|Rolling on the NTF bike path photo by Russ|
|HUP plus Russ=Michele, Russ and Chris|
|Disaster strikes in Cutler by Michele|
We pop into Skyline and the trails are in great shape. We flow through the woods and come out by the golf course. We are having a great time. I ask if Michele wants to follow the route exactly as it was a month ago or whether she wants to freelance a bit. We had a ton of rain this spring so we had to reroute around some very wet trails. Most all of them were dry now so we didn't have to avoid anything. Michele and Chris both liked the idea of doing the route as it was designed. I was fine with that. Now for a bit of perspective for those who maybe aren't familiar with the Ronde de Rosey. It is a Park to Park CX ride. You ride from one park to another. Avoiding paved roads as much as possible. It goes from fireroad to single track to legit mtb trail to bike path and all shades in between. Cutler is a renowned destroyer of bikes and bodies. It is sneaky as it is a very mellow place to ride. But I think it is cursed. Like something super dark resides there and doles out beat downs when it is feeling agitated.
|HUP There it is by Russ|
The trail we call West Side is on the other side of 95. It is a trail. Sort of. It is overgrown and gets zero love. People throw trash out their windows onto it from the highway. I have found dead deer across the trail. But it keeps you off pavement so is a win in my mind. We are cruising along hopping logs and traversing stream beds. We are about 45 minutes into the ride. When disaster hits. Ok that is dramatic. Medi-flights weren't called in. But anyway. I am behind Michele. I hear a stick suck up into her rear wheel. Before I can even say "wait" The stick has Tomahawk chopped her derailler off. Ok then now its an adventure! We proceed to assess the situation. Rule #1 of a good crew. No one FREAKS out. Very important. We actually all were still in really good moods. Even Michele who's bike was just pretty much FUBAR'd. And it was. We take the mech off. Michele amazingly has a spare hanger in her kit. People LEARN from Michele. She carries actual things that are useful on an adventure ride. Spare hanger, duct tape, zip ties. I need to start doing this. And wearing sunblock. But I digress.
|A quick trip to the HUP SSC and we are back on the road|
Ok so we turn the bike into a semi-operational SSCX bike. And by semi I mean every time the chain is under load it falls off or shifts up and jams. We flounder through the woods until we punch out back on the road. Again, no one is getting mad. No one tossed a bike. No one is even in a bad mood. We roll back to my house and the HUP SSC. Luckily (and I still don't know how this is possible) Michele is my bike twin. I have two other bike twins. Abel and LPB. Bike twins are a beautiful thing. It means you share the same position so we literally don't change a thing on the bikes. We put her pedals on my green SSCX fix a flat and off we go. The fact that Michele is psyched about riding 40 miles of the Ronde on a single speed with disc brakes and tires she has never used is incredible. Again, my hero. And embraces the whole "Never Surrender" attitude. I won't lie. When we came home to my house and my wife and kids were eating quiche I was almost like "hey you guys have a great ride I am gonna eat brunch and hit the hot tub" But we were on a mission.
|Always stop at lemonade stands by Michele|
|Stairway to Heaven by Michele|
We share all our stories and enjoy a great meal and cold frosty beverage. Then we slip back into the night and our respective lives. We are so lucky to have this life and these great friends. Such a great day on the bike. Thank you to Michele, Russ and Chris for always being such a great crew.