Experimental music, photography, and adventures

A hot ride

Friday, June 8th, 2007

I went mountain biking at Brown County last night. It was about 92 degrees, I think, when I started my ride. It was windy, though, which made the heat a little more tolerable — and wind is less of a problem on the trails than it is on the road.

It was a much harder ride than usual due to the heat. Sometimes I forget how much harder it is to ride when it’s really hot. I’m fine riding in 10-degree weather, but when it’s 90+ degrees, I’m pretty sluggish. Partially, it’s because you can always put on extra layers, but there are limits to how many you can remove. And partially, I just don’t handle heat very well.

My bike was acting up a little bit. I had to stop to realign my front wheel because the disc rotor was rubbing the brake pad. I’ve had quite a few problems like this — I am hesitant to remove my wheels, because sometimes it’s really hard to put them back on without having the brakes rub. I’m told that this is abnormal, that most disc brakes don’t have this problem, but I sure have no idea how to fix it (and neither does any bike shop I’ve taken it to, either). I also had a couple of shifting problems, probably due to my bent-then-straightened derailleur hanger.  I have a replacement, but I’m not too confident in my ability to replace the other one, or at least in my ability to do so and adjust the derailleur properly.

Also, the more I ride my mountain bike, the more I can feel the fork working against me. It’s a cheap RST fork that came with the bike, and sometimes it feels like my front wheel has been replaced by a pogo stick. When it hits something, it absorbs the shock (somewhat), but then it bounces back. Really annoying. It’s also a problem when I’m climbing, especially out of the saddle. The front end of my bike bounces up and down, and I lose a lot of pedaling power.

Despite those problems, I had a good ride. It was just a little more labor-intensive than usual. I rode the North Tower and Aynes loops, and it was a lot of fun. The Aynes climb has actually been getting a little easier — it’s still hard, but I’m getting better at it. And the descent always makes it worth the effort.

The trails at Brown County are extremely dusty. We’ve had very little rain lately, and the trails have had a lot of traffic, which just chews up the trail surface and creates a layer of dust on top of everything. We’re supposed to get some rain today, and I hope we do — although I hope it stops in time for me to ride on the road tonight.

3 Responses to “A hot ride”

  1. furiousball Says:

    My ribs are still suffering from my own front fork issues. My bike guy has my hybrid now, I hope to get it back this weekend so I can crack the ribs on the other side. I hate asymetry.

  2. Dan Says:

    The heat always gets me as well. I’m planning on riding two or three days of RAGBRAI this year, and I expect that it will be brutal!

  3. John Says:

    RYN about the pictures. I was in a hurry last night so I uploaded them to google images online and did the blog at work. That’s why they are so different and also why I put the link to the picasa album at the beginning and end of the entry.

Ear to the Breeze is proudly powered by WordPress
Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).