I quit!

Well, I wanted to, that is.

Monday, Labor Day, I rode with my friend Brad and his wife (they rode a tandem, minus their kids this time) in the hilltowns of Albany County.

I pumped up my (nearly)flat rear tire, loaded the bike on the rack and headed out west about 20 minutes to Brad's house in Berne.

By the time I got there my rear tire was already going soft. Not good.

So I proceeded to change it. I had a really hard time getting the tire off. Broke my speed lever. Not happy.
Also my Camelbak was leaking sticky Kool-Aid all over me and the bike. By the end of the ride I looked like I had a bad case of poison ivy. And the drinking tube is shot. The interior of the tube is deteriorating and bunches up so I can barely draw on it. I wanted to put it in the garbage right then and there.

When Brad came out and saw me changing the tire, he suggested we take the bike down to his basement shop and adjust the shifting which I had been having problems with the chain getting stuck in the rear dropout.

Brad has a full bike shop and he is a very good bike wrench even able to build wheels. He was trained by a master mechanic and it looks it. He was very fast and very confident and did a great job. He explained what he was doing but he was so fast it was hard for me to pick up all the nuances. I understand the concept of adjusting the derailleur and can do it but the dexterity and speed with which he did it can only come with a lot of experience and expert supervision.

We finally got on the road and I proceeded to drop the chain off the big chainring. In retrospect, this usually happens when I'm shifting up in the front while going downhill. I think I'm spinning too fast when I shift.

I was pretty discouraged at this point and wanted to quit bike riding. Everybody tells me to get a modern bike and I'd like to but there's this thing called a budget.

Anyhow, at about 6 miles we started up our big hill for the ride, Sickle Hill Rd. That's sickle as in the Grim Reaper's tool of choice.

This has got to be the worst hill in Albany County. Can I do it? Not even close! 1100 ft. rise in about 1 mile. Steep and long.

Check it out on the route on everytrail.com:Sickle Hill Rd. at EveryTrail

I got to the first rise and saw that it kept going up so I stopped and walked it. Good thing I did. There was a long way to go and it just didn't let up. It was hard enough walking it.

After that the trip was OK and I decided not to quit. 34 miles. ;-)

Oh yeah, I ordered a new Hydrapak hydration system which has a reversible reservoir which makes it easier to clean and dry. I'm excited about that.

p.s. Brad and his wife made the whole hill on the tandem

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  1. Melinda Says:

    I'm glad you didn't quit, but you have more flat tires than anyone I know! Is there some debris floating around inside your tire causing the leaks?

    I thought of you last weekend because we were putting together triathlon teams for the Scotia Pedal, Paddle, Run and were looking for another biker. We found one, though. And I did the kayak part...my first race!

  2. MTB Man Says: