but changing the brake rotors isn’t hard at all and I’d have an hour to do that. So after wolfing down a half a peanut butter sandwich and some Skratch hydration I got in to pit crew mode. It took me all of 15 minutes to swap out the rotor and the wheel from my spare bike slipped easily in to place. cheap adidas uk Well, that was even more painless than I’d expected. Proud of myself as I’m not a particularly “technical” guy, I sat down to relax, ate and drank some more, waiting for Michelle. Adrian Gonzalez Jersey After a few minutes it finally occurred to me, not being a “technical” guy, that perhaps I should maybe test this new combination out………..just to be sure. I hopped on the bike to give her a go and…………. Oooooooooooh, that does NOT sound good. Horrible, ugly grinding in my gears. Nike Air Max 2016 Heren groen And shifting gears was a different ugliness altogether. So now someone can educate me on cassette and derailleur differences, because I had no idea. Sometimes it would shift, sometimes it wouldn’t. If it did shift it then tried to shift back without my using the shifter. And the grinding……….the horrible, terrible grinding (tear running down my cheek). Well THAT’S not going to work.

Me Love Log

Ok, plan 2B. I swapped the rotors back, put my original wheel back on the bike and since I made it through the first lap I figured I could make it through the second lap. I pumped up my tire to about 40 lbs, much higher than I’d normally ride with the damp trails, and had about another 10 minutes to relax before Michelle came in to transition. Lap #2 went pretty much the same. The tire deflated to a point (I discovered later about 18 lbs) and then stabilized once again. I rode another good lap, only about a minute slower and it went without incident. Well, except for that part where I almost killed the photographer. Negotiating the largest log obstacle on the course I managed to endo, coming down pretty much right on top of Bruce, from Swim Bike Run Photography. Sorry Bruce. Luckily he managed to guide me aside from crushing him as I descended. He asked if I was ok, I asked, more importantly, if his camera was ok (I’m pretty sure it cost more than my bike). Nike Air Max Homme No carnage to be found I was up and off again, this time to finish without incident. No really. I made it in under the cutoff time and wished Michelle well on what would be our final lap. Michelle came back in and completed our race. We were both pleasantly surprised with our 4th place finish, adding another EX2 pint glass to our collections.