Monday, 22 July 2013

Ridgeback/Moosepackers/Pneuma/Race of Spades!

Well, I'll start by saying it's too bad that Kate was behind the lens rather than in front of it… Kate crushed some kilometers with the gang, I don't think broke a sweat, and I think had a fun time dishing out the pain to the guys as usual. We pulled out the camera only once, this is at the intersection of Pneuma and Race of Spades, so not pictured are Devin, Trish, and Davin whom rode earlier sections.

That's a great group for a great Sunday ride. After breakfast at Cadence where Shawn and I forgot critical belongings on departure, we pulled out of the West Bragg parking lot, with I think Craig up front, near 10am. Craig got to negotiate on some of the first climbs with people who also were heading out, that then shoulder checked and saw the aerobic capacity armada of Craig, Shawn, Devin, Jon, Trish, Kate, and me holding on somewhere on those initial climbs. Jon let it rip on the first decent, fast and fun enough to miss our first key corner, with Craig and I tailing him. We eventually climbed back up and went the right way, but that was the last we saw of Trish and Devin due to their shorter plans. Darn, we were supposed to do the group photo then.

We descended Sugar Mama then over to the ranger station which took some bushwhacking through flood damaged areas. Lonely Station Flats parking lot to Ridgeback to Moosepackers where the big erosion from that drain pipe was. Up Moosepackers, I made all the switchbacks, just missed cleaning it all because I rode off the side of a wide, smooth, flat piece of trail randomly when I looked left for view. It was as easy as sidewalk at that part. Funny.

Dropped in down Pneuma, where I caught my left pinky toe on the stub of a branch on a tree which hurt. Down to Race of Spades. Little mishap when my grips rotated funny (I had noticed earlier the end of my bar is messed as the carbon creased). Down Race with Jon leading. After the tough climb, I thought I spotted a moose in the woods and pointed it out to everyone… hmm… but it wasn't there, so as they looked, I got trail ; )

Tried to hold some speed into the Fraggle Rock jumps and features, we scared some deer sleeping in the woods, then down to the Tom Snow junction. I had flatted, so used a bigair on my rear tire. It leaked. We put in a tube… that was flat. We put in a tube that held… meanwhile that stall cost the group probably 20 million mosquito bites. Started hauling again, and on next downhill, I got a giant dragonfly in my helmet. I like dragonflys, they've been feasting on mosquitos, and they're pretty peaceful to people. But when it's jammed in your helmet, it freaks out, so I had to haul on the brakes and fix that. Lost the will to go forward on the second Ridgeback climb, but eventually a full bottle and some electrolytes got that fixed. Cruised back to parking lot – big day of fun all in!

I'm really liking the Pivot's ride, it's not slowing me down on the descents (I did stop on the way home and pick up a second Nobby Nic for it!). It's still hard to carry water on, but it rides well enough to keep Jon in sight on the downhills, unless I'm busy royally screwing up. Craig doesn't need any suspension to maintain those speeds.

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