Wednesday, November 28, 2007

La Ruta Day 3

The volcano day. Tons of climbing. 8000 plus feet all in one shot for the most part. It's really warm at the bottom but everyone says it is cold and rainy at the top so I have arm and leg warmers with me. All these days start out with a climb and this day is the same. These are really hard for me because I get stuck behind guys spinning in their grannies and it really kills me. I usually get pushed off in to a ditch and I'm riding the hardest line. I'm still riding with Sean, one of the other singlespeeder and we are walking and pushing. We all have to stop at one point as there is a cattle train coming down the mountain. Pretty bizarre but I'm so used to it at this point.

We get to the top of this first climb and ride through a small town. It's getting colder and raining. I get on my cold weather stuff and head out again. Some little punk throws a handful of gravel at me and it lands right in my right eye. Just the start the beating my eyes are going to take.

We get to the base of the volcano and start the 18 mile climb up. I can't see the top because it is covered in clouds. I'm riding a lot but pushing a lot too. I do this for a few hours and finally reach the top. It is very cold and raining hard. I get ready to the downhill that is the most technical of the day. Wathershed style rocks covered in wet mud and cow shit.

I'm doing really well but I'm starting to get tired and my front brakes are acting up. I have to stop now and again to let them cool off. I'm flying down this hill. Way too fast but I just want to get off and get warm. At one point I loose my front brakes totally and only have me rear. My eyes are full of mud and cow shit since I can't wear my glasses due to the rain.

I finally make it down and start climbing again for a bit. I welcome it because it warms me up and lets my brakes recover. My front brake is working about 10 percent and my right eye is all cloudy. I finally roll into the finish 7 hours later and take a cold shower and put on some semi dry clothes. I need to work on my bike to see why the brakes are acting up. I see it right away. I wore the front pads down to nothing. I change them out and pump them a few times and they come back. I drop the bike off at the bike wash and head out to the hotel for some dinner and sleep. 3 AM wake up call tomorrow.

Cattle Have Right of Way

Top of the Volcano

Coming Down

1 comment:

pabiker said...

Like the Mt. Nittany Wheelworks guy - go State College.