Yesterday’s ride was somewhat abbreviated. Ryan, Bruce, and I took to the orange trail. It had rained earlier, so it was a good choice because of its relative lack of rocks. This was also the RDO’s first time out at Syllamo, and if I recall correctly, the first time I’d ridden gears on these trails since breaking a derailleur on the Air9 Scandium more than a year ago (and subsequently swore off gears on that trail forever).
The initial descent was a blast, and I decided I’d use the short climbs on the trail to do a little interval training and see how the new bike would perform. In the middle of the first interval, BAM! Stick to the rear derailleur. My shifting was immediately rough, but still somewhat functional. I finished the interval, rode back to meet with Ryan and Bruce, then kicked it up again for the next climb.
Ryan followed me up until we reached a stretch of open, bald, wet rocks. I knew they’d be periodically slick, but decided that today I’d take my chances and hammer across. I made it mostly through until I hit one last off-camber spot. My bike shot out from under me, but somehow I managed to catch myself and keep from falling by grabbing a nearby cedar sapling. My bike landed squarely on the right side, rendering the derailleur slightly less functional than before. Once I was at the top, I decided I’d swap hangers (I’d brought two spares). Unfortunately, the new hanger, though it fit the frame fine, was very slightly different than the old one, and the derailleur was horribly mal-adjusted. The amount of sand and crap in the drivetrain was making adjustments tedious, and Bruce, who had fallen chest-first onto a rock early in the ride, suggested we call it a day.
So, we bailed off on the forest road and coasted down to the car. Luckily, once everything was clean, lubed, and re-adjusted, the shifting was fine. Crisis averted, for now. I’m incredibly happy that Matt will arrive with my singlespeed Monday night, so the geared bike only needs to make it through one more day of riding.
PS- The RDO is still awesome. Even if it does have that silly “gear” thing.