40 miles

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!20180922_082458~2

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.

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

 

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