Friday, November 21, 2008


Some may think Darkness is one particular individual. I like to think it is about 75% of what I saw on my mountain bike ride this past Wednesday evening.

After Sunday's Epic Ride Ohio Rob did not want to explore CT trails at night with the loaner singlespeed 'that fits well for someone needing a 17inch frame'. Collectively, we decided it was best to ride yet another 26inch wheeled bicycle. And a 4inch travel full suspension with gears for that matter! At least the frame fit for him. I dusted off The Groover and Robb had a bicycle for the evening.

Temps were hovering around freezing or most likely in the mid to upper 20s (fahrenheit). I bundled up with my super thick riding jacket (which later became a mistake because it was too warm) and quickly realized I had two pairs of insulated knickers and not one pair of knickers and another pair of full length insulated tights. Guess my shins are going to be cold (I really could have used some 12inch tall Swiftwicks). Robb also realized that his second light's battery was dead. Guess he's riding with one Halogen light atop his head.

The usual gang was off at 5pm. Road was cold but we only needed to ride about 10minutes to get to the trails. Probably 20minutes into our trail ride I am confused. Why does my HID light look so dull? A few minutes later total darkness. Ugh oh. Battery died. Now I knew I didn't charge the battery but the past few weeks have resulted in me getting about three weekly rides out of one charge. To ensure that I brought the battery into the office while I was at work on Wednesday. Guess it just didn't have enough juice. FUN.

Now I'm riding the fully RIGID singlespeed by BRAIL in a very ROCKY and TECHNICAL wooded section in the DARK. I immediately decided to hang onto a buddy's wheel. Use his light to figure out where I'm going and pretty much ride in the shadows of our group of six. Glenn's light was just far enough to where I'd normally be viewing if I had my own light (even with me riding right on his back wheel). This became 'interesting' quite fast with the tight singletrack. I could see around the bend but had no idea what I was immediately riding over until right ontop of it. Good balance and agility training!

Once off the technical stuff we kept to more mellow trails so I hung with it and kept on riding in the shadows. Somewhere along here Robb broke a pin in the chain on his bike. Hmm. Relatively new bike that gets ridden maybe 20miles a year and the chain broke? Ugh oh. With my chaintool in tow I went to work taking a link out. After putting the new link in for some strange reason I moved my hand over the chain and my thumb caught a burr. Slice. Now my thumb has a big gapping cut in it and blood everywhere. Robb finished up the chain while I quickly tried to figure out how to fix my issue at hand. Bob offered the duct tape off his shoes while I realized I could use the electrical tape off my seatpost to apply pressure to the wound. End result: electrical-taped thumb provided enough pressure to stop the bleeding and I could get my glove back on and continue riding. So much pressure that by the time we got back to Bob's house I couldn't feel my thumb (the cold didn't help either). After changing and cleaning up at Bob's house we put a proper bandage on my thumb and alles ist guten!

So, Robb is in CT for two weeks and got a nice multi-hour walk in the pouring rain this past Saturday with Omega and myself. He got an epic 6-7hr ride on some awesome CT trails atop a bicycle with a fit one could get away with in a skatepark rather than an all-day trail ride. Then he ends the week with a night ride that challenges me more than riding across Hartford in rush hour traffic on a brake-less fixie with a coffee in one hand.

Lesson Learned:
- Charge the HID battery weekly in the cold weather
- Its polite to actually ride the bike you are loaning out prior to loaning it out. This way it doesn't break mid-ride.
- Cross your fingers that Robb would like to ride in CT again when in town next.

Next month: I venture down to his neck of the woods and get to explore the Asheville North Carolina area.

Fun times!


Blogger Ohio Robb said...

it took me a while to make the rounds, but your CT write up matches my last write up. i've been riding a bunch but am still sans one likes to read, they just look at pictures. we'll have some fun in december...nothing too adventurous, but some fast outings in the cold are surely in store.

12/03/2008 9:27 PM  

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