Draper West Side: Sweet and Sour

Today was a good day for mountain biking: Sunny, 72 degrees, no wind, no dust (thanks to yesterday's rain). I met Mark at the Draper Pool and we cranked up Oak Hollow - I made a tight switchback I've never cleaned before and another one up higher. On the downhill out to the Flight Park I was flying - feeling solid on the bike.

Mark crossing the little bridge before we went through the culvert that goes under the Suncrest road.

But then came the first mar on an otherwise good ride. We decided to go watch some para/hang gliders take off so we made our way around a construction area and noticed that our tires were loaded with goathead thorns. I should have known better and that annoyed me. Mark picked out the thorns and then let the Stans do it's magic on his tubeless setup, while I changed the rear with a tube I bummed off of Mark (I was out of good tubes). I told Mark to go ahead and I'd catch up. I got it fixed but it didn't have enough air so I roamed the neighborhood to see if I could find a floor pump. I spotted a car with a LOTOJA sticker and bikes in the garage and sure enough they had a pump. (Yes, I'm aware that I've railed against LOTOJA and here I am using the sticker for my own gain - the hypocrisy is not lost on me.) I left the thorns in the front tire and it seemed to be holding.

I cranked up the trail and headed up the Maple Hollow trail and made it up a few hundred yards before I met Mark coming down. We headed down intent on going east on the BST, but by the water tank my front tire gave out. I said goodbye to Mark as I worked on it. I loaded it up with a tube that has a slow leak. I thought about just going back to the car and calling it quits, but it was such a nice day I went east on the BST too.

I always seem to forget how this section of trail works me over. It just has all these short steeps that chew me up. But it's still fun. I made it to the bridge at the bottom of Clark's and turned around and went back the way I came. I was starting to feel fatigued, but pressed on - albeit with less speed.

About a 1/4 mile from the car the front tire had gone low enough that I stopped and pumped in more air. I wanted to drop the switchback I had made going up, but I panicked and aborted.

I rolled back to my car as Mark was loading up his bike - he had taken the road back as it was getting late. Mark informed me that he did the Clark's time trial in just over 14 minutes. I was happy for his quick time, but not happy about my barely sub-16 minute time. My mind wondered how I could shave of 2 minutes. I knew the answer: go deeper into the pain cave. But it hurts! Crap, I'll have to do it some day - I should be able to get 14 something.

So, a marvelous day for riding marred by a few mechanicals and a few hits to my ego. That's life.


KDAY said...

You two are like the super cool trail riding duo. I'm jealous of all the riding time in Draper... I need to get out there more often.

bradkeyes said...

I forgot you had already started the Clark's TT this season. Mark has just set the bar for 2008. I wonder how long it will hold?

Andy H. said...

I bet I know what you'll be doing this weekend. Finishing up that tubeless wheelset you've been building;-)

KanyonKris said...

kday - Come on down, we'll give you the tour. Maybe the Monday crew can ride Draper for a change of scenery.

Ya, Mark and I ride together a lot. Our schedules and interest match up. But I think our wives feel we're codependent addiction enablers. ;-)

Brad - Not to minimize Mark's good run, but there are several guys like you who could easily break 14 minutes.

Andy - I have the rear wheel in my car today, and with a visit to the UMB shop I hope to have it rolling tubeless tonight. The front wheel will follow in short order.