Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Foto Dumpster

The NEMBA Fells opening day event is tomorrow (which you should come to). I'll be leading rides at 9AM and 1PM, and Gary's gonna be there. They are advertised as "hammer rides," but I don't know how many hammers I have to drop after Wednesday night's ride with Gerry and the gang. It seems I did something to my ankle and I'm not sure what. I banged it during the ride, found that I was limping slightly just after the ride, but then, after burgers and a couple beers. and some standing around at the pub, I noticed that I was standing like a god damn flamingo, all my weight on my left foot. By the time I left I was limping like a parody of a guy limping. On the way home I had trouble pushing the gas pedal, using cruise control in light traffic, which I never do. Then, when I got home I was hopping on one foot around the house until I realized that M was asleep and that I was making a huge racket, so I began CRAWLING around on the floor, gathering ice packs and ibuprofen.

Now, I've done terrible things to both my ankles several times prior to this and if I really broke the thing or tore a bunch of ligaments it hurt immediately, like rolling on the ground, get the hell away from me, nothing could possibly hurt more than this pain. That was not the case this time, the pain crept up on me and then attacked, pounced on me like a pain-puma, a puma of pain. (Which gives me a great idea for a tramp stamp tattoo for my wife, I think she'll go for it.) I was up half the night wrestling with the pain (puma), but by the time I woke up, after significant amounts of icing and with 1600 milligrams of ibuprofen coursing through me, I felt a lot better.

Just to make things clear, the RIDE IS ON, I just might not be as hammery as I might be otherwise. In fact, at some point during the ride you may see me rolling on the ground like a world cup soccer player or NBA player, holding my ankle, hoping the ref will call a foul.

Here's the schedule for tomorrow:

Saturday, May 1, 2010
9:00am - 3:00pm
Flynn Rink
300 Elm Street
Medford, MA

9:00 AM Event Opens
9:00 AM Guided Rides - Thom P / Hammer Ride
9:00 AM Guided Rides - NickB / Intermediate
9:30 AM Ride with Gary Social Ride - Tim / Mellow Ride
10:00 AM Guided Rides - AnthonyG / Intermediate
10:00 AM Kids Ride - Howie
10:00 AM Ride Like a Girl! Beginner Women's Ride with
Karen and Kate
11:00 AM Guided Rides - Andrea & Junko / Intermediate
11:00 AM Guided Rides - Int-Adv Women's Ride with LunaChix
12:00 PM Lunch courtesy of Redbones
12:30 PM Kids Ride with Gary Fisher - Adam
1:00 PM Guided Rides - Thom / Hammer Ride
1:00 PM Guided Rides - AnthonyG / Beginner-Mellow
2:00 PM Guided Rides - GregK / Intermediate
3:00 PM Guided Rides - Adam / Mellow-Medium
3:00 PM Event Close

That's right, I was making excuses for why I am going to suck on a GROUP RIDE. That is how far I have fallen. Next thing you know I'll be making up reasons why dudes with milk crates zip-tied to their bikes are passing me during my commute. And while I'm on the subject of making fun of myself — what the hell was the deal with my wearing my full 29er crew silly suit while I was on a ride with a seven-year-old? He was wearing warm-up pants and a T-shirt (and he was a on a single speed). In my defense, it was hot and I only had one change of clothes in the car and I had a long day ahead of me, a day I didn't want to spend wearing sweaty, dirty clothes. Still, it must have looked wicked-quee-ah to the townie kids who came by to text on their i-phones and pretend to ride bikes.

Now, ride reports in the form of extended photo captions!

These are shots from last Sunday AM's Fells ride. At one time I was sick of The Fells, but after a winter of riding everything BUT the Fells, I am stoked to be back in there. As the Roman poet Sextus (huh-huh) Propertius once said: "Always toward absent lovers love's tide stronger flows."
See, all this schooling is good for something. Wicked fast young-dude Nathaniel Williams came out for the ride. We were on our 29er XC bikes, riding around in circles, looking for a crew of guys who had left a half hour earlier on their 6-inch-travel bikes. While we were looking, we ran into an MTB Mind rider named Hans. He took us on a fast rip through his favorite technical trails and then peeled off for home. Then, after a few missed calls and text messages (and a call taken while riding down a washed out fire-road one-handed) we finally found the bigger bike crew.

They dragged us down some descents at mach-speed. I always feel like it's good for the XC dorks to get out with guys who can really ride bikes once in a while. Jerry Garcia, Len, JP, and Colin were ripping, and so was Nathaniel. I was really impressed with that kid's technical prowess, he can ride a freakin' bike.

In a deeply ironic incident, I got dropped because my (factory-installed, shut it!) inner chainring bolts backed out and my chainring fell off. The single-speed Gods and Generals must be angry.

And speaking of technical ass-whuppins and technical issues....

I've been riding in Needham a lot. The shot at the top of the post is of me doing a little bridge maintenance. After a few slips, there's the "aw-screw-it!" moment when you just step into the water and get 'er done. The bridge configuration in the above photo is not how it ended up, but it would have been sweet if that move had worked.

I met up with Gerry's Wednesday night crew (who were all on big squishy bikes). Pushing their pace through the rocky, rooty weirdness was exciting on my full-saddle-height XC bike, but again, I feel like it's good for me...until I get hurt and end up having to crawl around my house. After a brief warm up lap while we waited for the crew to amass, my right cleat bolt backed out (I've been screwing with them a ton and not loctiting them afterward). Luckily Barry had a bolt for me, thanks Barry. Then my chain started dropping off my inner chainring suddenly and painfully KAH-CHUNK! This, a result of riding it briefly while it was loose on Sunday. How, you might ask, had I not noticed any issues for three days? I like my big ring, that's all.

Of course I had to catch a flat too. I had been trying to hold The Coug's wheel through all those nutty trails (except for when he did stuff like the slimy, sketchy drop with a stone wall waiting to catch you if you botched thing in the video below), it was only a matter of time until I paid the price. The Stan's sealant I installed sometime late last summer wasn't doing much for me when I pierced my rear tire on a pointy, pointy rock.

Wow, this is a long one, and for no good reason, I will shut my gob now.

See you Saturday AM or afternoon.


The Coug Drops in at an undisclosed location from thom parsons on Vimeo.

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