February 11, 2004: Bad mojo like a woodscrew muthah
Where to begin? The Hoo-E is definitely throwing off some bad mojo these days. Within the first mile tonight I knew the tuning I had done last night, while sufficient for the sterile lab setting of the bike stand, did not do the trick for real-world scenarios. Tonight the shifting in the harder cogs for each ring was problematic -- long lapses before the chain jumped to the next harder cog; going up to the easier cogs was fine. Now that I've got Blue Sugar back, I'm going to recable the Hoo-E; hopefully that will fix these shifting problems.
My NightRider headlamp, which has been semi-dysfunctional since about six months after I got it, and which I have sent back to the manufacturer for repair once already, is again failing to fully charge. Despite 48 hours on the rack, it held full beam for only about five minutes and then went into low beam conservation mode. I need to dig out the receipts/warranty info and get it fixed before Laguna Seca.
The headlamp was definitely good to have though, as I picked up an inch-long wood screw in my rear tire just as I got onto the Cabrillo off of Grove St. south of Half Moon Bay. When I screwed it out, it sliced out of the tire like it was butter. This situation is exactly why I run slime tubes -- dark, busy highway, tight tire/rim combo, etc. I watched the slime bubble for a few seconds, then it semi-coagulated. Air was still leaking audibly, but I could ride about 3-5 miles at a shot before it would get so low I needed to stop and pump it up. This happened in mile 7 of the ride and I had to stop and pump five more times before I got home.
Tonight I did the full Purissima loop on pavement: bike path down to Half Moon Bay, Highway 1 to Verde, Verde to Higgins-Purissima, down to town, up Main Street to Kelly, across 1 back to the bike path, and home.
As I was babying the gimpy Hoo-E up the back side of Higgins/Purissima, just southwest of the crotch where the Purissima Creek parking lot/trailhead is, I noticed a couple of lights heading up the switchback across the little ravine. I couldn't believe it! It was other bikers with lights! I've never, EVER seen any other serious riders out on the trails or way-back roads at night. They looked to be going pretty slow, so I thought it might be a local couple out noodling around. I decided to catch up to them and did so in about one minute. Wow! Three guys my age on real mountain bikes covered in mud at night with trail lights! JACKPOT!!!
But it apparently was not to be. They obviously had just been enjoying themselves in Purissima. I wish I had known they were in there. Anyway, we exchanged pleasantries and some idle chit-chat about bikes, but they were fairly stand-offish. I asked them a couple of questions about where they were riding, where they started from, where they were from, you know, just getting oriented. But maybe it spooked them a little that I appeared on them out of nowhere right after they popped out of Purissima. It just wasn't happening. We pulled the big hill together and at the saddle, I briefly checked my tire pressure before the descent and they stopped for a rest, or a smoke, or whatever. I gave them a "later" and bombed down the hill, through town, up the bike path, and home.
I don't know if road miles help me at all, maybe they are the cycling equivalent of fast food. Can't hurt. I did try to push the tempo most of the time, but I was running about 25 PSI in the back because of the leak, and I could really feel the rolling resistance.
It was another beautiful night -- a starry, starry night. Clear, cool, NO WIND! Rode into a group of four deer on the backside of H-P.
Three day weekend coming up, so I'm going to get some good dirt action on Blue Sugar. It'll probably rain.
|Mileage: 26.79||Time: 1:55:56||Avg: 13.8||Max: 31.5||Weight:|
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