Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dumb ideas, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Bears will eat anything, Guns & Ammo.

Recently I've been tearing bikes apart and swapping components from one to another, posting unwanted items on ebay, trading stuff with other local cyclists, etc. The usual. Well, these fancy XT cranks have been sitting on my work bench collecting dust. "These would work well on the Rig." I thought. So off with the Bontrager Race Lite ISIS cranks and on with the XT with outboard bearings. While I was installing them I discovered that they were 170mm. I have always run 175mm crank arms on the Rig. "How big of a difference could it be? It's only 5mm." my mind quipped.

On Christmas Eve morning, Pookie, Skip, Chris, Chas and I met at Carvins Cove to enjoy the bright sunshine and tacky trails. We got so little rain this past year that I was looking forward to the dampness the snow brought to the trail system the Friday before.

We set off riding up Hi-Dee-Hoo to the intersection of Four Gorge trail. This initial gradual climb is a good warm up - usually. I felt like I was trying to pedal a tricycle. This crank arm thing was a bad idea. Let me tell you friends, a 5mm difference in crank length equals a whole lot of lost horsepower on a singlespeed. Everyone got to listen to me complain for the rest of the ride. I changed back to my 175s as soon as I got home.

Poor Chris...about 3 miles into the ride his chain exploded while on the tail end of Four Gorge. None of us had any spare links to lend him. I felt bad as he only had about an hour to ride to begin with, then his bike craps out, then all of his unprepared friends let him down by not packing any spare parts. Sorry Chris. Chris peels scooter-style off back toward the parking lot and the four of us head up toward Jacob's Drop.

When we reach the trail intersection, an interesting puzzle awaits us. What has been happening to some of the new trail signs on Brushy Mountain? Small holes in the face of the signs almost look like holes from a BB gun. Skip tells us the sign for Guantlet further up the mountain has the same type of damage. But why would someone walk four miles up the side of a mountain to shoot at a sign when they could shoot at the ones in the parking lot? Upon further examination, we could see no BBs or pellets stuck in the sign, and no exit wounds in the back. Could the holes be caused by woodpeckers? The damage to the edge of the sign leads us to believe otherwise. Something has been clawing at the face and edges and has left fur dangling from a few splintered areas of the post. It's either a black bear or Sasquatch. I'm thinking of setting a camera trap to get to the bottom of this!

Our Christmas ended with a bang...literally. It's holiday tradition in these parts to gather friends and firearms to celebrate the coming of the Savior.
The firepower was pretty awesome:
  • Two Glock 9mm handguns (bicyclesoup could have just as easily been Glocksoup)
  • One semi-auto 22 caliber rifle
  • One 22 caliber crack-open singleshot
  • One 22 caliber/410 over-under
  • One 12 gauge single shot (shooting slugs!)

And so another holiday is behind us. Soon another year will be in the books. Where does the time go?

1 comment:

adamC said...

Sounds like a good ride except for Chris breaking a chain and your cranks being to short.Hate that i missed Ive been carrying extra links.As for the signs im thinking its a Wollymonster which is a direct desendent of chubaca.Be careful out there besides signs they also like hammergels and tubeless tires!