Thursday, April 12, 2012

Keepin' The Rubber Side Down

Yeah.....not good.
You know the saying- "Keep the rubber side down." Yeah, well, it could mean that you should stay in control and not crash and burn. could mean that your rig shouldn't implode on you. didn't actually "implode', but I did have a bit of a touch and go situation there.

See, I was at the Camp, and just was getting underway, heading up the service road to take the trails in the opposite direction than I normally do. I figured that it might be enlightening and definitely it would be different. Especially with the newer sections that have been added recently.

So......I hear the sound that went something like, "brrrrripppGRACK,sssssnap!" , and I said, "What the....!!" 

I got off and surveyed the trail behind me but saw nothing out of the ordinary, so I took a look at the bike. Ahhh! There ya go. A bent derailleur hangar. Nice! 

With nothing for it but to pop the bike upside down, gromit style, and go for the death grip on the derailleur and twist it back into some semblance of alignment, I managed to get the bike working perfectly again. (Don't try this at home. It takes years of training to acquire the right balance of force and subtlety.)

Deer frolicking in the stream
Well, now I was off again! But wait! I hear a "creak, creak,creak", so I stop again to investigate it. Seems to be emanating from a suspension pivot. I check the bolts and everything is tight. Hmm.....I continue, but that creak is not fun to listen to.

I get a ways into the trail system, ripping along happily, I might add, when my cell phone erupts into its ring tone, obliterating the zen flow I have obtained. Grrr.....! I stop and answer it. As I am talking with the rude interrupter, I notice a stream below me and an odd reflection in it. I take note. It is something being reflected in the stream and it is moving.

The call ends and I stand transfixed on the odd reflection until I see that three deer are in the stream. What looks like a doe and its two nearly full grown fawns are down there. The two smaller deer appear to be a male and female, judging from their size, since one is obviously more muscular and larger than the other.  The smaller deer are engaging in play. Stomping in the water, splashing each other, and frolicking like any two human kids might. It was pretty cool to catch site of that for about 10 minutes before they ambled off into the cover of the surrounding woodland.

I was quite surprised that my Panasonic LX-3 was even capable of getting these shots at all, since I was a good 150-200 yards from my subjects. That was a pretty fun experience right there.

Last of the Blue Bells
I continued on with the counter-clockwise route. It was different, but better as far as flow went, I thought. I definitely thought it was easier this way. Especially in the newer sections. I carried way more speed than I recall ever doing before. The trails were really dry and hard packed as well, adding to the effect.

The blue bells took a major hit with the hard freeze we had the night before. They were still pretty impressive, but I am sure they are done for. You could see plenty of evidence for that as I rode through there today. I decided to stop and get some last images from the massive display before they were gone. Who knows when that will ever happen again?

Then I hit the end of the trail without any more drama and went on my merry way. It was certainly a lot warmer than when I had started. The early morning low was in the mid-20's, and when I had started riding, it had barely gotten to 40, but by the time I was done, it had reached up to the 50's. Regardless, I don't think my feet were ever really warm all day long.

A Little Trans Iowa V8 business:  
The following people need to respond to the e-mail sent out concerning the Pre-Race: Don Daly, Brian Hall, Brian Terhark, Nicholas Wethington,     Dan Dougan, Steve Myers,  Regie Romo, Ricky Markland,   Phil Ellsworth,  Mike Wallace, Jeffrey Losso, Jim Thompson, Brian Mann.

1 comment:

Charly Tri said...

If I were to guess, Mike Wallace is not making the trip to Iowa this year.