Saturday, August 12, 2006

Solo to the Junction

Another Flat! Well that makes three so my run of bad luck should be over. First the Klein’s rear tire during the Wednesday night ride a week and a half ago, then my front tubular on the Merckx Friday morning on the way to work (REALLY old tubular), then the Klein’s rear was flat this morning on the hook. Two out of the three happened at (or very near) home and didn’t require on the road repairs – that’s good, right? So this particular flat appeared to be related to the Wednesday night flat… same tire same symptoms (slow leak). This time I pulled the tire all the way off and inspected it under bright light… sure enough, a tiny metal shard was barely poking through and I managed to work it out from the outside. Back in business just in time to make the Gate at eight.

Wildlife Encounter: Two young deer near the wooded area below the Gate. Looked like they had recently been given their walking papers by mama doe. They watched me go by but didn’t panic.

JB was supposed to show, Rick was a maybe, they both DNSed. I figured JB might be a little late so I rode hard enough to make him work to catch me but easy enough that I’d be fresh if he did. Didn’t really see too many people on the way up, which was surprising because the temperature was mild and there was no wind at all.

I forgot my camera this morning so I looked around at all the images I might want to capture later – there are millions of them. After Chainbuster I caught up to a woman who appeared to be struggling but enjoying herself. She asked me to tell her girlfriends up ahead that she was “still alive”. I agreed to do so and told her she only had about ¾ mile to go. Shortly after that her friends came back down to meet her and one of them turned around to go up again with her.

Wildlife Encounter: Two coyotes on the lawn at the Ranger House. They were right next to the road when I went by and they watched me with just a hint of apprehension – when I circled around they moved farther away. I kept watching them from my bike for a few minutes and when the two women came around the turn I pointed out the coyotes and they really got a kick out of seeing them.

At the Junction a couple guys came down from the Summit and said the road was just rideable. I had a birthday party to go to (Rick and Nicole’s son) so I didn’t hang around long but wished I could have done SGR and back up because the weather was just perfect.

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