Okay, the weather forecast called for gorgeous, so it was time to gear up for ride #2 of the 09 season. I started out somewhat early, and figured it would still be a little chilly so it was long sleeves and thermals regardless of how the temp would end up by the time I was through with the ride. Its always a little more chilly when you are moving anyway…

Low Budget Soul Rider >>>>>>>>

Everything started out nicely. This time I remembered to pump up my tires. Also, I did a quickie adjustment on the front derailleur. Very quickie, which would come back to haunt me later.

Decided to plunk an HKFixed sticker on the brain bucket…buff respect to my fixed gear brethren…

I thought it would bet a little crowed at Gainesville College Trail, and it was. I couldn’t help but laugh at how little imagination the MTB crew has as far as what they drive.

You need to drive either a white, silver or gray truck/SUV to be part to the clique I guess. Seriously, it looked just like this on the other side of the parking lot too. Clones.

While I was gearing up in the parking lot, I was thinking about how big he FAIL level is on the forks Mongoose spec-ed with the Otero Super, yet how successful this rear shock is…

When I say it is successful, I mainly mean that after two years of thrashing this bike with waaaay more weight load than it as ever intended for, this thing is still going strong. I was sure I would have popped it by now. I don’t think the thing has ever lost more than 10lbs of pressure the entire time I’ve had it. Thats pretty good for a low budget b-class component IMO.

Okay, so then he ride started.  It was sooo much better with the tires pumped up. I run them hard as hell because thats the way I like them. On the downside, the trail was even more wet than last week! I mean, it rained about wednesday, and after that thye temp dropped waaay past freezing, so the trail was freshly thawed. Lots of standing water…very cyclocross-esque…slipping sliding, going waaaaay slow on turns that I usually fly through. Before I started the ride I was actually about to pop the clipless back on the bike, but I couldn’t find my clipless shoes so I decided to postpone that plan. Prolly a good idea with it being so slick…

Got about halfway through the trail and all of a sudden I was like “hey, this isn’t the way this trail goes…they  must have cut a new section since last week!”. In fact THEY HAD!  The new section is pretty wicked and adds a few nice pump-able dips and switchbacks. Yeah man, big ups SORBA crew for the update…very fresh very cool.

Just before the end of the new section, I started sinking into the mud real bad, so I went to kick it ion the granny, but it just wouldn’t go. I guess my quickie adjustment before the ride put ta little too much tension on the thing. I let the tension out, and even backed off on the set screw a bit, but it still wouldn’t kick down. So I said fuck it and got wild with the thing, adjusting the actual angle of the cage by way of the seat tube clamp. This worked like a dream.

But then…at 2.61 miles in…CHAIN BREAK!


Fortunately I was sitting down when it happened so I didn’t end up over the bars. I didn’t have a chain tool with me, so there was no option but the walk of shame back to the car. It wasn’t too bad since I know a few short cuts…only 3/4 of a mile of walking. Honestly, I think the short walk was almost as much work as if I had finished the ride,but much less fun. At least I still got some exercise in!

For a sec I thought it might have popped where the master link is, but it didn’t…the master  held just fine

Master links are the kind of lame anyway.  I mean, why bother? After this afternoon I will always have a chain tool with me.

The link plate that did pop was on the inside edge of the bike. This leads me to believe I got a little too crazy with my front derailleur angle adjustment. I think the chain was being held at an angle which bent just enough before hitting the chainring to put pressure towards the inner plates. It could have been much worse. I could have been out of the addle and ended up on my ass. I’m also glad this happened at GCT and not halway through someplace like FT Yargo on a 100 degree day.

I dunno if I am going to give the chain a proper cleaning and re-install it with one less link, or if I am gonna get a new chain. I -know- I should just get a new chain, but I’m such a cheap bastard.


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