Friday, December 30, 2005


Florida Epiloque

Great rides in Florida, good times with family and friends. Got to ride the Clermont hills and the IMBA Epic at Alafia River. But the piper had to be paid:

On the way back from bagels and coffee at Einstein's after the last road ride I glanced over at the local Police and their speed trap on Lakemont Rd. Next thing I know I hear the fft-ffft-fffft-ffft of a flat front tire

Only a few blocks back to the car at the YMCA so I just hoofed it. Now many times you get a flat and it's hard to actually find the culprit that caused the thing. This time it was a bit more obvious:

The tires were quite worn with close to 2500 miles anyway. Time for new rubber.

Nice that it happened AFTER the ride, and the brunch, within' a stones throw of the car on the last road ride of the trip.

At Alafia River I was riding "the Rock". An '05 Specialized HardRock Pro Disc. I keep this steed in Fla. so it doesn't see too much action. An XL frame that has proven quite bullet proof. At well over 25 pounds it should be. As we started the ride it didn't take too long to realize I had NO brakes! YIKES. I probably ride the brakes too much anyway. Some adjustment on the mechanical discs got the rear brake semi-functional, but for some reason we couldn't get the front working at all. It was almost like there was a film of something on the discs or pads. Even with the pads fully engaged the wheel just kept on rollin.' Oh well, we rodeOn, me with 1/2 a brake. Wasn't really a big deal...................................UNTIL...........................

"Some drops have relatively sudden turns. "

At the bottom of one drop on Rollercoaster there was a quick left turn, it was actually fortified with sand pushed up against a guard rail. Luckily I saw it early enough and knew instantly there was NO way one weak brake would scrub that much speed off, so I had a split second to yell a LOUD 4 letter expletive and scope a bailout/landing area. I hit the guard rail like a jump, went over a small ravine and stopped dead on the opposite side. I tried to absorb most of the landing with my legs but my (__!__) still hit the seat hard and claimed both seat rails.

We actually went througn the same section again, but I walked that drop. After finishing the loop we were sort of heading back, sort of looking for other places we might've missed, getting a nice flow going on the fine trails and I get some CRAZY noise from down below. WHAT!? A small branch had claimed my rear der hanger. Shite mon. I even had a spare, but the multi-tools we had didn't have a small enough hex for the two mounting screws. Again, lucky it was only a short hike back to the trail head.

So .....time to unload/load and hit the road

13 hours later .....home again.



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