Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Note to Self: If Trail Repairs are so Annoying, Stop Doing Them Until Done.

I tell people I'm a Dual-Sport Endurance Athlete.   Then I get a wonderful confused look.

It means I do Inline Skating, or Cycling, for a long time period.  Sometimes as much as 3 hours in one workout. 

It's the equivalent of getting into your car and driving for pleasure a long way away and trying really hard to get lost.  But you don't get lost, so you go home a little excited that you didn't get lost and you decide to try harder next time.

SkateSkateSkate or BikeBikeBike.  Long time. 

Bring plenty of water.
Bring snacks.
Bring Sunblock.

Trust me that last one is just as important as the snacks.  I've come home from a summer workout with a sunburned neck and all the skating I did was on a cloudy day in a Pennsylvania Forest.

Valley Forge, PA in Summer can be deceivingly sunny.

Sometimes I'd "Throw a bolt" or "break an axle" and then have to sit aside the trail and fix things on the spot.  You don't want a wheel of any type rubbing against the sides of your Exercise-Vehicle-Of-Choice 75 minutes from the Trailhead.

It would make it very difficult to get home.

I got more and more insistent on what I wanted to bring along when I was far from home.  Like tossing air pumps on the bike, tool kits in the skate pack.  I wasn't the only one since I would find the equivalent of the Ikea Part 100001 Allen Key all over these trails.  That is a 4MM Allen Key for the non-cognoscenti.

I usually have more than one of those with me and I have just handed them over to a stranded athlete more than once.

However sitting aside a trail saying many times to people "Just threw a bolt" and removing the rest of that wheel and tucking it into a bag was something I developed a nice deep feeling of contempt for.  May as well put some bolt locker on those things so they don't move since the bearings for the wheels are hard to get.

No, really, if you skate, getting good bearings may require a 6 week wait.  Splurge on the Full Ceramic bearings because that sheen of water will rust your "Swiss" bearings (made in China no doubt).

I have blown tires in the middle of a workout on the bike.  Replaced them.  Rode on.  Punctures are annoying.

Today was just ... Pointless. 

I stopped in the middle of a shorter workout.  Laps of 4.6 miles, at 9 miles, at a water stop.  I was sitting on the bumper of my Jeep.  After I finished my water and sugar rush from the Chocolate, I decided to "just tighten up my back brake.

The bike was stopping but slower than I prefer.  Too many "Trail Hogs" on the trails here in South Florida.  People seem to be much more self absorbed these days, and with headphone use the rule and not the exception, ON YER LEFT is simply ignored.

I need to be able to dump speed NOW.  Accident avoidance when you are topping out at 7 feet tall on a bike and helmet is important.

So I did.  Except I got it slightly wrong.  That last lap was really quite slow.  Oh sure, I biked along for a reasonable 16.3 miles, call it 148,182 bananas, or 25.75 km, but the brake was too close to the disc.

That caused drag, and it slowed me down. 

When all was through, it was a bad Trail Repair I had done, and I should have waited. 

Bad Moose, No Chocolate.  Don't get back on the trail without fixing that.

I did, the bike's back wheel rolls clear of the brake disc now, and I'll be able to enjoy my next workout in a couple days.

Just only do the absolute necessary on the trails, right?  Enjoy your ride and don't be a perfectionist.  The time for that is at home before or after you are done.

Now, I need to find the bike box so I can sand my brake pads on the bike again.  Stopping good.  Boring bad.

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