…sometimes you’re the nail.
Sometimes you accidentally leave all of the conventional tools at home and have to do it Macgyver style.
This weekend, Ryan, Eric, and I are in Mountain View. The plan was for Ryan and I to ride the Syllamo’s Revenge race course today, but, from the get-go, thing weren’t going as planned. Somehow, I ended up leaving my beloved Wingnut pack at home (luckily, Ryan had brought an extra hydration pack). That, in and of itself, sucks, because it’s soooo much more comfortable than anything else. However, inside the pack are mine and Ryan’s multi tools, my trail saw, and a spare derailleur hanger.
But wait, there’s more!
I also left my keys at home. I didn’t realize it until we pulled up to the cabin (thank goodness there was a spare in a lock box). To top it all off, I forgot my super awesome memory foam pillow. Crap.
Nonetheless, we headed out to the trails around 10 this morning. We started by dropping down Blanchard Springs Rd. to the campground so that I could get a feel for how the climb & initial singletrack would ride. The climb back was fine, but once we entered the singletrack, things got hairy. It rained a couple of hours last night, so the wet rocks and mud were pretty trecherous. We picked our way through the bad spots and eventually made it to the blue trail.
I was booking along when suddenly, a branch lodged itself in my rear derailleur. I heard it and immediately stopped pedaling, which probably limited the damage, but left me with a horribly bent hanger. I made several attempts at muscleing it back in to place, but it was still prettymuch unusable.Ã‚ I started to resign myself to walking out and ending my weekend early.
Then I reminded myself of the post I made just a couple of days ago about wanting a Singlespeed. Guess there’s no better time than the present, eh?
Ryan and I made a quick calculation about what combination of gears to use, set the grip shift to get close to it, then turned the barrel adjuster until the chain was somewhat quiet on the cassette. Bam. Singlespeed.
The first time you ride with one gear, you quickly figure out that your brakes are your biggest nemesis, momentum your biggest ally, and muscle dominates where you once relented to shifting to a lower gear. I’m pretty hooked. I rode about another 30 miles after that on the green, red, and remaining yellow trail and ended up with just over 40 miles for the day. Freaking awesome. I felt like a rock star. Need. More.
So, tomorrow, we’re going out to the Orange and Blue trails. Lots more climbing and rocks. I can’t wait to try it. It’s going to hurt in the best possible ways.