Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Way Way Back Machine

One year ago, on April 4, 2007, I rode my KHS with Nitto B123s up Mount Seymour - 1000 metres of elevation - with local fixed-gear climbers Andrew and Rich. I used my normal street "short" gear of 42/16 gear; that's about 71 gear inches for those who care.

Andrew on his Marinoni conversion, Rich on his Cramerotti track bike, both running reasonable gears in the mid-60s. And brakes. Yes, I was doing it dumber, and these guys could kick my ass at climbing. That wasn't really the point.

Louise joined us on her Devinci, keeping it in the middle ring the whole way up in the spirit of the fixed climb. When we made it to the top, I didn't feel all that bad, but had much respect for Andrew and Rich.

The ride down was another story altogether. It was one of the most intense experiences of my life, and I say that a year later. Mount Seymour Road is steep enough that even if you wanted to resist the pedals all the way down, you couldn't do it on a 71" gear.

Hard braking with legs for the 12km descent. It was a case of resist until your legs can't take it any more, spin up to terminal velocity as determined by said jello legs, and then lock in to a skid at 50km/h. Over, and over, and over.

150rpm. Skid. Half rotation. Skid. 100rpm. Resist. Resist. Resist. 150rpm. Over, and over, and over. Team Mountain Goat followed behind to watch the spectacle that was my brand new Soma Everwear being smoked and squared.

There you go. One year ago, I did it dumber. Climbing a vertical kilometre on track bars, and coming back down without brakes. I wouldn't recommend it.

The snow-capped peak between the towers is the destination, Mount Seymour.

About half way up. You can see the Burnaby Velodrome bubble way down there across Burrard Inlet.

Morgan, Andrew, Louise, and Rich.

Parking lot elevation: 1020m.


mander said...

That descent was pure hoonery. I continue to be inspired by your cheerful fearlessness in carrying out what a normal person would see as an absurdly bad idea. Props! :D

Cruiz said...

Seymour is still a couple hundred metres longer than any of the decents I did on my way to mejico.

OT: my second quote on the proj-B site! do i get a prize yet?