Today Lisa and I headed to Dalton to ride The Snake. With TransRockies rapidly approaching, we wanted to get some riding time together. We started at the Dug Gap parking lot and rode the trail opposite of the way the race is run. The gravel climb up to the trailhead was a rude awakening for my legs. Ouch!
The first rocky ridgeline was fun; a lot of down trees, to which Lisa replied, "This feels like an adventure race." Conversation was kept to a minimum as we wanted to keep the tempo up and Lisa had to go to work in the late afternoon. We both handled the technical sections equally and our pace on the uphills was consistent and smooth. I got away from her a little bit on the downhills, but I was also kicking up some good size rocks. So Lisa smartly backed off; she didn't feel like losing any teeth today.
Once we descended down to the Snake Creek Gap parking lot (mile 17), Lisa said she wasn't feeling too good on the climbs. So we decided that I would ride up Horn Mountain at my pace and then turn around at the top and catch her on the way down. Then we would ride back on the pavement to our vehicles.
Most of this climb was in my middle ring. Towards the top it got rather steep and loose, so I dropped the chain down to granny. As I was slowly riding up the last pitch, I hit a "mawl-shaped" rock that lept up into my derailleur. I immediately ground to a halt.
My first thought involved $$$$$$. My second thought was, "Hmmm. How do I fix this?" Bear in mind that in 8 years of racing I had never broken a chain or derailleur. I always carried what I needed to make these kinds of repairs, but always hoping that if it ever did happen, there would be someone else to fix it for me. So now I had to rely on Bruce and Zeke's teachings.
The hardest part was unwrapping the derailleur from my cogset. Turning Pinky into a singlespeed was not as difficult as I had imagined. Aside from having a little too much tension in the chain which resulted in a creaking noise as I pedaled, I managed to get myself back to the truck 10 miles away.
No, I have not been bitten by the Singlespeed bug.