Thursday, July 17, 2008

Durango – 7.17.08

Had another eventful day today. Headed out on the road to the same private drive that I rode up last week with the intent on riding it until the road stopped.

There's that sign at the bottom of the rich folks road again. Still can't figure out what it says...

It took about 30 minutes of climbing in my 27 to make it. It was crazy steep in a lot of places with an average of 8.2% gradient. My HR was in zone 3 the entire way up. It took about 15 minutes to get back down, it would have been about 10 minutes quicker if it wasn’t such a technical descent, very twisty, there must have been at least 40 switchbacks on that bad boy.

The view from the top of the rich folks road. I'm sure they'll whack out of all of the trees that are in the way of their precious view.

Another view from the top, looks like a lot of trees have already been whacked.

Continued my ride out to Lemon Reservoir, looked at it for about 5 seconds, then turned around and rode out to Vallecito Reservoir.

The Florida River drains from Lemon Reservoir and rolls along Florida Road... very nice.

Another shot of the Florida River.

Rode around Vallecito until the road turned to dirt.

The valley leading up to Vallecito.

Vallecito Reservoir, hope the levee holding it back doesn't break. Maybe some of the folks in Des Moines or Cedar Rapids can give them some pointers on levee design.

The mountains beyond Vallecito.

Vallecito Creek, one of the many creeks that feed Vallecito Reservoir. It'd probably make for a nice post ride ice bath!

Turned around and rode south to Bayfield. On the way back from Bayfield I got caught in a fifteen minute downpour. Unlike the last time, this actually felt pretty good with the temps being in the 70’s. I got pretty soaked and even got peppered with some sleet.
At about the 4 ½ hour mark I heard a ‘PING’ at the rear end of my bike. I stopped and took a look at the back wheel. Sure enough, one of the spokes that I damaged when my rear derailleur exploded snapped in half. I moved the broken ends such that they wouldn’t get in the way while I was rolling. I also had to loosen my rear brake all the way because my wheel looked like a potato chip. I was able to limp my way back to town and stopped at the same shop that replaced my rear derailleur, 2nd Avenue Sports. They had an old Ksyrium SL wheel that was toast and was able to cannibalize a spoke from it. I told them that I only had a $1.77 on me. He said come back later and settle up then. While they were fixing my wheel, we were talking about mountain bikes and I had mentioned that my rear mtn hub had some lateral play in it. One of the mechanics mentioned that he had a lot of experience with Chris King components and told me to bring it in.
I made it back to the ranch with no other mishaps. I took the back wheel off my mountain bike and drove back to 2nd Avenue Sports. The guy took a look at it and was able to fix that also. 2nd Avenue Sports kinda reminds me of Rassy’s, they were first rate when it came to customer service. I must have been in their shop 67 times over the past two weeks? Every time, they took care of me right away. So, if you ever end up in Durango and find yourself in need of a shop, I’d definitely recommend 2nd Avenue.
I ended up logging 98 miles with 5 hours of saddle time and about 6,400 feet of vertical for the day. The rich folks road was about 3 ½ miles long with about 2,200 feet of climbing, great place for hill repeats! When my spoke broke, I started to think that maybe all of the mechanical meltdowns that I’d been having were some sort of divine sign that I should pack it up and head out… Nah, both bikes are back in good working order, so I’m gonna get at least two more epic rides in while I’m here!

Saw this cat cruising on his custom chopper bike outside the coffee shop tonight.

He said it cost him 300 bones to have it built.

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