Saturday, February 04, 2006

Diablo Junction - 23 miles.

Earlier this week I decided to get serious about my sticky STI problem on the Belgian Beast. The front would shift both up and down but sometimes on upshifts would drop right back down - like the ratchet just wasn't catching, and I had to keep pumping it until it would stay. In the rear the downshifts went OK (pulling the cable) but the upshifts usually didn't work at all (cable release), I would just flick and flick on the small lever and nothing would happen but it generally got better after a few miles of riding. So I bought a big can of WD40 and emptied about half of it in there hoping to bring the shifters back to life. I think earlier I had been thinking of this as a lubrication procedure but now I was seeing it as a flush. I squirted the oddly sweet smelling stuff into every place that looked like it might pivot or rock and I ran the shifters up and down and squeezed the brakes at the same time. After I thought I got everything twice, I did it again. Dirty fluid was dripping out of there onto the cardboard box I parked on and it seemed like it was working; my shifters were clicking and the derailleurs were moving.

The weather report said that showers would come overnight into this morning but when I went to sleep last night everything was clear. Woke up at 6:30 this morning and just assumed that it would be OK to ride but when I looked out the window at 7 o'clock it was raining heavily so I decided not to ride. Checked some e-mails and drank some coffee and looked out the window at 8:30 and it was CLEAR! So I changed my mind again and chamois'ed up.

A few shifts and WOW! It seemed good as new - shifting was a whole new satisfying experience. Out on Bancroft I met up with a guy in a yellow vest from a cross street who looked about my age but in better condition and he came around me without any problem. I got to the Gate at about 9:20 and put a rock on the post, not knowing if JB was coming. Yellow vest guy was there changing his gloves or something but I decided it would be OK for him to pass me again so I started up. Last night I did a hard hour on the elliptical machine at the club so today my legs were already aching a bit and I also am getting a cold so I wasn't setting any speed records but I felt like I was getting in a good workout.

Wildlife Encounter: SLUGS - lots of them. Most were less than 10mm long but I don't usually see any up here so it's worth noting - once.

Past Moss Landing I saw JB coming down and he turned around and rode with me a while, we discussed the weather and then when we got to the bottom of the Bump he went back down.

Did the last three miles in 24 minutes and got my heart rate over 180 a few times so I tried to convinced myself I was doing some good training that would pay off later in the year. Absolutely nobody at the Junction - I sat on the bench for about 10 minutes, didn't see a rider, or ranger, or auto of any kind. Turned back down and did see a few riders coming up. At the Bump I saw Grant P and another Rivendell guy coming up - Grant looked like he was struggling with a too-big gear and I wondered if he was on his semi-single speed Quickbeam bike.

Time to nurse this cold - yuck.


Anonymous said...

I descended North Gate Rd around 7:45 am on Sat., May 4, 2006. Fortunately, it had stopped raining by then. However, around one of the turns about 1/2 down, I nearly hit a coyote mid turn. It really startled me. Then, around the next turn I saw 4 more coyotes. Very cool. MC

Scott said...

I guess you meant Feb 4. I've posted several times about coyotes and what it's like to see them on a ride. They're mostly solitary animals so the four you saw together were likely a mother and her kids (kits? cubs? pups?).