Leader: Brad Francisco
Members: Blake Altman, Barbara Haney, Elizabeth Niles
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13194797 - 1,500 feet of elevation gain
Weather: Sunny 80 degrees at the start and 95 degrees at the end. Light intermittent breeze.
Mechanicals/Mishaps: Elizabeth dropped something from her bag near the start. She retrieved it and made sure that the bag was closed this time. Blake had a sudden loss of rear cable tension at about mile 21. The ride leader injured a finger. The ride leader noticed that Blake's rear tire seemed to be losing air 6 miles before the end of the ride, it was.
Report: Barbara was looking for just this kind of a ride and she invited another club member to join her. A nice group of riders today.
The day was expected to get hot and it did. It only seemed hot at the second rest stop and the last couple of miles. Rolling along we could say that we had air conditioning!
Animals: One turtle, a couple of squirrels (one made a suicidal run at my front wheel and then changed its mind), and a pair of black cats that were just sitting on the Three Notch Trail looking at us go by - too much effort to move or they just know that they rule the trail.
We all stayed together for the entire ride, except that Blake's mechanicals made it wise for him to take the rail trail back to the start instead of staying on the roads.
Anyone reading this far has got to be wondering, where are the missing details. I didn't forget them, and here they are: The first rest stop was the halfway point of the ride, getting there was eventful. Not so much traffic on the roads and we survived the rough parts of New Market Turner road. After the traffic circle put us on Colton Point road we had a small hill to climb. Blake went to shift gears and he lost all cable tension to the rear derailleur. Typically that means a broken cable. Blake's plan was to do the rest of the ride in the 11 tooth rear cog. Mr. tough guy. After the road leveled off we found a spot of shade on the other side of the road and pulled off there to investigate the cause of the problem. A new to all of us kind of failure, the rear shift cable housing was burst open where it meets the housing end at the junction of the frame. This is the newer style housing that has straight lengths of steel wire supporting the housing. They were all poking out the side of the housing - and sharp!
We had nothing to cut off the damaged section of cable, plus the cable end was on too tight to remove it. So I forced the sharp lengths of wires into the housing end to support the damaged housing. In doing so I shoved one of the wire lengths under a fingernail. That hurt! Now we had a way to keep tension on the shift cable, but it was binding at the damaged section, so rear shifting was out of the question. We picked a middle cassette cog that would be good for the terrain and adjusted the cable to keep the chain on that cog. Then off to the first rest stop. Blake was speed limited to about 22 mph, so we could keep up with him. He was determined to finish the ride with his 2 speed bike.
The first rest stop had an incredible selection of beer. We didn't select any and instead opted for more traditional fluids. We were going through a lot of fluids today.
The trip to the second rest stop was uneventful. We did have to descend a little slower than usual as Blake can only spin those pedals so fast. Bushwood road was wet, there must have been some localized rainfall just before we turned onto the road. That was humid!
Chaptico Market has ice cream! We had to wait a while to get service, but it was worth the wait. We were all pulling out money to pay for the cold treats, but Blake insisted on treating us. Thank you Blake!
The final stretch. Blake's gearing was getting him up the mild climbs on the route today just fine (nothing steep on the second half of the ride). On Old Village road I noticed that Blake's rear tire looked squishy. We turned onto Lockes Crossing Rd (crossing the rail trail in doing so). We stopped to check the tire and it was a little low on pressure, but still rideable. A length of fine wire was embedded in the tire, it was left there as it might have been the cause of the puncture and leaving it in might keep the air from coming out too fast. With the shifting issue and now a leaking tire, Blake turned back to the rail trail to head back to the ride start. We continued on the advertised route (only a couple of miles longer, but with some potholes and more traffic). Back to the parking lot and no Blake. His car is there. Did his tire finally go flat? Nope, he just continued on the rail trail to the end of it before returning to his car in order to make up the lost mileage.
Blake's tire was even softer when he finished and flat when he loaded it onto his car. I handed out some cold water and after talking a bit we all got in our cars and cranked up the air conditioning.
Elizabeth enjoyed riding with our little group and experiencing riding on new roads for her. I hope she comes out for more rides with us.
Looking at Strava, Barbara has a reason to be really happy. Two QOM's and two trophies (a 2nd and a 4th).