When I’m not commuting I am realizing that the 10 years between when I was really cranking out as many miles as possible and now have done a number on my overall abilities to crush the number of miles I would like. I got 40 in on Saturday and here’s couple pictures but I’m gonna need to get out there a bit more if I set a goal like completing a century before the snow flies. Also, since she’s in the picture, let me tell you a bit about my 2004 Lemond Poprad. I love it, but she needs some attention. Headset is a little jhanky and the shifting really deteriorated on the ride but she started off pretty good!
So a couple of things. About nothing on this bike is original. I have replaced the Shimano gruppo with Campagnolo 10 speed Record brake shifters mated up to SRAM 9 speed cassette and an Ultegra 9 speed chain along with more Campy triple crankset…WTF indeed. I also have an Ideal saddle on here which is my first one of these and I really like it. The gearing is supposed to all go together and work courtesy of a JTEK Shiftmate and it has been doing really well until about mile 28-32 of this ride last weekend when the bike decided it wanted to start dropping down a gear on the rear and drop the chain off the front when I went into the big ring. This was also about the time I got into the gravel as well.
To start, I left my house in north Denver and headed south on the Platte River trail. I knew I would probably take the Cherry Creek trail once I hit the confluence and I was thinking if things were going well I would head to Castlewood Canyon State Park and turn around and come right back. I stuck with the first part of the plan and took a left onto Cherry Creek trail which was still pretty lightly travelled at around 8:30am when I got to that area. When I finally arrived around the area of the dam I made my move and passed a couple recreational cyclists at that point. I wasn’t really trying to kill it but it made me feel pretty swell to be peddling along and pass a couple folks, especially on a pretty steep incline. When I got to a split in the road I checked the map and while I had gone 18 miles it was another 35 to Castlewood Canyon State Park so that’s when I decided to do the loop. I also noticed during this time that although the snot and spit was dribbling out relentlessly and I was busy trying to stay up on personal hydration, I hadn’t coughed or hacked once throughout the ride.
I’ll make a separate paragraph to tell you: I QUIT SMOKING CIGARETTES ABOUT 5 MONTHS AGO.
Back on the trail I was on top of the dam by this time and made my way over to the what I think is called the Aurora spillway but basically it’s a path that heads north from Cherry Creek State Park in the direction of Aurora. It’s also where I saw 2 young coyotes and a couple deer when I did this route the last time in the opposite direction (and in a rainstorm). There’s a park in Aurora called Olympic Park which had some baseball games going on but I knew the area from getting trapped in the rainstorm at this place before. I stopped at the beach volleyball area where they have filtered water and continued on after a light snack. Map showed I could hop on Moline St and head north into Stapleton and onto the Sand Creek Trail which I knew would go to the Platte River trail where I needed to be. It was around this time the driveline started to fail me.
Also this section of this ride is unpaved and better suited to hybrids or these fancy new gravel bikes they have now but I got through on 28c width Rivendell Ruffy Tuffys with only a couple of spots where I cut down through the sand layer which was somewhat dicey. Also by the time I got to this bridge I had the tool kit out and was adjusting cables and trying to take out any slack which had developed as my shifting was really deteriorating. Thankfully, although I didn’t put a bunch of mechanical technique into anything, my short bust of problem solving got me on down the road and I was regularly seeing my cycle computer clocking in at 18, 19, and 20 mph speeds again and before long I was at the confluence of Sand Creek and the Platte River which is only a few short miles from my house.
While 40 miles is no great distance it has always seemed to be a perfect distance to really get back into things or to sort out your equipment. In my case, I need to throw some wrenches around again but as another surprise showed up this week as well (future blog posting this week maybe?) the wrenching I need to do includes a couple different projects all coming together including taking the Tektro Cantis I stripped off my wife bike last night and installing them on this Lemond. Until later, happy cycling!