Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Walk of Shame

Looks like this was my final ride of 2008 and while it had its share of ups and downs, I think there were a few more downs than I expected. Had an hour to kill around lunch time so I oranged up, it's still hunting season in New England, jumped on the 'Horse and headed out to the Dinglebrook Trails. This trail system is a hodge podge of old ATV now equestrian trails connected to open space in the neighboring town (Brookfield). My friend Tom, who I teamed up to build the Gussy Trail this summer, takes care of the trails on the Newtown side.

Decided to give the helmet cam a try, well not really a true helmet cam, rather I this attachment for a Flip Camera that allows you to mount the device on a helmet or handlebars. I had a credit on Amazon so I decided to give it a try. Below is my first try with it and you will notice that towards the end of it I started to have derailer problems. I guess you could say that is where the downs of the ride started.

I had a stick get stuck in my chain and gears on Sunday that must have messed up my derailer which led to many low gear problems today. In fact, I actually had to call on Granny for the first time in order to get the same low range of gears that I am comfotable climbing with. She was actually pretty helpful and I will ask her again in the future for help.

The next part I filmed is the downhill section that runs from Burr Farm down to the Bench on the Dinglebrook brook. Clearly, I need to remount it so the perspective is looking more forwards and not as far down onto the trail.

Here I am sitting at the bench at the Brook. The 'Horse was performing well now that Granny was helping out.

Of course, nothing like another gratuitous bike porn shot at the bench by the stream.

The 15 inches of snow that we got before Christmas is almost all gone. What was left was still pretty rideable. I think I had one spot where I spun out in the snow climbing up from the bench. Speaking of which, Granny was really, really helpful climbing up from the bench. Don't know why I haven't asked for her help sooner.

The only draw back to riding equestrian trails, besides plenty of road apples, is they tend to be a lot muddier than normal single track. I had to wipe my face of blotches of mud before taking this shot. As I was riding back towards the trail head I felt my rear end feeling a lot more mushier than usual and sure enough, I flatted!

At this point I was about a mile from home. I started walking until I got to Tom's house where I figured I could quickly change the rear tube and stay warm in the sun despite the chilling winds. When I got the replacement tube in it wouldn't blow up! Either it was a bad tube, I didn't get all the prickers out of my tire, or it got a snake bite while I was putting the tire back on the rim, what ever the case I was screwed. Thankfully, Tom came out and offered me a ride home which I gladly accepted.

Kind of ironic when you think about I had the same problem with the 'Horse last year about this time. Flatted while riding at Huntington SP, in the same kind of conditions. Fortunately, I was able to fix the tire and continue riding. Below are the tracks for my two rides Dinglebrook this year. Guess I have been so busy with the Gussy Trail that I haven't really gotten to ride much of anywhere else.

Apparently there is even a continuation of the "red" track that Tom built this fall that I completely missed. I'd really like to go back and hit that trail but it will have to wait till next year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

although this was posted in December 2008, why not. I noticed you said that you had a flat and the 2nd tube wouldn't hold air, and you mention you had the same problem the prior year. My question is: how cold was it at the time? if it gets below about 45 degrees the rubber in tires, tubes, grips, shoes, all that - starts to get stiffer and more brittle just by nature of the material.

As I am not specifically stating "this IS the reason!" I am just leaving it open to suggestion that perhaps rubber compound of certain density, hardness, and so on can be effected by temperature.

your blog has intrigued me to do personal research into the matter to see if there are more suitable cold/hot weather tubes and tires (and lubricants for chains, hubs, etc.)

also - your helmet cam segment was wonderfully interesting! thank you for posting such thorough and interesting material! :)


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