My most awesome and patient LBS was helping me with an out-of-true wheel the other week. We sort of went overboard on the thing and the mechanic decided to overhaul the whole damn thing. Once we tuned up the White Industries Dos ENO freewheel, replaced the bearings and replaced the track nuts, talked about adventures had and to be had, we both remembered that the wheel also needed that truing. So, on the truing stand it goes. Phillipe makes short work of the wheel, until, he stops -
"Ah, well that's the problem. Your wheel is cracked. Don't ride this thing too far from home, OK? And get it replaced."
Another Salsa Delgado hoop cracked. The first one was built for touring and suspiciously was showing cracks after being only a few months old. We questioned on whether there was some manufacturing problems. This one though? This one was clearly used well and abused. Toured from Paris to Amsterdam on the Paris Roubaix track, used for cyclocross training - hell, the last thing I did was take it up and down and up and down South Table Mountain, until the third pinch flat forced me to stop and very nimbly get home with one tube patched up with a wish and a prayer and a few patches on top of themselves to hole air in the tube where the snake bites were. I certainly miss tubeless tires.
But I destroy bike parts. The touring delgado hoop was replaced but a Velocity Dyad hoop - expensive - and heavy, bit of kit. Yeah - it's bent. And I bent it.
Getting this news of a cracked rim (and waiting for its replacement), I've been a little conservative on my rides. Winter also is not so much fun to ride bikes and it's nice to get a break on things - I can certainly say I've ridden enough this year. I've been doing a fair bit of hiking in the mountains and that's been a great change of pace. Walking up mountains is another romantic endeavour I seem to preoccupy myself with. Having no car, my hikes usually begin with a bike ride to a small, front range mountain, or if I'm lucky, someone will pick me up and we'll carpool to a proper mountain. It's been fun.
Monday or so, I rode out to Golden to the Mt. Galbraith "neighborhood" trailhead with runnin' shoes and "ran" to the top and back. Of course, I got lost on the ascent and the descent, so adventure was had by all. I'm really not the strongest "runner", but when I think of going up one more time on the Lookout Mt. Road or HW 40, I sort of cringe. Going down on a cracked rim also doesn't sound too good of an idea - even for me. I like training of riding to a trailhead, running up and down something and cycling home. I believe the tri-people call that, 'Bricking".
Wednesday, I upped it a little but and took the bus to Boulder, to "run" up Green Mountain. I surprised myself at my time getting up - as I scrambled the small summit block, synchronicity shined upon me, by playing, "Voodoo Child" in my portable music player - the lyrics that go,
Standing next to a mountain! Chop it down with the edge of my haaaaaaand,
Which means I made it up before finishing a record. Got down in a time around 1hr 50 minutes. Which means my bus ride to from Denver to Boulder and back was longer than gaining the peak and running down.
Certainly no Anton Krupicka, who runs this route semi-daily, but certainly getting close to an offseason,, injured and conservative hike kinda Anton time! Something to work on. ...Maybe not.
Luck was with me, as I swung by the Boulder Sports Recyclery before going home - picked up a 34t chainring in the correct BCD for the cranks on my Surly Crosscheck. May pop that on to give me a way casual low gear ratio of 1.6:1 and see what sort of mountains I can ride up -
and with what type of gear I can bring. Bet I could bring a bit more hiking - maybe climbing gear with me than just a pair of beat-up trainers. Maybe even some camping gear. Maybe even some winter camping gear...
Sure is a good view of Longs Peak from the top of Green Mountain...