Friday, April 8, 2011

The Ring Revisited

Rough morning. My cassette came lose within the first 5 minutes of the ride leaving me uncertain of what else may not be settled in, putting me way off the back in the dark. I lost a camera on Duncan Hollow, took 2 dramatic spills and dealt with frozen derailleurs before most folks were even thinking of hitting the snooze bar. I re-tweaked thumb when I stuffed my front wheel in hole which has since been affecting something up in my forearm making it difficult to hold a handlebar. I spent the first several hours feeling like the weak link while I sang the new bike blues but was able to pull it together on Short mtn and those thoughts of calling it a day were pushed way back into my subconcience. Matt began to fall apart and opted to ride the road for 20 miles back from Signal Knob and met us with the car at Veach Gap as we knew there was no way of pulling out the rest in the dark. I dont know what to say really other than it was a long day on some super gnarly trails. After getting intimate with the EWR for a few hours, I got to become quite fond of it. The slack headtube and high bottom bracket made it great for rock crawling, however the fact that a 140lb weakling such as myself is able to flex out the rear end keeps me looking. Always looking for the perfect all 'rounder. Nothing like 15 hours on a bike to draw your own conclusions on how a bike fits and rides. For the six of us we only encountered a broken chain and a torn derailleur hanger. Not too shabby. The one nice thing about being off the back is that people ctach you in the photos. Here are some from Pat and Chris...

Preparations being made...


Come out swinging. Darkness on Duncan...


Miserable hike-a-bike on Waterfall...


There were a couple of rocks on Jawbone...





Pre-melt Matt...


Breakfast drop...


Melting...



All-Mountain Mike on Signal...





Buzzard's looks on...




One of 2 mechanicals the entire trip...


Mike was very sad we failed to complete the loop...


1 comment:

  1. The trick may be to set up a tent at Veach or use the wooden Cabin/Shelter off to the side of the trail for napping after 15 hours of riding. Rest for a few hours then wake up and continue the ride.

    The trail runners set up a tent at Veach when they do it Counter Clockwise (starting at Signal Knob) with food/water/gatorade and maybe space blankets or sleeping bag(s). That's because Veach in that direction is covered at night. But that is a mile hike in and then a mile hike out.

    I guess you need to prepare the day before if you really want to accomplish this goal.

    The runners are committed and sometimes are out there for 30 hours or more, easily.

    Also, you guys need to drop riders that decide to bail. And hopefully they will assist however possible, like going to sleep at Camp Roosevelt waiting for you to finish in case emergency or post food cold drinks.

    Also if they bail and they have the GPS they should give it up on loan so the ride can be documented.

    There seems to be a definitely be a window or two to do it.

    Good luck. Those are my thoughts if it's helpful. I think it can be done in 24 hrs but you need to get some zzzzz's and be prepared for the nasty east ridge saddles, it's up and downs going the direction you did on this trip.

    Awesome write up thanks, we really like reading the experience.

    ReplyDelete