Monday, 6 October 2008

Putting The Lost Into Lost River

The world is in the middle of cracking. This thing has been coming for so long it's ridiculous. At a couple of points, as the bailouts were starting to happen and it became evident that people who'd been responsible for huge losses were going to get away scot free, I'd offhandedly commented to myself "gee, at least during the '29 crash you had people jumping out of windows, now they fly away on private jets." Well, after today's fun stuff we might have some people jumping out of windows and I'd just like to go on record as saying I hope we don't. I didn't really mean it. But being down only 380 or whatever on the day after having been down like 800 almost feels like an up day. I guess tomorrow's another day and we'll see.

Another outstanding trip to the Lost River Barn this weekend. Clocking in with about 9000 vertical feet of climbing over 115 or so miles. This was a pretty hard weekend of riding, and way longer than anything I've done since May. This time, the weather was fantastic. The first runs down the hill in the morning were a bit nippy each day, but soon after it was down to jersey, shorts and sometimes wind vest.

Saturday provided me with easily my most humbling climbing experience ever. Howard's Lick Road, which is the road the barn is on, can be climbed from either direction to the barn. This time, we only climbed from the State Park side. Either side is pretty hard, it's kind of a pick your poison type of deal, there's no easy way up. After 55 or so miles and several thousand vertical feet and nearly double the amount of time that I'd been on a bike since my surgery, 6 miles of hard climbing stood between me and food, cold drinks and a nap. Being the sally that I am in general, accentuated by recent events, I had a 34x26 as my smallest gear. Yes you read that right 34x26. And Thank God I had it because I would not have made it up otherwise. I could be generous to myself and say I made it up in walking speed. Good thing Chef Drew followed up my afternoon junk food making bonanza with some steak thing that made my hair stand on end, followed by a ridiculous chocolate, banana, graham cracker and butter dessert. That put me back on terms.

I got a chance to put my somewhat questionable wrenching skills to use, with one of our compatriots having broken a derailleur cable inside the shifter. The barrel stop thing and about 3mm of cable were stuck inside the ratchet turntable deal. The shifter wouldn't upshift to just let the thing spit itself out, so it took a lot of finagling and finally the thing kind of just miraculously got close enough to the top so that I could grab it with tweezers. Her shifting was said to work flawlessly on Sunday, so I can't be 100% thumbs.

It took for freaking ever to get the motor started on Sunday morning and after 16 miles was thinking "man when am I going to get warmed up here," but then considered that after 16 miles (6 of which had been pretty sharply downhill) I was probably just having a crap day. Things eventually turned around, and Dixie Cup and I did a pretty fun bridge up to a group of three who had snuck off and then drilled it. The final climb on Sunday was quite a bit better for me, as I finished up mere moments behind the leaders. Next time I won't spot them a broken leg and we'll see how it goes.

Powertap issues abound for me. I can't get mine to zero no matter what I do, and I know I'm a monster of rock and all but I don't think I'm blowing 634 watts when I'm just rolling along. New batteries not very long ago at all, it's got to be something else. The other wonderful thing is that two eyelets pulled through my rim, which I noticed while cleaning the bike after yesterday's ride. Yikes. Good thing I was bombing down hills at like 45mph on that wheel. I guess it's somewhat of an endorsement for DT Swiss rims that they could get me home with two eyelets severely wanting to leave town, but a bummer that it happened in the first place.

The new picture up at the top of the page is the first thing I saw when I woke up on Saturday morning. The place does not suck.


John(ny) said...

Nothing like redundant structure! My DT rims featured the same eyelet cracking that you've got. No failure while I was riding them, and no failure now as they are retired.

Gotta check out that Lost River Barn sometime.


Jim said...

There is a torque zeroing procedure laid out in the manual. It involves getting the head unit into a particular mode and spinning the wheel, letting it spin down and zero itself. It's a little goofy but it zeroes the hub. You should do it every few weeks.

David Kirkpatrick said...

Johnny - You have to get there.

James - Done and done and done and done and done. No love. Sucks.

Greg said...

did you call Saris? They're cust serv is pretty good, if they can't walk you through the steps needed to zero it, you can prolly send it in and they'll fix whatever's wrong with it.