RR: SS/New tires/OTB/OK



M

MattB

Guest
Took the SS deep into Marlborough Country yesterday for a nice loop from
the house. I did a variation of the ride I posted a map of recently that
made it a little shorter and a little more feasible on the SS. I didn't GPS
it, but I figure this was more like 20 Miles and 2500-3000 Ft. Still not
exactly trivial, but not quite epic.
Before the ride I decided to get stop by the LBS and get some new tires.
I'd been meaning to for a while, and the old Jones ACs that came with the
bike were looking pretty worn. I also wanted a little bigger volume to help
minimize pinch flats and give me a little smoother ride. I chose the
Specialized Enduro Pro 2.2s, which look good on the bike and come highly
recommended by the LBS crew.
I felt strong up the first climb. The grip of the new rear tire was
noticeably better than the old one. It was so good that they were throwing
dirt and pebbles at as I rode, some down the back of my shorts and into my
shoes. Soon enough I was at Signal Peak and pushing up a steep pitch I've
yet to tackle on the SS (and may never - it's very steep and starts in a
spot with no available momentum). The air up there at just under 9000 Ft
just felt great. It was a little hot on the way up, but once I hit the
saddle there was a nice cool breeze to get me started on the singletrack.
I rolled down the smooth trail feeling like I was floating. The Paul
Words just roll so nicely. The tires really held well as I leaned into the
twisty trail. This section crossed a few drainages, so there were
alternating climbs and descents as I gradually shed some vertical until I
reached a jeep trail. I had to ride a few miles on the two track for this
route, and there were some very steep climbs on it. Good thing for me there
was usually a very steep downhill approach to the steep climbs (maybe 200'
vertical) so I did them rollercoaster style. Let up on the brakes for the dh
approach, reaching speeds I wouldn't usually hit, then compressing at the
bottom and carrying as much of that momentum as I could up the other side,
climbing out of the saddle to get up over the lip. Kind of scary but fun and
effective.
The jeep trail I was on drops to an intersection where I turn on to the
Sheep's Gulch road (another jeep trail) for the Signal Mesa ascent to the
highest point of the ride. This was another good solid 1000'+ climb over a
few Miles. The pitch was just (almost) comfortable at my 32:17 ratio. I had
to walk one steep turn, but managed to ride the rest, mostly standing with
the occasional couple of pedal strokes seated in a flat spot every now and
then.
Once I hit the top it becomes a very nice, relatively flat high cruise
along the top of Signal Mesa, which overlooks the Gunnison Valley, with the
San Juans looming behind in the distance. Again, great rolling SS terrain.
After a few Miles I peeled off on to the singletrack that would take me back
towards town via a great, 1800' downhill.
After most of the vertical was used up, I found myself twisting and
turning down Chicken Gulch, the last stretch of singletrack before hitting a
road. This is a piece of trail I've ridden many times and I feel comfortable
letting it roll pretty fast. So one moment I'm cruising along and as I
approach a left hand turn (first part of an S turn) I simultaneously feel a
pull on the left side of my bars and hear the loud crunch of sage. My world
immediately turns upside down as I realize I'm crashing, long after I could
do anything to prevent it. Then as quickly as it started it was quiet and
still again and I was laying on my back in the gulch below the trail. The
only pain I felt was a charlie horse in my right butt cheek. I sat up
slowly, spitting dirt and wiping the grit from my eyes and looked back up
towards the trail. My bike was still in the trail, tangled in sagebrush
about 10' above where I was laying. Apparently what had happened is I was
leaning into this left turn and caught my bar end on a big sage bush. This
yanked the whole three foot tall bush out of the ground which then promptly
got sucked into my front wheel and wedged between my wheel and fork,
ejecting me toward the drop-side of the trail into a rocky creek bed. I came
out of it with a painful, cramping charlie horse, and some minor scrapes and
bruises. I think my CamelBak took most of the impact and protected my back
from the pile of rocks I landed on. I also hit my left shoulder, although
not very hard and it held up just fine (this is the one I had surgery on
last fall). I collected myself, checked out the bike, and spun the last few
miles home as easily as I could to keep my right glute from cramping. I made
it home just in time to help my brother move some heavy items to his new
house, which wasn't really what I felt like doing right then.
So although I would have preferred not to crash, I'm pretty happy with
the outcome. The bike is fine, and I'm just leaning a bit to the left in my
chair today. This was the first crash of the season, the first crash on the
SS, and the first crash on my repaired shoulder. Everything came through it
OK, and my butt feels better already. I'm glad the cramping has eased up,
because that was pretty uncomfortable. I think I may head back up there with
some hedge clippers this week...

Matt
 
M

Monique Y. Mudama

Guest
On 2004-05-24, MattB penned:

[snip]

> Apparently what had happened is I was leaning into this left turn and
> caught my bar end on a big sage bush. This yanked the whole three foot
> tall bush out of the ground which then promptly got sucked into my
> front wheel and wedged between my wheel and fork, ejecting me toward
> the drop-side of the trail into a rocky creek bed.


Sounds complicated and bad. Glad to hear that you got out of it with
some minor scrapes and a pain in the butt.

--
monique
 
T

tcmedara

Guest
MattB <[email protected]> wrote:
(snip RR)
> So one moment I'm
> cruising along and as I approach a left hand turn (first part of an S
> turn) I simultaneously feel a pull on the left side of my bars and
> hear the loud crunch of sage. My world immediately turns upside down
> as I realize I'm crashing, long after I could do anything to prevent
> it.


Ain't it amazin' how slowly the world becomes as you're flying OTB and you
can recall almost every detail, while at the same time it usually happens so
fast it hardly registers on your conscience? Glad to hear the shoulder (and
the bike) survived.

Tom
 
B

BB

Guest
On Mon, 24 May 2004 11:28:21 -0600, MattB wrote:

> So one moment I'm cruising along and as I
> approach a left hand turn (first part of an S turn) I simultaneously feel a
> pull on the left side of my bars and hear the loud crunch of sage.


Hooked a bar end? I used to ride almost daily on a trail through dense
little trees near Dallas, and got to where I felt I could almost breeze
through without looking. One day I hooked the inside bar end on a little
tree - next thing I know, I'm flat on the ground.

It was so quick that it was almost as if the crash didn't actually happen
- one moment I'm riding along, the next moment I'm on the ground. Crashes
are often that way for me. I ripped the bar end off along with a chunk of
handlebar, but otherwise the bike and I were OK.

Glad to hear that shoulder held up - a very good sign!

--
-BB-
To reply to me, drop the attitude (from my e-mail address, at least)
 
S

Shawn Curry

Guest
MattB wrote:

> Took the SS deep into Marlborough Country yesterday for a nice loop from
> the house.


Snip

I think I may head back up there with
> some hedge clippers this week...
>
> Matt


Sounds like a all in all a good ride. :)

Keep an eye on the side knobs of those tires. I ripped lots of them off
on three different tires (my LBS warrantied them (-: ) before I
switched. The best go-slow tire I've ridden (not that I'm a tire snob).

Cheers,
Shawn
 
J

JD

Guest
"MattB" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
> I was leaning into this left turn and caught my bar end on a big sage bush.


Those things are muy peligroso. Get rid of them, my friend. I'm glad
you came out of it ok.

JD
 
M

MattB

Guest
JD wrote:
> "MattB" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> news:<[email protected]>...
>> I was leaning into this left turn and caught my bar end on a big
>> sage bush.

>
> Those things are muy peligroso. Get rid of them, my friend. I'm glad
> you came out of it ok.
>
> JD


But I like 'em on the SS (except when this happens). Out-of-the-saddle
climbing is so much more comfortable with my hands in that position.
I was just going to try and keep them out of the brush. They're just the
little stubby ones, and everybody's doing it!

Matt (If only there were auto-retractable ends that would stow when
descending)