Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Putting your back into it

Went for an XC ride with a difference on Sunday. Difference was that my bike weighed twice as much as it should have done:-
Had to be in Dorking for 11.30, so I popped round to Jason's at ten to borrow a wrench to force apart the pistons on the Hayes on the front of my Missile.
Unfortunately, the pistons were seized, or the brake needed bleeding, and we had no Hayes bleed kit, and Evans in Croydon doesn't open on a Sunday until 11.
No matter: I had an old C2 we could put on, and borrow a 185mm rotor from Jason's singlespeed. Except the bleed nipple was rusted stuck on the C2 and there wasn't enough fluid in there to get the pads to touch the disc, even with the lever to the bar.
No matter: we could take the Mini off Jason's brother's bike.
Except that had a Boxxer mount and thus wouldn't fit on my Psylos.
And then we had a good idea: why bother pulling brakes and wheels off other bikes, when I could just borrow Jason's brother's bike.
Jason's brother's Big Hit, that is.
So I ended up riding a Big Hit up Leith Hill, down Summer Lightning, then down High Ashes, up Holmbury Hill and down Barry Knows Best to Peaslake, and then riding the damn thing all the way back again (with one bit of wimping out riding up to the Tower, and one bit on High Ashes).
Luckily there were only 7 out of the 9 gears working, so I got a proper workout.
This punishment, all four hours of it, proved a few things.
1. XC trails are very boring if you've got 9 inches of travel.
2. You can still ride up a hill on a proper bike, if you really have to.
3. Big Hits are great in straight lines, but you really don't want to have to straightline through ramblers and then try to get up to speed again.
OK, so I couldn't really walk afterwards, but this was a valuable lesson. And somehow I don't think all this idiocy would have been possible without the extra fitness this running has conferred. So something is going right.
And more so: perhaps we could do a 24 hour race on DH rigs, and then see how many XC people we could beat. Worth a shot...


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