Monday, June 20, 2011

A return to Albion

The weekend of busy has come and gone. Had the typical '"really don't need this to happen right now" with a bike. Of course it was better to sort it out now. That wonderful storm we had recently on a world cup night where we thought we were tougher than Mother Nature, well she did get the last word in. An easy spin on Friday night was all it took for my rear brake to decide to do battle with my legs. A slow evil progression that eventually had the wheel locked. Attempt number two on cleaning found it better and working. So I thought.

Headed to Albion Saturday morning to get some laps in on the 24 hour course. On the map there showed lots of new sections, felt it would be worth while. I was also interested on the shape of my body, repair of the bike etc. The weather was perfect, sun out, temperature rising, a great day for the ride. Simple plan 3 laps of the course, roughly 3 hours. The bike at this point felt good, Took is very easy first lap, just spinning along. Some nice new sections on the course this year, I had to actually pay attention. Didn't take long to get in a rhythm but I did notice that things got progressively harder. Were the legs fading, no, the brakes began to drag a little more after each engagement. My fun could be cut short.

Back at the car I once overed the brakes and pretty much new they needed some serious TLC. Mud is a killer, they were beyond just a hose down cleaning. I had a few options, call it after one lap and about an hour of riding, be a bit grumpy about it. Take the pad out and ride road for a while to get the time in or see how well I can ride with only a front brake while riding the double track sections. I started out with last option and after the start climb I found myself turning right into the single track. Fast rolling stuff screw it, I can ride sections. Took about a minute to decide to stick to the course and get an upper level endurance lap in. This is when I found I liked the course. The first lap I didn't have the momentum into certain sections and I found them grindy, now with some speed things became fun. It was tough not touching my rear brake, knowing that it would lead to disaster. It was a great test of my left hand to which has gone numb a few times this year. Things felt good.

Mid 47 minute lap, at the top end of sane. The course is shorter than previous years but there are some great long single track sections which add time. There are also lots of passing oppertunities. It's a really fun course. Now I'm being cautious with my thoughts here. We need rain, not lots, not during the race, just a day or two before. The dust was already lifting up and a couple light drizzles would make for perfect conditions. Mother Nature want to play nice? Currently the weather predicted is looking like exactly what we need. Lets hope for once the weather department are right. 3/4 of a third lap, before calling it a day. Felt I may be pushing my luck with the brake if I continued along.

The rest of the weekend was a blur until late afternoon Sunday, bike problem somewhat resolved. A chill hike with the dogs at McCrae lake where Shannon attempted to get her dog to swim. We have one dog that we can't keep out of the water and then there is Rogue. Legs and body are feeling pretty good, I've already started the packing procedures, piles are beginning to consume the basement. Knowing myself I could potentially have the car packed Wednesday and be sitting there impatiently saying "can we go yet"

The week will go fast, a couple solid rides to be put in in the next couple days followed by a couple days of power eating. Should be a good week, I'll be back on track with posts also with morning ramblings.

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